life path versus purpose

Growing up within the decades of a hyper aware Oprah influenced culture, its impossible not to contemplate why we are here and what is our specific life purpose. Bookshelves are filled with experts willing to share their techniques in helping you fulfil your destiny and articulate your purpose. Its a daunting question for most and can often lead to negative thought patterns of not contributing to a noble enough cause. An unfulfilled dream or lack of purpose can be a dangerous backdrop to life. I’ve been through a few of these fleeting stages in my own life. Finding myself navel gazing and contemplating my role in the Universe – challenging myself to do something with real meaning and purpose versus pursuing the career that has brought me great levels of professional success and varying levels of fulfilment.

But recently there’s a growing sense of personal discontent and even slight annoyance with the notion of identifying my purpose in life. Instead, perhaps the WHAT we chose to pursue is infinitely less important than the HOW we conduct ourselves no matter the location, situation or audience.

Surely there are those who choose a grand and admirable WHAT such as saving the whales . . . and yet perhaps they do so with anger and negativity that becomes toxic. Just as surely there are banking clerks who serve with so much levity and kindness that it overflows onto each customer. For me, the HOW we behave and make others feel in our wake has to be more important than our identifiable “WHAT do you do?”

Maybe our real purpose on this planet is to let go of our obsession with WHAT we are doing as a career and instead be aware of HOW we effect each other. Our guiding light could be kindness, compassion or even to be a positive force. Imagine performing every task and greeting every stranger as well as friend with those intentions. For me that sounds like a solid path to JOY.

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