Living Life With Purpose

Recently I’ve been reading a book (or several, I should say) called “Achieving Your Life Mission” by Randal A. Wright. There is a lot of talk about God, the mission we were sent here to earth to do and how to find that mission. While reading it I found a burning desire to wake up every day with a new purpose to fulfill what I think I was sent here to earth to do. This book helped give meaning and direction to my life. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” I think when we do these things is when we find happiness. What did God send you to earth to do?

I believe that all things have purpose, even if we have limited understanding. The definition of purpose is, “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists” (Google dictionary). Mark Twain is believed to have said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born…and the day you find out why.” Finding your purpose may sound cliché, but when you wake up every morning, do you wake up excited and ready to tackle the day, or do you wake up dreading the tasks laid out before you?

I don’t think that all days will be merry and bright. I don’t believe all days will be filled with easiness and comfort. I do believe that when you have a purpose and a focus on others and your mission in life, something within helps you to face the mundane and ordinary days that inevitably come.

So how do we find our purpose? I think it is wise to remember what is said in the book of Matthew, “Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). When we die, our bodies will go to the grave. When we die, our “mansions”, possessions, and money will be left behind to those here on earth. When we die, our knowledge, the way we treated and spent time with people, etc. will be allowed to come with us. Where is our heart? Goethe, a German writer and salesman said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” I have often read in books from stories of successful people who at the end of their life wished they had spent more time with their children or spouse, even though what they contributed to the world was magnificent and great.

An author for Forbes, Margie Warrell, asks four questions to help you find your purpose.

  1. What makes you come alive?
  2. What are your innate strengths?
  3. Where do you add the greatest value?
  4. How will you measure your life?

She then continued to say, “Ultimately, living with purpose means focusing on things that matter most. Ironically, the things that matter most are rarely “things.” That said, while some people are in a position to trade the security of a regular salary in order to pursue a passion, many simply can’t–at least not in the short term or without violating core values (like paying off debt or providing for their family). But following the money and following your heart don’t have to be mutually exclusive. By shifting the lens in which you view what you are doing now, you can profoundly shift your experience in it. No matter what your job, you can draw meaning from it and find greater purpose through how you do what you do. If you don’t think you’re the kind of person you’d want to work with, then consider that it may not be because of the job you do each day, but your attitude toward it.

Knowing your purpose may compel you to take on challenges that will stretch you as much as they inspire you. Just as a boat under power can handle any size wave if perpendicular to it, when you’re powered by a clear purpose, there is little you cannot do.”

With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). We can find what our purpose is. We can choose to get up each day and be filled with God’s love so that we can fulfill his purpose for us. When we master our self-control, the Master himself guides us into valleys of opportunities and endless blessings. Therefore, “The purpose of life, is a life of purpose.” (Robert Byrne).

I believe in you. I believe you can make miracles happen. And I believe that peace (true inner peace) is the answer.

Living Life With Purpose

 

 

 

Daring Greatly For A Worthy Cause

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly, errs, comes short again and again. Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat…

…Let those who have, keep, let those who have not, strive to attain, a high standard of cultivation and scholarship. Yet let us remember that these stand second to certain other things. There is need of a sound body, and even more of a sound mind. But above mind and above body stands character – the sum of those qualities which we mean when we speak of a man’s force and courage, of his good faith and sense of honor. I believe in exercise for the body, always provided that we keep in mind that physical development is a means and not an end. I believe, of course, in giving to all the people a good education. But the education must contain much besides book-learning in order to be really good. We must ever remember that no keenness and subtleness of intellect, no polish, no cleverness, in any way make up for the lack of the great solid qualities. Self restraint, self mastery, common sense, the power of accepting individual responsibility and yet of acting in conjunction with others, courage and resolution – these are the qualities which mark a masterful people. Without them no people can control itself, or save itself from being controlled from the outside. I speak to brilliant assemblage; I speak in a great university which represents the flower of the highest intellectual development; I pay all homage to intellect and to elaborate and specialized training of the intellect; and yet I know I shall have the assent of all of you present when I add that more important still are the commonplace, every-day qualities and virtues.”

-Excepts from “The Man In The Arena” by: Theodore Roosevelt

 

comfort zones.jpg

“Great things have never come from comfort zones.”

You Are Doing Better Than You Think You Are

Recently I found a journal that had entries ranging from Jr. High up till I started college. As I read through all the journal entries, my initial reaction was to be embarrassed. My behaviors and thoughts were immature. It was obvious I was a much younger version of myself, though we all know I can still be pretty immature. I remembered a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in October 2017. He spoke:

“Leo Tolstoy wrote once of a priest who was criticized by one of his congregants for not living as resolutely as he should, the critic concluding that the principles the erring preacher taught must therefore also be erroneous.

In response to that criticism, the priest says: “Look at my life now and compare it to my former life. You will see that I am trying to live out the truth I proclaim.” Unable to live up to the high ideals he taught, the priest admits he has failed. But he cries:

“Attack me, [if you wish,] I do this myself, but [don’t] attack … the path I follow. … If I know the way home [but] am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way simply because I am staggering from side to side?

“… Do not gleefully shout, ‘Look at him! … There he is crawling into a bog!’ No, do not gloat, but give … your help [to anyone trying to walk the road back to God.]”

Some Things Don't Change

Some Things Don’t Change

I was reminded that we are all on a path and as long as we are walking along it, we are doing okay, even if we are staggering. I am reminded how far I’ve come, and in more ways than one.

I found a letter in my journal from a teacher for an achievement award in 9th grade that said:

“Megan has been in my classes the last 3 years. She is very dependable and a hard worker, who always does her best. She helps those around her and is always willing to help anyway possible. She is positive, energetic and very fun to have around. She is one of those students that you love to have in class. Megan is looked up to by her peers. Because Megan is so trustworthy, I have also had Megan as a Student Aide. She is a good example of leadership and behavior. She has lots of friends which shows how well she is respected. Megan is extremely nice, kind-hearted, thoughtful and considerate.”

When I found this letter, my heart smiled and I was grateful for this teacher who wrote such a thoughtful letter.  Though I have come far and I feel I am a different person than I was in my teenage years, I’m not far from the person I was then or when I was born. I am me and will always be that person. The same characteristic traits my 9th grade teacher described of me for the most part still ring true today. They are a part of who I am. I can’t change that.

As I was pondering these experiences, I had a thought of how I always ask in my prayers to “Help me become the person I need to be.” The thought was followed with this important truth. You are who I need you to be. Be the person I made you to be NOW.” God equips us with what we need right now to be who we need to be. I can be the wife I need to be because I was given a husband who sets a great example of a good relationship. I can be the mom I need to be because my children are teaching me every step and because I was given an angel mother who sets the best example of unconditional love. I am the leader I need to be because God gave me unique talents that help me to fulfill my purpose while on earth. If we feel we don’t have the right examples to help teach us, then it is up to us to find examples we can emulate and learn from. Possibility is within our reach and can only be made if we start somewhere.

Sometimes we have a measure of where we would like to be and we feel as if we are not measuring up. If you look back, you might find that you are further along than you thought. You might have just been staggering side to side not realizing the progress you were making. Sister Carol McConkie says, “We have different gifts and different strengths. First Corinthians chapter 12 emphasizes the need for sons and daughters of God, each one of us, to fulfill our individual roles and responsibilities according to the Lord’s plan, that all may benefit.” Speaking to mothers, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland tenderly exclaimed, “To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle — and all will — I say, be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. YOU ARE DOING BETTER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE.”

I believe in you. I believe you can make miracles happen. And I believe that peace (true inner peace) is the answer.