By Sheri Rosenthal
Five years ago, several people in my life passed away quite quickly—weeks after being initially diagnosed with their conditions. The rapidness of their decline was a bit shocking and certainly eye-opening. For me, when people’s lives are cut short so suddenly and without warning it makes me take a step back and reevaluate where I am in my life.
It’s easy to get caught up in our everyday activities and lose perspective about what is most important in life. For me, I feel blessed to have wonderful people in my life, whom I love and they are top on my list. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what you do (that may be long forgotten). What is important is whom you have loved and if you have added grace to their lives. Of course it is possible to do many good works in the world, but if you do those good deeds without touching hearts, I feel that is falling short of one’s purpose.
By purpose I don’t mean a “pie-in-the-sky” idea of what your ultimate mission is on Earth. I know so many folks abusing themselves with that notion, not knowing what it is they “should” be doing in life. No—I am talking about the deeper purpose that is common to all of us—to love openly and boldly.
Honestly, I still don’t know what my ultimate job purpose is. That keeps changing and evolving, surprising me at every turn. Instead of seeing that as frustrating, I now see it as the way life works, a constant opportunity for expansion and a deeper understanding of myself. Even if I lived 100 years and accomplished everything I wanted to, I still would not have crossed off everything on my bucket list.
So instead, my satisfaction in life is now centered on how I love and the grace I can add to the lives of others. Another way of saying this is, being in service to life. That changed everything for me, removing all the anxiety I felt about not being able to do all the things I wanted to do before I died.
So when people pass away suddenly in my life I simply check in and ask myself did I do my best today to love all the people with whom I came into contact? Did I bring a smile to the table? Did my conversation uplift them? Was I fully present during my interaction? If I can answer yes to these questions, then I am living my purpose. An additional benefit of thinking this way is that it takes my focus away from doing and places it on being—a great exercise for me since I am normally “Miss Action Girl.”
So here’s an exercise you can do this week: Put your focus on how you show up for others, how present you are, and how big your love is. At the end of each day give yourself a score from 1-10 on how much love you put out that day and how much grace you added to the lives of others. At the end of seven days add up your score. You might be surprised at what you come up with. So, don’t wait until the Angel of Death comes knocking on your door to know the true purpose of life. Here’s your chance to live that purpose in every moment, love boldly and with all your integrity!
Dr. Sheri Rosenthal is a business coach, international retreat leader and author.… Today, she is known as one of the most sought after retreat strategists for coaches, facilitators, and authors— and is the owner of Journeys of the Spirit travel agency. She is famous for helping clients plan, fill, andprofit from transformational retreats that both change lives and add serious income to their bottom line!