Your Weekly Challenge: Passion and Purpose

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“We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny. We are each of us, like beautiful snowflakes–Unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” ~Seneca

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How tempting it can be to forget that we are each “unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose.” Often we compare ourselves to those around us, measuring our differences, versus embracing our own uniqueness.

Truly internalizing that we “are born for a specific reason and purpose” means that we must embrace life, versus hide from it. We must get up sometimes, when we would rather lay down. We must bounce back at times when we aren’t feeling resilient. We must risk sometimes when we would rather hide. That isn’t an easy job to accept.

Many people choose to play the victim. “Surely, my purpose has been stripped form me after all of life’s turmoil.” Still others do not want a purpose. Leave the purpose-driven stuff to someone else, they think. You will recognize these people from their negativity or their numbness. They often lack passion for life and all the gifts that can be found within. They are too scared to challenge life, so they convince themselves that those “purposes” and “rewards” are for “everyone else.” Hiding from our own purpose is a double-edged sword. While we minimize the risks we take and the bruises we get, we are left with a gnawing ache for “something more” in our lives.

The word “purpose” can be misleading. Obviously we aren’t all going to be Martin Luther Kings, Mother Theresa or Einstein. That doesn’t make our purpose any less important. Each of us has something distinct to contribute while we are here. It is something only we can give. And each gift, whether small, medium or large by whatever measure you use – impacts the world for eternity.

If you choose to hide from your purpose or not discover it, that also impacts the world for eternity. Erica Jong said it well, “And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

Your Weekly Challenge:
Spend some time this week thinking about what “purpose” means in your own life. Can you clearly articulate your purpose in a sentence or two? Here are some questions you can explore in your journal to help in your pursuit of understanding purpose…

  •     Whom do you admire? (Famous or infamous.) What are they giving to the world? (This can often be a clue into what our own purpose is.)
  •     What were your early interests in school? (Often our first loves and passions reveal much about where we are destined to give.)
  •     If each person were able to write a one-page legacy that would be forever saved in a book, what would you want your “Leave a Legacy” page to say?
  •     What are three things that are so exciting to you, that when they are on your schedule you hop out of bed versus hit the snooze alarm several times? (Or they keep you up past your bedtime.)

    After exploring these questions, try writing a paragraph or two about purpose in your own life. Read it regularly. Keep in mind that our purpose can change season-to-season. When we are active in the phase of raising our children, they are undoubtedly linked to our purpose. As our children grow and go, our purpose often changes. Here are some examples of purpose and the many different ways it can look:

    Examples of Purpose:

  •     To raise my children with strong values and provide them with opportunities and optimism.
  •     To use community service or volunteering to reach out and make a positive change in my (town/community/ state/cause/country).
  •     To be open to life and record my experiences and share them in a way to help other women.
  •     To offer unwavering support to a cause I believe in (whether that is through being an employee at a company that aligns with your beliefs, or volunteering or assisting a non-profit organization that aligns with your beliefs.)
  •     To be involved in my child’s school and brainstorm new ways to approach issues that I believe need to be changed, such as bullying or relational aggression between middle-school girls.
  •     To create art and capture the way I see the world so others may enjoy and seek inspiration through the sharing of the artwork.

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