A Healthy Purpose

My iPhone is in hand within 60 seconds of opening my eyes. First, I have to check what time it is because those sleeping hours surely pass way too quickly to 5:00 am. From there, emails and social media starts telling me all the things I should be doing with my day. I’m prodded to KonMari and enticed to deal with my too-short lashes and too-deep wrinkles. I am shown exotic places that urge me to wander, right next to beautiful animals that cajole me to homestead. I am told to Wash My Face, to make Big Magic, to break The Confidence Code, and to adopt habits so I can be highly effective at whatever it is I’m doing. Not to mention to-keto-or-not-to-keto, to drink smarter coffee, or to take supplements that will optimize my health. So many things to run to, purchase, try and embrace to make my life smarter, more fulfilled, to be an example of glorious success.

There is no shame in finding what works for a balanced life. In some cases, less is definitely more. Less wrinkles, less weight, less debt, less obligations, less stress, less toxicity. And yet, more is also encouraged: more time with family, more fresh fruits and vegetables, more water, more exercise, more savings, more ambition, more gratitude, more quiet. Just like the tides, we push and pull, negotiate stress, and stop and smell the roses every once in a while.

But there is one part of all of this that is hardly ever mentioned: the healthy purpose. I can give myself better lashes, make powerhouse coffee, and read motivational books until my eyeballs fall out. But if my intent is to fix everything that is wrong from the outside in to conform to some ambiguous expectation, I’m going to fail. Every time. These futile efforts equate to nothing more than spray painting long-dead flowers and then cursing the lack of beauty or fragrance in the air.

Even gardeners know that the secret to a bountiful bloom is to nourish the root of the plant. Metaphorically speaking, if we were to do the same thing, we would pay close and loving attention to our purpose. Just as our fingerprints, DNA, and eye patterns are so wondrously unique to each of us, then perhaps our purpose is that distinct too. And if we are each so beautifully unique that every human on the planet can be identified by a thumbprint, then how awe-inspiring our personalized purpose be?

For some of us, maybe it’s one linear lifelong mission, such as ministry, teaching, medicine, or music. For some of us, maybe it’s a series of hopscotch chapters: from professional athlete to stay-at-home parent, to entrepreneur or philanthropist. The beauty at each of our roots is that one thing we all dream of. That’s the key to your purpose.

Chances are you just heard a little voice inside your head saying “You’re so silly, you’re foolish, you’ll fail, you’d have to give up XYZ…” We have all heard the bully voice that scares us into safety behind flannel covered barbed wire boundaries. Fear can be more fierce than any SEC defensive lineman when it comes to stopping powerful dreams from coming to fruition. It is the oxygen choking substance that wants to crowd around your purpose and keep you focused on the outer stuff.

Having a healthy purpose is becoming a best friend to the dreams and goals that are so wonderfully yours. Yes, you may feel awkward or silly at first. (By the way, that’s normal.) But honoring your roots, your purpose, and making sure that these are healthy and well cared for is one of the most wonderful gifts we can give ourselves.

This world desperately needs you, beautiful unique you, with the kind of gifts and talents that only you can bring.