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What Can You Give?

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

What Can You Give?

Where passion and purpose meet.
Michael J. Chase
Michael J. Chase More by this author
Jul 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

The most common misunderstanding individuals have is that their purpose comes in the form of a job title. Many people believe that being a teacher, nurse, or artist, for example, actually defines them. In reality, being an artist can be your passion in life, but it isn’t your purpose. Your passions are simply the conduit you use to deliver your purpose. For example, a career in nursing will allow you to live out your true meaning, but the job itself is not your purpose. Artists can express their passion for Impressionism, but the title of “artist” isn’t their reason for being.

Whatever our profession may be, many of us have the same purpose: to be of service, make a positive contribution, and bring joy to the lives of others. In a philosophical nutshell, enhancing the lives of the people around us in our own unique way is the reason for existing. Those who embrace this universal truth will always be on the pathway of true happiness and ease; those who don’t may spend their entire lives searching for meaning.

Every time you improve another person’s situation, you’re at one with your purpose. One of the surest ways to do so is by aligning your passion with your mission. By living an inspired life, you’ll discover the spiritual “fuel” that’s necessary to contribute to the betterment of the world. This is why dreaming big is so crucial. By doing so, your energy allows you to positively influence the lives of others through whatever it is you believe in and love.

If you feel that your own life has no significance, it’s likely that you’re focusing more on receiving than giving. People who make it their daily intention to give and serve typically feel fulfilled. This doesn’t mean that you need to walk the streets feeding the homeless (although I highly recommend this activity) or travel to a developing country to help children in need. It’s actually the small things you contribute each day that reveal your authentic meaning. This is what Mother Teresa meant when she said, “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” Even by simply deciding to be friendlier or going the extra mile for a stranger, you’re fulfilling your intent. The more you give and the more you love, the more you’ll be in alignment with the very essence of your existence.

Recently, a friend asked me to meet with a young man who was struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. She’d been trying to help him for a long time, but nothing seemed to work. After I’d fully explained that I’m not qualified to counsel in the area of substance abuse, she still felt it would be beneficial for me to meet with him and share my thoughts on life. He and I arranged a time to get together at a local coffee shop, which is my preference when meeting new people, especially those who might be going through difficulties. A public place such as this one provides a safe environment, and it has plenty of private corners that are perfect for discussing matters of the heart.

When I first saw this guy, I had a difficult time believing that he could possibly be an addict. He looked so . . . well, normal. Right from the initial handshake, I knew I was going to like him. He was bright, good-looking, and talented; yet he felt that his life had no meaning whatsoever. He went on to talk about his past and how his drug use had begun at a very young age. He knew that abusing his mind and body like this wasn’t right, but because he felt he had no real sense of worth, it became his way of escaping from the real world, and especially his feelings of loneliness.

As I listened intently for the next 30 minutes or so, I felt deep empathy for him. He was a good kid who’d simply made poor choices. He just needed someone to recognize what was right about his life rather than what was wrong. For me, this was easy. He had numerous positive qualities that just needed to be pointed out, one of which was his unique ability to “deliver” his purpose. Even before we met, I knew what he was meant to do. He, however, never saw it coming, and what I told him would ensure that he’d never look at his life in the same way ever again.

After letting the young man fully vent and share everything that he was willing to tell me, I looked straight into his hazy eyes and said: “What a wonderful gift this is to you and the lives of others.”

Looking back at me, he said nothing, but his expression said, “You’re nuts.”

I went on. “I’m serious. Your current struggles are a blessing, and you’re going to be an inspiration to so many people.” I continued, “Once you beat your addictions, and I know you will, you’re going to have the opportunity to help others who are going through similar challenges. Your amazing story of courage will give hundreds, maybe thousands, of people hope! I can envision you speaking at schools or in front of groups focused on addiction recovery, sharing the message of how you were able to overcome these obstacles. Don’t you see how important your life is? You will one day be changing the lives of others!”

His eyes were now gleaming, and he looked as if he were ten feet tall. “Wow,” he said. “I never thought of it like that. That’s an amazing way to think about it!” His body language now exuded confidence, and his newfound enthusiasm had replaced the uncertainty he’d been projecting just minutes before. Equipped with a totally new viewpoint, he went on to discuss ideas for serving others. He was no longer thinking about his own addictions, but rather how he could alleviate other people’s pain. This huge shift literally came about in three minutes, and it took place simply because I had guided him to a heart-centered perspective.

About Author
Michael J. Chase
Affectionately known as “The Kindness Guy,” Michael J. Chase is an author, inspirational speaker, and a powerful voice for creating a kinder world. At the age of 37, following a life-changing epiphany, Michael ended an award-winning photography caree Continue reading