Finding Meaning in the Morning.
Finding our life’s purpose can feel “just out of reach.” A “maybe someday” idea that we hope to fulfill in the future. But, what if your purpose is within your reach today. From the minute we awaken in the morning, we get to choose our attitude.
The busyness of daily repetition might drain our energy and dull our attitude, making it easy to go on autopilot.
But, if we’re willing to pause, breathe, and reflect for just two minutes, we can instead see the “purpose moments” hiding in plain sight. And, suddenly, every day will start to look and feel like a “purpose day.”
Unexpected life events, like a pandemic, can send us into a downward spiral. During these challenging days, we need a focal point to steady our gaze and renew our hope. A tangible reminder can act as a daily compass, pointing our day in the right direction and helping us keep who we are, who we want to be, and where we are headed in alignment.
There are many small practices to help us get on or stay on the “purpose path.” Here are two that I have found to be useful for the journey.
Two ways to wake up on purpose:
1. A Purpose Word for the Day
Name your purpose in a single word or phrase. Mine is “grow and give.” Spend time sitting with the word(s) and then post it where you’ll see it daily – on your mirror.
2. A Purpose Moment for the Day
Waking up on the wrong side of bed does not have to determine your day. All you need is “two minutes” to get up on the right side.
- Step 1: Pause (0 seconds)
- Push the “pause button” – refrain from checking your phone for two minutes. Don’t allow technology to hijack your precious awakening time.
- Step 2: Breathe (60 seconds)
- Take three deep breaths until you’re feeling centered.
- Step 3: Picture (60 seconds)
- Picture the day ahead and the “moments” where you might make a positive difference in one person’s life. Affirm silently to yourself your intention to act on your picture. Purpose is a verb. Commit aloud to act on purpose.
My mentor in all things purpose, the late Viktor Frankl, favored a short verse by the great Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore – the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize:
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
Frankl inverts the meaning question from “What can I expect from life?” to “What does life expect of me?”
What task in life is waiting for you this morning? Our purpose does not have to change the world to change your world. We cannot avoid the unexpected “jolts” that life will bring. But, we don’t have to wake up drifting aimlessly. We can set a new course each day. In fact, there are 1441 “purpose moments” every day… moments to make a small micro-difference in another person’s life. A hug, a kind word, or just listening without interrupting is enough to make a person’s day. It, ultimately, comes down to trusting that we have a purpose and that we can choose to act on it at least once a day, every single day of our lives.
Richard Leider, founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company, is the author of ten books, including three best sellers, which have sold over one million copies. Richard’s PBS Special – The Power of Purpose – was viewed by millions of people across the U.S. His newest book, Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old?: The Art of Aging on Purpose will be available in 2021.