Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Purpose
Greetings! Nichole Naoum here—Giving Back Magazine’s new wellness contributor by day and creative insurgent by night (and by day too, actually). Armed with more than a decade of experience as a writer, I plan to do more than just wrangle commas and put prepositions in their rightful place. I look forward to being your leading source of intel on holistic living, mental health and sustainable wellness. Let’s get started…
From a cursory glance, few would argue that aimlessness is a trademark of this generation. Some days, we navigate our lives with laser-sharp precision, reaching milestone after milestone, unscathed by the obstacles we face in between. And then there are moments that give us pause – when we realize that despite our worldly accomplishments, we are not fulfilled. There is an inexplicable pull towards something, but we cannot quite pinpoint it. That “something” is purpose.
Everything around us serves a purpose. Whether it is a tree that produces fruit or clouds that yield rain, there are processes in place all around us working to achieve some kind of outcome. But, as humans, it is easy to become so consumed by our daily activities, that our recognition of our own unique life purpose is easily dimmed.
And contrary to popular belief, seeking happiness is not akin to finding your purpose. Happiness is what you experience in the daily ebbs and flows of life. They are situational and will fluctuate. Purpose is that underlying sense of inner peace that transcends those everyday ups and downs. From PTSD survivors looking to build healthier lives to business executives trying to hone their management skills, at some point, we all start feeling off-track, or incomplete, despite many of us leading conventionally happy and successful lives.
Before you begin stoking the fires of self-doubt, know that finding your life’s purpose does not have to be such an emotionally and spiritually taxing journey. In fact, all it takes is a little excavating and introspection that starts with finding your passion.
Think of unearthing your passion like the work of a sculptor, slowly chiseling away at the coarse stone to reveal the masterpiece underneath. Your purpose is this masterpiece, simply lurking beneath the surface waiting to be discovered.
Each time you work on something you love, be it crunching numbers, fixing cars or playing music, it generates a joy inside you like nothing else. Finding a way to harness those passions to give back to the world will give your life meaning in ways unlike anything else.
The fact is, when you are hyper-focused on your own wants and needs, your purpose becomes clouded by self-interest. While ego is part of the human experience, it requires a concerted effort to move through and bypass, so you do not become gripped by it, as the Sirens proceeded to do to Ulysses.
The key is to never give up. All the world’s luminaries – from Leonardo da Vinci, to Nikola Tesla, to Michael Jordan, to Mozart—were once as new to their purpose as you are to yours. Embrace the areas in which you do not excel, learn from your failures, and grow accordingly.
After all, when you set out to awaken your life purpose, you emit a light from within, which you will in turn cast onto others.