The Little Things & Your Big Purpose

The Little Things & Your Big Purpose

Do you ever ask yourself What am I really contributing?What am I creating, and be-ing every day to make this place better? Do you wonder, as I have been for the past month, “What is my purpose?” 

Lately it seems like it’s one disturbing thing after another.

This is a time when I can’t help but to look up Nostradamus’ predictions for 2017. Then I shake my head in a mixture of disbelief, horror, and sadness. The prediction is for floods, droughts, conflict and battles.

I really do believe each of us has a purpose. But in times of incessant tragedy, too much of which seems directly related to toxicity in the society we’ve created, it’s easy to devalue ourselves and what we do.

I was having trouble putting my finger on what I was feeling until I opened an email from Ash Ambirge, founder of The Middle Finger Project. Ash happens to be one of my favorite entrepreneurs because of her quirky, edgy, totally authentic, very smarty pants writing and business wisdom.

To jump into your inbox the next day yapping about refund policies and client contracts just would be in poor taste,” she explained in reference to the Las Vegas massacre.  

I practically gave my laptop a standing ovation as I read this.

Because what is more disgusting than all these sales emails and webinar promotions when the real shit that’s going down in our back yards is unimaginable?

She validated and helped me name what I’ve been feeling – 

How do we continue business as usual and find meaning in what we do, in the light of tragedy?

If you’re a coach, an attorney, teacher, writer, marketer, dishwasher, barista at Starbucks, stay-at-home parent (the list goes on)… you’re touching people’s lives every day. You can be in your head, wondering why you’re spending your day doing this when it’s all going to hell out there. Or you can take a breath and know that the little things are necessary for the bigger work.  

Everything we do here is contributing to the whole. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
“If a life is made up of a series of moments, then your body of work is made up of a series of to-dos, each one helping you do something remarkable, and important, and meaningful—or taking you farther away from that.” Ash Ambirge
Even the seemingly mundane serves a bigger purpose– the to-do list you scribble out, the coffee you make, the grocery shopping… AND the work – writing articles, serving clients, creating programs, and even marketing and communicating with your followers on Facebook.

So often we don’t validate what we do because we cannot see an immediate, direct impact. We crave the adrenaline high that comes from instant gratification like saving a life, healing a wounded soul, helping a small business owner make money overnight (a complete farce, BTW).

We want to be the hero and when we’re not, our work can seem unimportant.  

OR we can get our heads out of our asses and create joy by smiling, listening, and engaging with whomever we speak with or write for. And then whatever we’re doing really IS remarkable. We touch and affect many more people than we can imagine.
Becoming conscious about the effect we have on those people is key.

That’s all great, however, it merits a closer look at yourself.

What if you aren’t doing what you’re meant to do? What if you aren’t living your purpose? And how do you know if you are or not? Well, here’s what I’ve spent years learning and finally surrendering to:

If you’re truly not happy with what you’re doing or where you’re headed, then DON’T settle.

If you’re doing something that doesn’t feel complete or right to you or feel like you might be on the wrong path in your business or personal life, that’s a sign. If you’re feeling like a phoney because you’re not saying what you really want to say, selling what you want to sell, being who YOU want to be… then stop.

And decide to change that.

I’ve spent my life making sharp turns when it’s just not the right thing – feeling trapped in a job and finding a way out; being in a toxic marriage and choosing to leave and raise my kids on my own; starting a business and realizing I need to tweak it or do a complete 180. It took me years to realize each of these things didn’t mean I was a failure, but that I was evolving and getting that much closer to my true purpose. Which is tricky, because that purpose can change.

The key is creating a regular practice that brings you to self-awareness.

So, if it means your search for purpose continues or that it’s time to put your most authentic
self out there and risk being seen, then be in for the ride. Once you commit, it’s incredibly liberating and a bit of a thrill, like that adventure you had in your twenties. (If you didn’t have that, go have it now!)

Journal, do your Morning Pages, walk, work out, practice yoga, listen to podcasts, get a coach or a therapist – or both.  Each person has ways to open access to deep wisdom. And each time you go there, you get a little closer.

Just don’t settle.

Because that contributes nothing.

Is it only me, or have you also experienced this?  

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