Have you ever lost something of real value and then find it a few days or weeks later? I don’t mean your car keys or a phone number. Maybe a pet or some other item of true sentimental value. How did you feel during the time it was lost? Did you feel lost? We’ve all lost things of value and when we can’t locate them we find ourselves off balance and out of alignment with the universe. The same is true with your purpose. If you have no purpose in your life you’re out of balance. It’s time for a recalculation of the route your life is on.
For the last eighteen months I’ve been spending more and more time with my parents. They are in their eighties and health issues have begun to take their toll on both of them. My three older brothers live much further away. Like most people their age they enjoy the occasional afternoon jaunt to the casino to play the slot machines. Driving has become somewhat of a challenge for them so I often find myself their chauffeur for the afternoon. These trips are always fun filled excursions and I have enjoyed them immensely. After returning home one day my mother asked if I could take her diamond earrings to a jeweler friend of mine to be adjusted. Of course I took them and proceeded to look for something to put them in. I finally found an old envelope to use. I wrote mom on the outside of the envelope and placed in the center compartment of my car. Weeks went by without another thought. Then about a month ago it hit me. What happened to her earrings? I have no recollection of ever dropping them off at the jewelry store. I checked in the center compartment and the envelope was gone. I then began to wonder if I even took them off my parents table that day, but in fact I had. And more searching I concluded that I lost my mother’s earrings. She had those diamonds for decades. A gift from my father from the early days of a sixty two year marriage. I was stunned. How could I have been so careless? I looked everywhere. I tore my car apart. Still nothing. Finally I had no choice but to tell my mother I lost her prized earrings. She said maybe they’ll just appear one day. I told her I would buy her new ones, understanding that I could never replace their sentimental value, but she said no. A few more weeks passed and with my book and website in the forefront of my mind I forgot about the earrings, until tonight. As I outline this chapter it occurs to me that losing something of value is like losing your purpose. I was trying to think of a time when I lost something of value to use as a story for this chapter. Then it strikes me! Maybe I drove the SUV that day. It usually sits in the garage rarely driven. I rushed to the garage to check inside the range rover and what did I find, nothing. I was so deflated, I thought for sure they were going to be there. As I walked past my car I wondered whether to check it one more time, no I’ve already looked in their a hundred times. Before leaving the garage I took a new garbage bag from the storage cabinet to replace the old one. For months the old garbage bag had been sitting there full, never disposed of. I always keep a bag in the garage for trash that usually piles up in the vehicles. Cups, paper products, and other various car junk. As I grabbed the bag I thought no way could it be? I dump it out and start combing through countless cups and papers until finally I see an envelope. Guess what? Your babies are back Mom! The interesting thing was I had considered throwing that bag away several times over the last two months and something always seemed to interrupt me. What’s even more amazing is that it happened tonight while writing this chapter! I’m getting goose bumps just writing this story. I know now it was meant to be.
“The two most important days of your life are: the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain
Finding your purpose will also give you goose bumps. If you are unclear on what you should do with your life or what you want, how can you say yes to anything? As Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days of your life are: the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” People without any purpose are the biggest yes zombies. They go through life saying yes to everything only to find themselves anxious, depressed, frustrated, and unfulfilled.
So how do we find our purpose? The first thing you need to do is learn to say no. When you start to say no you will discover this amazing thing they call free time. Time for yourself. No is a great time management tool. That’s why enormously successful people use it so much. You only have so much time. Time is not for sale, you cannot buy it. You must set aside time to think about your purpose. If you don’t years will pass and one day you will find yourself living a life you never wanted.
Find a place where you can spend quiet time by yourself without interruptions. It could be anywhere you find peace or inspiration. There is no right or wrong place. It could be a room in your apartment or the park. The beach or a mountain side lake. Try to visit this place once a week for the next several weeks. Next, turn off all electronic devices. This is your time, everything else can wait. It takes time to unwind and clear your mind. If you leave your phone or television on it will not work. Finally, start asking yourself these questions. What makes me happy? Why? What would I do every day if I didn’t have to work? Why? Why was I born? How can I get my life back on track? Your mind and the universe are a powerful force. You mind is always working even when you are not. If you ask your mind and the universe the right questions you will receive the right answers back, but you have to be listening for them. Avoid saying yes until you find the answers to these questions in your life. Saying yes without purpose defined leads you down the path to nowhere.