“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ Unknown
It seems like lately, whenever I have deep soul-searching conversations with my nearest and dearest, there’s a push for answers to one question.
What is my life purpose?
It feels like it’s not enough to live our lives—no matter how full and happy they are. We want to know if we are living a purpose-full life. We want to know if we are tuned into our life’s calling, and following the blueprint for what we’re meant to be doing. Are we fulfilling our destiny? Are we honoring our soul’s mission?
Let’s be honest: These are heavy, epic, mind-blowing, soul-shifting questions.
And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking ourselves these things, and they can even inspire and help guide us, there may be a danger to having this one question beat on endlessly:
WHAT is my life purpose?
What is MY life purpose?
What is my life PURPOSE?
Here’s the thing. Some of us have an answer to that question. Some of us think we have an answer to that question.
And some of us? Some of us have no idea what it is we are “meant to be doing.”
But what does that even mean? How can our purpose be defined by what we are doing when what we are doing can change minute to minute or year to year?
Some of us are so fixated on finding ourselves or discovering the answer to what we are meant to be doing, that we are missing out on what we are doing.
In this constant search, we may be walking around mindless, looking ahead to tomorrow and the day after that for answers—for this purpose—while connections, opportunities and lessons may pass right by us today.
“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” ~Proverb
What if we forget about what it is we are meant to be doing, and just realize we are doing it? This moment, right here, is all we are guaranteed so why not ensure each moment is full of intention and love, instead of wonder and worry?
Instead of focusing on the path ahead, let’s work on making each step in the here and now count.
There are times to walk with intention, loud and forceful, bolder still with each step, brave in the path we leave behind. And there are times to walk softly, treading ever so carefully, not making noise or leaving any visible imprint behind.
Either way, you leave an impact, create your purpose. Either way you make a difference—perhaps by paving the path for another or by simply inspiring someone to make their own way.
Know your path isn’t only defined by the direction you take in life in searching and reaching for this mystical purpose. It’s about the words you use, the time you share, the actions you do.
It’s about you—who you are.
It’s about that time you encouraged someone when he needed to hear it most.
It’s that time you turned a friend’s tears into laughter, her fear into hope.
It’s that time you drove in traffic, in a storm, to visit someone in the hospital.
It’s all the times when you made a difference without even knowing, just by being yourself.
What if instead of asking what you are meant to be doing you ask this instead:
What kind of path would I like to leave behind?
Now ask, is it the path you are actually leaving?
If it is, that’s amazing. And if it’s not, that’s amazing too because you are learning as you go and the best thing about each new day is it is a chance for a fresh start.
What if you live each day just being the best version of you? Pushing and striving to continually grow, to inspire and be inspired, to be healthy and happy and productive and joyful? What if you do your best to be genuine, to use kind words and to give love to everyone you meet?
What if you just be your beautiful self, shining bright for the world to see, realizing there is no one else like you?
What if that is your life purpose?
Angie Sarhan received her M.F.A in Creative Non-Fiction from Emerson College. She currently teaches college writing. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys traveling, cooking and writing—especially her inspirational, positivity-packed, sometimes humorous, always lighthearted blog. For more inspiration, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Image courtesy of Daria Nepriakhina.March 9, 2016