What’s the purpose of life? Why are we here?
Timeless, age-old questions.
Some of us seem lucky enough to be born with the answers to these questions, or have discovered them early in life. Those of you who followed the earlier version of the Silver Linings Blog know that these were a prominent theme for me. The interest in the meaning of life and work began for me with a crisis – when I got everything I wanted. Nothing like checking off all your boxes to make me realize that happiness does not from a strong resume. This interest and search for meaning and purpose continued through my masters’ capstone project on callings, and through this day. Now, one of my favorite things to do as a developer and coach is to help others to uncover the life’s purpose that is always to calling them.
I guess you can say I was called to do callings work.
Though the focus of my main day job has shifted again, this calling to help others with their calling is still there and just as important as ever, because our calling is the gateway to what is most meaningful and impactful in our lives.
I’ve been confused between meaning and purpose for much of my life. Meaning has to do with understanding the impact or importance of something, whether it’s something you’ve done or something you’ve witnessed. For example, helping children is meaningful whether you saw a movie about it or it’s your vocation. If it’s your vocation and it brings you a great deal of satisfaction and success (though not necessarily defined by financial success), then it’s likely part of your life’s purpose. Your purpose becomes a calling when it becomes self-transcendent, i.e., it’s blissful work that seems to help transform yourself and others in positive ways.
It’s also important to note that our calling may be expressed outside of work. It does not necessarily have to be what you get paid to do 40 hours per week. Thank goodness.
Therefore, our authentic purpose, the reason we’re on Earth, is to follow our calling (according to my understanding of message from Spirit/God).
How you discover your calling, if you’re not sure, is a subject in several previous blogs. Suffice to say that the sense of calling does not come from our heads, which explains where I went wrong in my early career. Rather, our callings come from our hearts and souls. When mind, heart, and soul are in alignment, you can bring your best self to your work.
Usually our calling has a prosocial aspect to it, i.e., it benefits others either directly or indirectly. For example, sometimes people say that their calling is to live a good life. I ask them if no one ever benefits from living that good life but you, would you be happy with it? Usually the answer is no, but when it is yes, I would guess that that purpose may not come from the heart and soul. But I could be wrong.
That prosocial orientation brings us to what Spirit/God wants for us. We are here to care for others, especially Earth, and children and those who cannot care for themselves, in that order. We are also supposed to take care of ourselves. There are no exceptions to this. There are no demographics that are excluded from God’s love and care, and so we should follow suit because that’s why we’re here.
Spirit wants us to care for Earth first and foremost right now. I’m writing about that imperative on the Foundation blog, and trying to help everyone understand how fundamental that is to our purpose on Earth, and even our survival right now.
If you feel you do not know your calling and/or are struggling with the focus of your life, Spirit just wants you to take steps to try to discern what you’re here to do. There are many resources to help uncover your purpose (you can start with this blog series) and I hope someday to develop an online program that will help people to discover it.
Spirit does not expect us to be perfect. We’re human, which means we are born to struggle and try to learn. What matters is that we have a sincere desire and attempt to do better at caring for Earth, others, and self, and living our purpose. Spirit knows we can’t all necessarily be where we want to be in our lives, and that we all make mistakes. The intention and effort to do better is what matters.
I also believe your calling is there waiting for you, sending little invitations in discreet forms. If you know your calling, how did you discover it? Share here and help give others some ideas of what to look for.
Next blog: Guidance from Spirit