By Patricia Raskin
Finding our purpose
In my book Pathfinding I write, "For many people, finding their purpose becomes a life-long search. Others seem to find it early on in their quest for selfhood … The path to our purpose is an inner path. Our purpose is not something we discover, it’s something we uncover. Finding our purpose answers the question, "Why am I here?" … "What path have I chosen?" and "Am I on the right path?"
We can start with honoring our innate gifts, talents and abilities. Where do our talents and skills lie? What is our philosophy of life and work? Do we use initiative, innovativeness and intuitiveness in our work? How strong are our values and beliefs? Do we have the persistence and drive of a pathfinder? When is the last time we asked, "What is my purpose in life?" Do we have a well-defined personal mission statement? Are we any closer now than we were a year ago to expressing our true purpose?"
I interviewed Theresa Szczurek, Ph.D., entrepreneur and consultant and author of "Pursuit of Passionate Purpose: Success Strategies for a Rewarding Personal and Business Life." (www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com) She writes, "Having a clear purpose about which you are passionate is essential for getting what you want in life. With the pursuit of purpose comes fulfillment, and from that experience comes meaning and a feeling of success. Not only the individual benefits ― businesses, families, churches, and organizations gain positive results when people align personal passion with organizational purpose."
She interviewed people from all walks of life and writes, "I asked what brings meaning to your life?" The responses were many but the majority said it was love (deep, caring relationships with the interconnected web of life including people, animals, nature and spirit) and meaningful work) a worthwhile way to contribute, grow, and make a difference).
In Pathfinding, I said, "All of us have special gifts, but some of us discount them or take them for granted for any number of reasons. One way you can discover your innate abilities is to listen to what people say about you, how they compliment you. For example, suppose someone says to you, ‘Oh, you are such a great writer’ or ‘I really value you as a friend,’ or ‘You work so well with people, you must be a people person.’ Pay attention to what people tell you, especially when they compliment you."
Dr. Szczurek concurs as she writes, "You can deliberately strengthen and deepen your gifts. But first discover them. Take time to list your talents, experiences, abilities, aptitudes and education. Ask trusted friends for inputs. See what insights about your gifts life brings."
True pathfinding is a growth process. It weaves our skills, talents and abilities into a positive alignment so we can reach our personal and professional vision of success. Once we know our purpose, there’s a steadiness, a purposefulness, which guides our actions. According to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, "Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose ― a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye."
Dr. Szczurek writes and speaks about how to determine our gifts. "Use yourself in a meaningful way. Like every other human, you have a unique set of gifts ― talents, aptitudes, abilities, personality, and strengths ― that you distinctively do well and enjoy. Accessible resources such as your education, growth experiences, and life circumstances expand your gifts and help you determine and develop them."
Sunday Show: Tune into Positive Living on WTKF-FM 107.3 Sunday at 6 p.m. in honor of Mother’s Day with guests Maria Valdemi, author of "Mama Says…A Chronical of Motherly Advice Across Continents and Cultures and In Between" and June Cotner author of "Mothers and Daughters: A Poetry Collection." For more information, log onto www.mama-says.com and www.junecotner.com
Monday at 2 p.m., log onto voiceamerica.com with guest Dr. Howard Halpern, Ph.D., author of "How To Break Your Addiction to A Person." For more information, log onto randomhouse.ca/catalog/author.pperl?authorid=11651.com
E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Patricia Raskin is a producer, author and speaker. Positive Living airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and is rebroadcast the following Sunday at 10 a.m.
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