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Did you forget where your purpose is?

by bevbarnes on November 17, 2009

Finding your life’s purpose is like looking for your lost keys… can’t really remember where you put it, and you have to retrace your steps. I believe we all know what our purpose is but we just forgot. My life’s purpose is to help you to remember. I actually see that as the Universe’s big joke. I struggled to find my purpose and then it ends up being to help other people find theirs. How was I supposed to figure that out? I imagine that smiling benevolent being with a big white beard sitting on his rocking chair in the sky saying “Gotcha” and winking. (I have tried to imagine my smiling benevolent being as a brown woman but I was brain-washed in Sunday school as a child and I can’t get that old white guy out of my head.)

Back to purpose.
Since I found mine, on the counter, where I left it, I’ve been wondering why other people can’t find theirs, and I’ve come up with a list of reasons to share with you.

1. They take the search for purpose too seriously.
I can say this because I was one of these people. I was always earnestly searching for the reason for my existence. As a child I questioned why I was born, questioned what we were all doing here, worried about when it would all end. When I couldn’t find my purpose, I got negative, discouraged and impatient with myself and irritated by the “frivolous” people who just had fun for no reason.
Over time I noticed that those people had often turned their fun into something meaningful that made a positive contribution. My sister, who loved to dance, was inspiring youth to achieve their potential through dance. My best friend who loved going to summer camp as a child had started a day-camp in the country for city kids.
I however was still agonizing about what my purpose was in life. They were out doing, exploring and having fun.
Now I know that you have to play your way to purpose. Purpose is more closely related to play than it is to worry and questioning.

2. They don’t know that purpose is a misnomer.
There is a problem with the word purpose. It implies that you need to know the why of your life to find it. That is not true. Purpose is the result, not the quest. Did you know that there is no word for purpose in French? The most common word that is used to translate purpose in French is “but” which in English means “goal”. The French view purpose as an outcome, not a reason why.
If you are looking for purpose as a ‘reason why’ of your life, the possibilities are endless and the search is exhausting even before you begin. Liken that to looking for keys that are anywhere in the world. If we re-define purpose as an outcome or goal however, then we might know what to do to get there. So here is the re-definition.

Purpose equals using your unique talents and gifts to make a contribution.

Now purpose is a goal that we know how to achieve. We have to find our unique talents and our gifts and then find a way to make a contribution. Simple! Don’t forget to thank the French.

3. They believe that life is all about hard work.
Somewhere in western culture we began to worship hard work. I went to a Woman in Business conference yesterday and what I heard from the participants was their distress about trying to meet everyone’s needs: children; job; husband; cat.  When you always planning six hours ahead to make sure you have everything you need in your car for the pre-activity snack, the change of clothes, the meeting, the presentation, the email you need to send while thinking about what you are having for dinner and whether you have all the ingredients, it is hard to hear your body’s signals telling you that you are energized or inspired.
Your body tells you when you are on your path to purpose. You feel energized, inspired or deeply touched. You are brought to tears about something that you feel deep in your soul. If you are running on empty trying to get things done, there are no quiet moments where you can feel and hear the whispers of purpose or the excitement and joy that tell you are discovering something your love.

4. They don’t really believe that they are special.
I’ve listened to Louise Hay’s movie You Can Heal Your Life repeatedly recently. Thirty years before what she said was supported by science, Louise Hay was saying that your thoughts create your reality. Most of us have a constant negative inner dialogue which might be saying things like:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not smart enough.”
“I’m not organized.”
“I never get anything done, I just talk about it.”
“I’m just pretending I know what I’m talking about.”
“I’m too fat.”
“I have a big nose.”
“I’ll never find my purpose.”
“I don’t talk enough.”
“I talk too much.”
“I’m a flake.”

All those types of statements are self-sabotaging. Often we are not even conscious that we are repeating these negative thoughts over and over in our heads.

Your thoughts are creating your reality. If you change your thoughts, you will change your life. You will start to see what really is special about you, and then you will start to see what your talents and gifts are……..and that is where your keys (and your purpose) are hiding.

Join me on Thursday November 19,  for my FREE Life Purpose Teleclass.  Email me at for the details and call in information for the call!

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