Your Purposeful Life
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Your Purposeful LifeHave you found it?
“I think there comes a point where our purpose and our alignment with our purpose become vividly clear. That’s the point at which we take a deep breath and say: ‘This just feels absolutely right.’” -- Jodi Orton
Having a purpose can invigorate us. It can lend meaning to our lives. It’s the dominant intention of what we want to create in our lives and in the world around us. It is more than a goal – it’s an extension of who we are. Goals flow out of our purpose and they serve it in many ways.
If you haven’t found your purpose yet, then let your purpose be to discover it. And once you find it, the key is to align it with patterns that are harmonious with others, those that are in line with patterns that are emerging in the world.
Very often in our lives, circumstances and situations tease a purpose out of us, giving us a whole new meaning and direction. A new idea, a goal, or a passion can begin to burn brightly in our minds at these times, gripping us completely. Sometimes it can be so powerful that it sets the tone for the rest of our lives, almost like destiny.
When Scilla Elworthy was just 13 years old, she experienced what might be described as a calling. It was 1956 and she was sitting watching TV when footage of the Hungarian revolution came on. Russian tanks were rolling into Budapest, and Scilla was horrified to see children her own age throwing themselves in front of the tanks. This was a defining moment for her. She rushed upstairs and started packing her suitcase.
Curious, her mother asked what she was doing and Scilla said she was going to Budapest because “there is something very bad happening there and I have to go and help.” Her mother told her that she shouldn’t be so silly, but when Scilla burst into tears, her mother realized how much she genuinely cared about these people, so she resolved to give Scilla the opportunity to get some training so she could be of use.
When she was 16, Scilla went to work in a home for displaced people. Some of the residents were survivors of Auschwitz and Scilla says she often listened to their stories – when they would talk about them of course. Later, she worked in France in a camp for Vietnamese refugees set up after the Vietnam War, and from there she moved on to serve in an orphanage in Algiers during the Algerian Civil War. These experiences molded Scilla, building and strengthening her inner sense of purpose.
Having a sense of purpose in life is a great asset because it gives us direction. The question is, though, how do we find it if we don’t know what it is?
Scilla Elworthy believes we should follow our hearts and do what makes us genuinely happy. She encourages us to look for what comes most naturally to us. “If we can do what really gives us joy,” she says, “that is probably something that we find comparatively easy. So the key is to do what comes naturally to us, to shape our life path around what comes easily, and that will be what also makes us able to do it joyfully.”
She emphasizes the importance of seeking what brings us most joy because we will feel elevated when we do it. “I think it is really important to search inside for what satisfies us at a very deep level and then there begins to come a kind of glow because we are working from an inner source of power. It is almost like a little power plant inside,” she says.
Your purpose might be something that you’ve known since you were a child, something you’ve always followed. Or maybe you’re just finding it now.
Author Jack Canfield has always followed his instincts in pursuit of his purpose, even when this didn’t seem like the most practical thing to do. “I have been unconsciously aligned with my purpose my entire life because I always followed my heart. Whatever my heart was leading me to do, wherever was the greatest sense of joy, curiosity, or lightness, I would go there, and so often at great expense in terms of income or in terms of having to move to follow my next impulse to explore something, to give up a job, a community I was part of. But I was always moving toward my purpose, which I later discovered was to inspire and empower people to live their highest vision in the context of love and joy.”