“It is as if a king had sent you to a country to carry out one special, specific task. You go to the country and you perform a hundred other tasks, but if you have not performed the task you were sent for, it is as if you have done nothing at all. So people have come into the world for particular tasks, and that is our purpose. If we don’t perform it, we will have done nothing.” Rumi
What is my purpose? It sounds like a simple question, but it is arguably the biggest question facing everyone on our planet. How many of us have taken time to contemplate what the answer is? I once heard someone say there are only three questions we need to ask in life. The first is ‘what do I want?’ The second is ‘how much does it cost?’ and the third is ‘am I willing to pay the price?’ Then the speaker said the sad fact is most of us have never taken the time to ask the first question. If we don’t ask what we want in life how do we discover our purpose? As I work with clients I have found that it is difficult for most of them to even think about what they truly want in life. Many of them talk about living day to day just trying to survive. This is a difficult way to go about life. Always in struggle, always at the mercy of what life throws at them. When I ask some of them what they feel their purpose is in life, what they would love to do, many of them have no idea. To open ourselves up to that question is big. Some of my clients don’t even know where to start. They describe lives that sound very much like the one they are currently living with some modest upgrades. To encourage them to begin thinking about what they would love to do, I ask them to play in the land of imagination. I tell them that they go to the land of imagination frequently, but many of them have been coming in the back door. They have been focusing on all the things that can go wrong and all the catastrophes they imagine themselves in. I ask them to use that same imagination, but to think about what they would love to do. Once they start talking about that, there is a definite shift in their energy. They begin to smile and look lighter, until that doubt devil comes in and tells them that it will never happen. I remind them that if they can keep just a small part of their mind open to the truth that it could possibly happen they will begin to see themselves differently. They begin to see that unique spark that is within just waiting to be expressed in the world. Then the next question is, ‘how much does it cost to live this life they are imagining?’ Some people get hung up here. It takes a lot of courage to take the steps and make the changes they may need to make. It may cost them some friends or their job. This is where it becomes a leap of faith. When I left my teaching career to pursue a career in counseling, it cost me income and security. It did not make sense to my logical mind. There is a cost involved and we have to be willing to pay that price. The bigger question though is, what is the cost if I don’t make the changes? I knew that another path was calling me and the voice was getting louder. All of my circumstances were pointing me in the direction I needed to take. It was not easy to make that decision, but I can’t imagine where my life would be now if I hadn’t. When there is a purpose calling you it is not always easy to answer that call, but not listening often leads to regret. A pastor once talked about all the bedsides she sat by as people were preparing to make their transitions. She noted that none of them said they regretted the things they did, but many talked about the things they didn’t do. Today we have been given the gift of life and time, are you going to use it to follow your calling?