I have never before considered my life’s purpose. What is your purpose? Does that answer come readily to you? I am curious. It never did for me. Not that I didn’t pause to answer it; I never considered the question. And I still didn’t consider it. However, the answer came to me.
I was never the sort of girl who had a schedule. I still don’t really. Though when I decide I want something to happen, I can get rather impatient when things don’t happen on my newly discovered schedule. However, when I was a kid, I never said things like by the time I am 32, I’ll picture myself…whatever… So far, this has worked out pretty well for me. I never find myself saying “…by this age I thought I would be…” It’s nice to not have a schedule of life’s obligations to fulfill by certain deadlines. A wise friend of mine recently told me, if you’re going to wear a watch, wear it loosely. I guess I had always been doing this, until I didn’t and got all caught up in “it’s not happening.” So without this schedule, I never migrated over to the whole: “my purpose in life is to be [this], to have [this] and [this] and [this], and retire by the time I’m [this age].”
I never tied my purpose to things. However, I never really felt like I had a purpose.
Then recently I realized. My purpose is simply to be happy. It’s so easy, so accessible, and so available. All I have to do is choose it. (Research suggests that we all genetically programmed with the ability to reach a prescribed level of happiness, just like the sit-and-reach, some people are just more flexible than others, or those people who have toned arms without ever having to lift a weight. You know who you are. But the intention to be happy is essential in achieving said happiness.)
A while ago, I interviewed Gretchen Rubin the author of the New York Times best-seller, The Happiness Project, for an article I wrote for Forbes.com. Rubin chronicles (and still chronicles on her blog) the year she spent testing out happiness theories to find out what actually made her happier. (She realized she was doing “fine,” sort of moving through her life at that mid-level of contentment, near apathy. But she knew she could do better. She owed it to her daughters and to herself, so that when the chips were down, she could access happiness and make it through.) Anyway, something I recall her saying, which I loved, was that choosing happiness does not make you a selfish person. Your happiness influences everyone around you. When she was writing her blog, and then her book, and she told people about her project, she received a variety of reactions. During one particularly interesting one, which I think occurred at a cocktail party if I remember correctly, someone replied that it seemed sort of silly to try to get happier, what with everything that’s going on in the world. She told me that her response was that your unhappiness doesn’t make other people happier; instead it’s quite the opposite.
A Course of Miracles states that a miracle is simply a change in perception. Simultaneously, the dictionary definition, of course, is an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers. So a miracle is at the same time something so simple, something you can choose, while being something astonishing. My point is this. By achieving my purpose of choosing happiness everyday, I am not only serving myself, I am creating a miracle. And as such, I put myself in a positive vibe, so the energy I am casting off benefits other people. I can serve others, which I also feel is part of my purpose.
So I choose to be happy and as a result have a greater capacity to serve. To me, choosing happiness means loving the “now,” connecting with love everyday, instead of lack, and letting go of the “it’s not happening,” and the “when I get it, I’ll be happy.”
If you chose simply to be happy, how would your life change? Get rid of all the crap so the happy can shine through and see what happens.
Recently, I’ve been feeling posts should have soundtracks, so here’s the track for this one: