what is your purpose equation?

April 18th, 2012   |   LifeThink About It

After yesterday’s Purpose Equation, I feel like I’m sensing more people are starting to “get” the whole concept of life purpose in a much more realistic and true way.

It’s exciting.

I feel like we as a community are going to make great progress once this is understood!

And there is going to be a whole lot less stress and frustration for those who are still in the process of discovering their purpose.

Which, will lead to more happiness, joy, and peace.

I love it.

Okay, to explain the Purpose Equation even further, I’m first going to do a quick recap. Here is the simple equation for purpose:

It’s really that simple.

In fact, it gets even simpler, really.

Anything that you are doing right now, whether it’s a talent or not, that helps people is part of your purpose.

Think about it: we all say that we “want to leave a mark” on the world during our lifetime. To do so, all that really means is that we want to leave the world better off than before we were alive.

We don’t want to just take up space, we want to invest and give back.

And to get inspired, we look at the famous people who have given back in astronomical ways. We look at Gandhi, Oprah, Buddha, Jesus, Bill Gates, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, or Danielle LaPorte.

So, we try to be kinda like them. Famous, making a big impact.

However, when you think about who has made the biggest impact in your personal life, did any of those people directly help you in any way? Sure, they may have helped us slant-wise. But the people who make the biggest positive impact in our lives are usually:

Our parents, extended family, significant others, friends, teachers, doctors, neighbors, and online friends (I had to throw that in there too!).

These people are the ones that make us smile, pat our backs when we get bad news, cheer us on, and help us make our dreams come true.

When I die, we won’t be thinking of thanking Mother Theresa for what she did for me. I will be thanking my mom for spending most of her life dedicated to raising myself and my two brothers.

So this isn’t a knock on the scale of your purpose dreams, just a reality check that fame and recognition does not the only way to make a deep and lasting effect on the world.

Helping people we come into contact with, on any scale, is the true meaning that we seek. 

So, that means… whatever the heck you are doing in this moment is an opportunity to find purpose and meaning.

You may not be in your dream job, but purpose is not about having a “job” or “career.” So whatever you spend your time doing, is a chance to bring purpose to the table by helping those around you.

Here are a few examples of how purpose can play out in our current situations:

So basically anything done with love and concern for others is in some way, our purpose.

And, if you find that whatever you are doing now doesn’t feel like “enough,” find a way to help out a new group of people who need your talents or current profession even more.

If you are a fashion blogger, for example, consider helping out with Dress for Success or some other program that helps women look their best who need new jobs.

If you are an accountant who is not allowed to help others with accounting based on job restrictions, consider tutoring an under-served  high school student in math.

If you are a mother raising three kids, that seems like a lot already. But, you could also volunteer at their school or give advice to new moms.

If you are a college student, there a million programs and non-profit opportunities to help out in meaningful ways on most campuses. Go get busy doing something that you love which helps others.

But above all, please, please, please, never say you don’t know your purpose again.

Your purpose is always to help others in whatever way you can in this present moment.

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  • http://susanthereserayofsunshine.blogspot.com Susan

    Jess once again you hit the nail on the head here! This really rings true to me and my life and sometimes I lose sight of why I’m actually doing what I’m doing (I’m just about to graduate to become an elementary school teacher! Only 3 finals left and I’m done!), but you lay it out in such a simple way that there is no way I can ever lose sight of what my purpose is. Thank you for putting it in such a perspective. I’m definitely going to share this with my friends who are currently lost on what their purpose is. I know it’ll help them discover why they’re doing what they’re doing!

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  • http://cerrissa.blogspot.com cerrissa

    love this post. this is exactly what everyone needs to hear once in a while :)

    thank you,
    cerrissa

  • Kristal

    Love this post. This actually makes me feel more accountable. I can’t just wait till I find “my purpose” to do something. Purpose is already here. It’s already available to be fulfilled.

  • http://goodlifeforless.blogspot.com Jill

    Exactly! I love this so much, I feel like a lot of people (me included) OVER THINK the purpose thing and feel like we are drowning in the idea of it rather than standing firm in the practicality of it. Kudos Jess, really.

  • http://silviaberlindesign.com Silvia

    Again, beautifully said- at a time in my life when I need to hear this… now to act on it!

  • http://spryonthewall.blogspot.com Jenny

    Oh wow, Jess. This whole purpose thing has been bugging me for a while. I just felt like I could never wrap my head around it, it just felt so elusive. This post has literally been an Oprah “ah ha” moment for me. It’s that simple. Thank you so much!

  • http://www.prettyfluffy.com Serena

    Jess – I love love LOVE this post! I pinned yesterday’s equation and love that you’ve taken it one step further today. You’re right, we often become befuddled by icons renown for making the world a better place and too often disregard our talents that can do just as much good, if on a smaller, more personal scale. This is not only amazing advice for bloggers, but for everyone. You’ve really got me thinking about my own purpose – thank you.

  • http://anaanabanana.blogspot.com Ana

    Hello from Mexico, I’ve been following your blog for a week now and I found it really inspiring, especially because I’m about graduate and become an Industrial Designer, I also own a fashion blog for a year now and I think this post is really nice.

    Ana

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  • http://www.lovingcarephotography.com Victoria

    This post is awesome! Thank you!

  • Mimi

    I LOVE this post…such great insight. I realized how lucky I am to do what I love, get paid for it, and make people smile. Thanks for a lovely reminder.

  • http://awonderingspirit.blogspot.com Holli

    This is an amazing post–I wrote about it over on my blog today (http://awonderingspirit.blogspot.com/2012/04/uniquely-you.html). Thank you so much!

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  • Heather {the lovely cupboard}

    This is SO great Jess! The beauty is in the simplicity and truth of the equation. I am forwarding this to three people right now. Just found your site and am so excited to read more. I’ve been needing something like this but didn’t even realize it. Well done.

  • http://jesslively.com/ Jess Lively

    That is so wonderful to hear, Heather! Thank you so much for sharing.

    And if you’d ever like to work with me directly…. keep an eye out next week! ; )