By Terez Hartmann
The ULTIMATE Purpose?
It was a sunny afternoon in Orlando, FL, and I was cruising around town in Lady Liberty (my lovely red Jeep) during my “off-time” before heading back to get ready for a show that night. Our Friday night gig was a blast, and I was in an all-around groovy, relaxed state of mind, really enjoying a new CD from Abraham-Hicks—one of the first I had heard after discovering their work through the original version of the movie, “The Secret.” Though everything I had heard thus far was resonating completely, they shared an idea that struck me so profoundly that I started yelling “Yes! Yes! YES!!!!!!!” and laughing so hard that anyone in a vehicle beside me must have thought I was completely whacked!
What WAS this idea that sent me into a full-blown, nutty bliss-fest? It all boils down to these words: “The purpose of life is JOY.”
Though this concept may have seemed overly simplistic to many others, hearing it out loud, from a Source other than my own inner musings, completely rocked my world! Even from the time I was a little girl, it always felt “right” to feel good and to seek joy, so my inner child was doing a happy dance of epic proportions!
From that point on, I made a decision that has since changed the course of my life: I decided that I would do my very best to prioritize joy and well-being and tune in to my Source, my inner guidance, and do what felt good and right to ME. Lo and behold, the more I put this into practice over a period of days, months, and years, the more I continued to feel great on a consistent basis. My productivity went through the roof, my overall timing would rock, and my interactions with fellow homo sapiens sapiens were healthier and infinitely more fun and rewarding than EVER before! An added bonus: Because I have made joy my ultimate destination and “purpose,” I have indeed discovered more and more specific areas and passions that have set my life and soul on FIRE! Perhaps there is something to this JOY thing, after all?
General vs. Specific: Creating your “One-Liner” and “Operative Term”
While choosing to focus on joy in the general sense can certainly make for a fabulous journey, there is something to be said for plugging some kind of specific destination into your life GPS. I know that even when I am on vacation and totally goofing off, I still like the idea of having a focus for my day and my time (while remaining open to life’s bonuses, upgrades, and happy surprises). At the same time, we often make this work of uncovering our “purpose” so much harder than it needs to be, when all we really need to do is pay attention to how we feel when considering a subject, experience, or idea.
If you are drawn to uncovering a more specific focal point for your sense of purpose, try this exercise on for size to get your wheels turning:
1. Make a list of activities and ideas that inspire a feeling of fun, joy or inspiration.(I have found “The 7-Year Old Exercise” to be particularly helpful. I share this tool for FREE on this page: http://allowingyoursuccess.com/allowing_resources.php)
2. Once you make your list, ask yourself this question: “What do all these things have in common?”
3. Put your answers in writing and notice specific words that really nail it for you like “create,” “organize,” “understand,” “diversity,” “dance,” “adventure,” “connect,” “communicate,” “share,” “build,” etc.
4. Use your answers and words to create a One-Liner, Operative Term, and overall roadmap for identifying and expressing your sense of purpose. For example:
When creating my parent company and web presence, Allowing YOUR Success!, I knew having a One-Liner would be helpful in bottom-lining my focus and message. So after considering all the aspects of what I do, it all boiled down to “Words, Music, Adventures & Beyond for LETTING Good Happen and ENJOYING the Journey.” And with this in mind, I also discovered that my Operative Term (a general style of living/expressing in the world) was “Creative Expression.” When I combined my career focus with personal interests, my life-purpose One-Liner further expanded to, “Creating, experiencing, and expressing beauty, inspiration, joy, and fun.”
Remember that these exercises, lists, and words are nothing more than focus tools to add more clarity, fun, and passion to your life. If the idea of using labels or getting specific about a sense of purpose feels heavy or stresses you out, it is FAR better to get back to thinking about the big picture of life and let JOY be your guide and one true purpose. General or specific? It really is entirely up to YOU.
Life Purpose and Career
Oftentimes we humans believe that our life purpose and career have to be one and the same. Yes, it is lovely when your vocation and income source feel on track with your purpose, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a gig that pays the bills while you fulfill your sense of purpose “off the clock.” Though I have chosen to integrate my purpose/focus of “Creating, experiencing and expressing beauty…” with my career, I find that I also fulfill my Raison d’être when alone on a hiking trail connecting with nature, attending or hosting wine-tastings or savoring a great meal, cruising down a long stretch of highway in my beloved Jeep, dancing at ANY time, or paying a stranger a sincere compliment.
On the other hand, no matter what YOU do for a paycheck, you may be delightfully surprised to find that often you ARE realizing some aspect of your One-Liner or Operative Term, even if your work environment seems completely unrelated to your heart’s desire. For example: Let’s say that your purpose/One-Liner/Operative Term revolves around inspiring others, but your day gig is being a cashier at a local convenience store. Even though “inspiring others” is not listed anywhere in your official job description, ANY time you interact with a customer and share your smile, great attitude, sense of humor, kind words, or deliver excellent service, you absolutely, positively CAN inspire others in ways you never even considered! You may even work in a high-traffic environment with hundreds of people coming in to YOUR store every day and, in fact, positively impact and inspire even MORE human beings than if you worked with one client at a time in your own office! I know that when I’ve had down days and then encountered a friendly, helpful cashier, server, or stranger, this often was just what I needed to bust my negative groove and get back on track!
End result: No matter what you do for cashola, there are always ways to fulfill your desire to live on purpose.
The Bottom Line on Allowing YOUR Success by Discovering YOUR Purpose
We as humans like to think that Source/God/Universe/etc. has doled out a specific and exclusive label to every human being and I, like many, have definitely seen a common thread unfold in my natural inclinations and interests. But what if our purpose is actually a dynamic thing that continues to evolve as we live life and discover new things that make our hearts sing? What if having a purpose is more about identifying a fun style of living, being, or expressing rather than a written-in-stone, unchanging, inside-the-box pronouncement?
If I only did the thing that I thought was my one true purpose when I was a child, I would have missed out on all the amazing variety, inspiration, and rewards of all I get to do today. And as long as I have known myself, I still continue to discover more about me, along with new ways to inspire others while making the most of my time on planet earth.
This is YOUR life, my beautiful friends, and it is my opinion that when YOU are living in a state of joy and inhabiting a healthy, happy mind, body, and spirit, you are able to be of greater service to humanity than begrudgingly following any “do-or-die” plan in the sky. I, for one, do enjoy having a clear sense of direction, but in truth, all that exists for you and any of us is the here and now. Why not make it your mission and purpose to create, experience, and express the very best version of YOU, while mining your now for as much joy as your little heart can handle—and then benefit ALL who cross your path?
Now that’s what I call a purpose-driven life.
Terez Hartman is the author of Allowing Your Success!, a professional Keynote Speaker/Workshop Facilitator, Singer-Songwriter/Recording Artist, “Allowing Adventures!” & “Savor Vacation” Facilitator, true Renaissance Woman and Visionary. She has spent the majority of her life consciously working with the Law of Attraction and “Allowing,” and owes her many years of ever-increasing professional success, constant flow of creativity, vibrant health, many extraordinary adventures, amazing relationships with positive-minded, “cream-of-the-crop” human beings and—what she feels to be her greatest allowing achievement—her extraordinary “soul-mate” marriage, to truly practicing what she teaches in her writings, presentations, adventures and music. Visit: www.AllowingYourSuccess.com or www.AllowingAdventures.com.