Having a sense of purpose – a strong clear one – is something I have come to learn is really important.
I never had any direct influence early in my early life that pointed to that. My parents, teachers, all gave me lots of guidance but I don’t recall a lecture, a text book or anyone who was a ‘living example’ of that in my life. Looking back I wonder if I’d have lived my life differently if I’d had that kind of influence.
Maybe I’d be ‘just as I am’, but I might likely would have taken a very different route to get here.
Or maybe it’s an aging thing – that only after having lived a large chunk of life can we properly look at it to figure out what is right-headed or wrong-headed.
A sense of purpose, a calling, a goal – all seem different things to me. I have them, and they are intertwined in my head and weave in and out of my daily ‘to do list’ – and they don’t. Not all the time, not in everything. But I don’t doubt my purpose. I don’t doubt my calling. I don’t doubt my goals either – though they change from month to month and year to year. I know that best, I think, because opportunities to chase a new short-term goal don’t always fit my purpose in life, don’t fit my calling.
Yet, bills need to be paid – we all need to sustain ourselves and keep the wheels of commerce spinning, but we need to say YES or NO more clearly sometimes. Most times. And when we do it isn’t a matter of consulting a spec sheet or ticking some boxes to see if that project or idea fits our sense of purpose – it’s guttural and immediate, it fits or it doesn’t. I wonder, if I’d had this thinking drilled into me as an adolescent if any of it would have taken hold, if I would have gotten it at all.
Small changes CAN make a big difference. Today a friend told me that his boss recommended some small changes. To emphasize the importance of small changes, he said that barely any changes had been made to the design of the Porsche for 50 years. Every couple of years they make one small tweak and you have to look closely to figure out what they've done but it demonstrates how small changes over a long period of time can be significant, CG, Cobourg, ON
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