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Life Purpose 

People have a lot of conflicting concerns and desires in life. To sort through the confusion  it can help to have a clear idea about what’s most important. I call that my life purpose. A life purpose can be viewed from many angles. From one perspective, it’s my contribution to the universe. Looking back from the end of my life, what is it that was most important for me to be doing? How do I make my life more about that than about anything else?

From another perspective, my life purpose is what fulfills my own sense of satisfaction in the moment. This can be different from my long-term judgment about what is most worthwhile, yet it is incredibly important. It’s possible to imagine a world of glum martyrs, all of whom sacrifice their own personal fulfillment for the greater good. But for whose greater good?

I have a faith-based position that it is possible both to fulfill myself in the moment and to contribute to the world. In fact, my contribution to the world involves expressing that core part of myself from which I derive great fulfillment. I express myself in a way that creates value for others.

I envision a world of people experiencing great satisfaction in their lives, all clear about what is most important to them and in the process of creating it. For me, if I were to put a label on my life purpose, it would be “special agent for progress.” Everything I do is about progress, both for myself and for others. The advance of technology lights me up like a little kid. I just love new gadgets. Even more, I love seeing and helping people grow in their own consciousness. And the more I feel special—like I really make a difference—the more energy I have to contribute.

Self-sacrifice is the biggest mistake people make in living their life purpose. It doesn’t work long term. Find a purpose that you love, and the world will ultimately be happy you did. That doesn’t mean that all your feedback will be positive. On the contrary, getting flak is a sure sign that you’re making a difference. If I’m fitting quietly in, the chances are very small that I’m really on purpose. People who are on purpose shine with an unmistakable light. Discover your light. Uncover your light. The more truly you express yourself, the bigger difference you make. If I express myself truly, with the constant intention to add value, not to destroy it, I have found my life purpose.

Richard Brodie
November 1999

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Last Edited: May 03, 2000
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