This is a guest post by Louis Savalli.
Every day is the same. From the moment you drag yourself out of bed, you’re devoting your time to taking care of other things and people. Whether it’s your kids, spouse, colleagues, customers, your house, or your car – you barely get an hour to yourself at night just to zone out. It feels tedious and there’s no end in sight.
Will it get better? What are we supposed to look forward to?
As kids, there was a lot to look forward to. Having something fun ahead of us was automatic. First day of this, first day of that, losing teeth and getting money, having a birthday and getting presents. And all of that required no effort or thought from you—there was always something on the horizon.
We never needed a purpose. Our purpose was to get up and experience life until the next “thing”. Fast forward to adult life. There are milestones, but they are fewer and farther between.
At this stage, when you arrive there (not if – but when), you have choices. Do you accept your changing experience and feel good about it? Or do you grow sad and look in the rear-view mirror as the old experiences get farther and farther away?
I can speak from both perspectives. For some time I was stuck in the past. I longed for a handful of periods in my life where I felt the most free and the most joy. As time went on, and these time periods seemed became part of my distant past, I grew more miserable.
I finally realized I needed something to live for—a purpose. I never needed this when life was a sprint from milestone to milestone. But eventually, I realized the truth to the saying, “life is a marathon, not a sprint”, and you have to pace yourself. And pacing yourself is not boring if you have a purpose.
That’s great, but what’s our purpose? How can we know? And when we find it, how are we going to work on it? Our days and nights are already full. Am I expected to spend my last hour or two of personal time, at the end of the day, working on a newfound purpose?
No, you’re not. You’re already living your purpose.
I drove myself crazy until I realized this fact, and it changed my life. Serving my family, serving my colleagues and supervisors, and taking care of my house and my health were all my purposes.
I was under the misconception that my purpose had to be something grand, something that would affect hundreds or thousands or millions of people.
But it’s not. My purpose is ordinary. Or so it would seem.
Then it dawned on me how important my “ordinary” purpose was. The same applies to you. The people I take care of each day (children, wife, colleagues), and the way in which I do it, makes all the difference in the world to them. This positive energy cascades to the people they take care of and connect with, and everyone else on down the line.
By going about my “ordinary” purpose in good faith, we affect an infinite number of people in a positive way. Life puts us in positions to make an important difference in many lives; a difference that lasts even after we leave this physical life. To see it, we just have to look at what is right under our noses.
Every day—and every moment in every day, is a chance to fulfill your purpose. Milestones will continue to mean less and less, and how you feel each day will mean more and more. An ordinary day of being aware of, and living, your purpose is more emotionally rewarding than any childhood milestone.
So yes, you do have something to look forward to, provided you realize the same things I have. You can look forward to every day of your purposeful marathon with the knowledge you are making a profound difference in the world, living a life filled with more milestone than you ever dreamed.
What do you think? Join the conversation with your comments…
Louis Savalli is a long-time enthusiast of all things related to personal growth and spirituality. He resides in upstate NY with his wife and two children.