How Much of an Impact Do You Really Have in the World?

Your True Purpose

There will come a time when you doubt your influence and significance in life. Maybe in your twenties you thought you were invincible and believed that you had the power to change the world.

In your thirties, your dreams began to shift a bit. You scaled them down as other things and people took priority.

Somewhere along the way you began to lose sight of your dreams. You now worry that you may never fulfill your purpose. And that regardless of any fame or recognition you’ve gotten over the life of your career, the most important thing is having a sense of purpose and meaning. But you’re not even sure you managed to do that.

Here’s what I think. I think you deserve a pass. Just for today, consider the impact you have by just being here.

Don’t believe me?

Ask your kids, your friends, your partner, what you do for them that makes them happy and what they love most about you. It won’t be your job promotion, your book hitting the best seller list or anything else you think you need to have in order to have a meaningful life.

My grandfather, for example, had one of the biggest influence on my life. Not because he worked three jobs on the plantation to support his family. In fact, on paper he didn’t do anything grand or momentous except for the fact that he loved his family and he loved me. He had a very simple, ordinary life.

Sometimes we get too hard on ourselves for not “making it in life.” We’re not all meant to be millionaires, best-selling authors, and spiritual gurus. What we are meant to do is to truly be who we are.

Just by the act of being authentic we free ourselves and others to be the loving, influential beings we are all meant to be.

For today, try learning to wear a garment of gratitude instead of hard cold armor. Try it and in doing so, watch as the meaning, and influence you’ve always wanted doesn’t just flow into your life effortlessly.

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What If I’m Not There Yet?

{taken with my iPhone during a mindful moment while walking}

Some of you may be just like me. Working hard, living hard, trying to do everything you can to fit meaning and purpose in your every day. If you’re like me, then you know the anxiety that sometimes comes when you feel like no matter how much you do it’s just not enough.

You may be sitting in the void right now. Waiting for hope to come like rain after a long waited drought.

Whether it’s a job, a home, or someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, I understand that pain of not knowing what to do next. I empathize with the fear that comes from worrying that you’ll never get what it is you really want.

There have been many times in my life when I was unemployed or alone and ample times when I was confused and filled with self-doubt. I’ve been on the road of envy, anger, and jealousy.  Looking back, it’s those times that have taught me the most about having faith. It’s also the moment that prepared me for what was next.

I would never be able to go straight into writing, had I not gotten a degree in Counseling first. And had I not spend a few months unemployed, I wouldn’t have the courage and the motivation to finally go to graduate school.

The pauses in our lives feel like failure. They feel like it because we’ve gotten so used to the constant barrage of activity-our iPhones, iPads, texting, etc. We’ve forgotten that life unfolds in its own time.

Sometimes I need to be reminded of this too and only need to spend time in nature, observing how the season changes, the way birds tease the wind and how the clouds move, to know that our time will come too.

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