While at a psychiatry appointment last week, my psychiatrist asked me what advice I would have for people who seem to really be struggling even when they have had far less trauma than I have had in their lives. This doctor saw me for 2 or 3 years when I was at my worst and now he is watching that change so I feel his question was genuine.
While thinking of how to respond, the word that came to my mind first was “purpose”. 3 years ago, I didn’t have one. I was very focused on myself and my children but it was all about this tiny insular world. I was a very unhappy person.
Since then I have broadened my horizons and I believe that I have found my purpose. Well… my purpose for this part of my life anyways.
That conversation with him reminded me of a Ted Talk that I recently watched. If you are not familiar with Ted Talks, they are relatively short, 5-15 minutes talks given by the most amazingly vast collection of people. The talks can be about ANYTHING. Forgiveness, drugs, sex, happiness, loneliness, soap (yes, I saw one on soap), and today I actually watched an amazing one given by Monica Lewinsky. That was an eye-opening and though provoking talk for sure.
Today I want to talk about a Ted Talk that was about finding your purpose. I will offer a link to the talk at the end of this post but I’ve taken the 5 questions that are asked at the end of the talk and I want to delve a bit deeper in to them. The name of the speaker is Adam Leipzig and here are his questions.
1 – Who are you?
This one should be easy. Most everyone that I know has a name. 😉
2 – What do you love to do?
When you think about a good day, what are you doing? Don’t worry about what others think of this. What do YOU love to do?
3 – Who do you do it for?
Doing things for yourself is awesome and very fulfilling but when you have a real passion for something, who else benefits? If you blog, who do you hope to reach? If you do art, who do you share it with? If you are part of a support group, what do you bring to the table that others do not yet have? If you are in a giving profession, who benefits?
4 – What do they want or need?
What do these people (or person) get from you that makes their life better? This doesn’t have to be some HUGE thing. It can be the gift of your friendship, the ability to share in your knowledge, it could even be a ride to Church or for groceries. On a larger scale, you may be in a giving/helping profession, you may volunteer your time on a regular basis, you might be a mother, an aunt, a daughter (or father/uncle/son), perhaps you’ve even shared your wisdom in a book or created art that hangs in someones home. Even if your gift seems to just be “a job”, if the end product is you helping someone else, you are filling a need.
5 – How do they transform or change?
This one requires a bit of self-esteem and sometimes a lot of thought but every single persons life affects other people. When you are at your best and doing what you love, how do you make this world a better place? How do others end up changing because of who you are?
Note: Be nice to yourself here. You matter. Your life matters. If your answer to this question is an automatic negative? Take a step back and see where you truly do have something good to offer. It doesn’t need to be a huge thing. Simple and smaller steps are equally as worthy as bigger ones.
I would LOVE to hear from you if this blog helps you. I hope that you will find the time to watch this talk and I hope it inspires you like it inspired me. If you already know your purpose? I hope this only solidifies your path for you. If you feel that you have no purpose? I hope it helps you find one. We ALL have a purpose and we are ALL needed to be who we authentically are.
You matter. Your voice matters. Your being on this earth matters. For those who already know that? I am so happy for you! For those of you that don’t? Keep searching and believing you will find it. Hopefully todays blog and this video talk help light your path.