Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Discovering Your Purpose for Living!

Carpe Diem.  Even though its a Latin phrase it still has a ring of excitement about it.  It means "Seize the Day."  It's an exhortation to live life to the fullest-to get the most out of each day. That's what we all want!  We want to "go for the gusto" and squeeze the life out of life.  Too bad we get caught floundering around with the daily chores of our existence. We don't think that we have time to "Seize the Day." 
 How do we squeeze the life out of life?  That's the question that has prompted this publication.  This chapter will address the one central element that makes truly successful living a possibility.  What is that element?  It is the discovery of a worthwhile PURPOSE for our lives. 
 Studying and trying to emulate those who live joyful and successful lives, learned that that each possess one universal trait. They have discovered a worthwhile purpose for their life.  They know why they exist.  This is true not only for successful individuals, but also for successful churches, businesses, civic organizations, and clubs.  They all know WHY they exist.
Consider the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) :-(  While certainly not a fan of the agency, one thing is certain:  THEY KNOW THEIR PURPOSE.  The 1976 IRS handbook states: "During a state of national emergency resulting from enemy attack, the essential functions of the Service will be as follows: assessing, collecting, and recording taxes."  The bombs might be flying, but the folks down at the IRS will be doing what they've always done-taking our money. They know their purpose.
 What is the chief, central, primary purpose for your life?  I'm not asking what roles you fill or obligations you must satisfy.  We all need to be good parents, faithful spouses, and ethical business people.  I am asking about something deeper.  As you fulfill you daily responsibilities what is the overarching purpose of your life?

Not sure?  Here's some questions to get you thinking? 

Napoleon Hill has said:  "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements."
Take some time to examine your hopes, dreams, and aspirations.  What are those things in life that when accomplished give you greater strength instead of shear exhaustion?  What things renew you rather than drain you?  What are you involved with that gives you the felling that you are contributing something of value to the world?   By exploring your PASSIONS you will begin to uncover your PURPOSE.

Orison SwettMarden said "There's no grander sight in the world than that of a person fired with a great purpose, dominated by one unwavering aim." If this statement could describe any of us, then we would certainly be learning to "seize the day."
Listen to some of the "great" motivational experts and you'll hear them say that your potential is unlimited.  Hogwash!  At this point in my life there are certain things that are beyond my reach.  For example, no matter how hard I work or how much I train, I don't have the potential to play basketball in the NBA.  It's simply beyond my potential. 
Nevertheless I do have some pretty terrific potential.   So do you!  The trick is to discover that potential.  That's a key to discerning you our life's purpose.  To begin identifying your potential start by asking yourself these questions.  Record your answers in your journal. 
What unique God-given abilities do you possess?
What experiences have provided you with special wisdom?
What skills have you developed in you business or profession?
What knowledge have gained while earning your education?
What are your personal strengths of character?
The most successful person in modern history was a Catholic Nun named Mother Theresa.  That sounds strange when you consider her lifestyle. She was a rather plain looking individual of small stature-not some leggy super-model.   She was a poor in a world that values wealth--living in a one-room apartment with only a few pieces of furniture. Though she didn't fit any of our "success" stereotypes, I doubt that few would deny the achievements and value of her life.  She was one of the most successful people to ever live. 

Leadership expert John Maxwell has written: 
"God's gift to me is my potential.  My gift to God is what I do with that potential.  I believe great leaders sense a 'higher calling'--one that lifts them above themselves.  What a terrible waste of life to be climbing the ladder of success only to find when you read the top that you were leaning against the wrong building." 
Mother Theresa's ladder was leaning against the right building.   That's what made her successful.  She looked around.  She saw the tremendous need that existed in Calcutta.  She knew that she had the potential to make a difference--one life at a time.  Her heart was stirred.  Her passions were energized.  She devoted her life to make a difference.  That's success in life!
What gives you passion?  What are your resources-your potential?  What are the needs of the people around you?  Answer these questions.  Find out how each response intersect.  When you do you will be on your way to discovering a worthwhile purpose for your life.

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