There is a wave quietly sweeping the globe. It steadily grows in stark contrast to the sorrows being created right now in Syria, the atrocities this past year of Belgium and France, and the self-preoccupied focus that permeates so many homes, governments, and businesses around the world. You may be part of this wave without even knowing it, or even realizing the importance of your adding to it every single day. You may be a meaning-maker, someone who chooses to live life on purpose, with intention, and with an eye toward lifting, benefiting, and blessing others, rather than just yourself.
Now, if you are like most people, there is an element of living on purpose that is not well-understood. A life lived on purpose, on one hand, is filled with hopeful energy. It calls forth the power of your own unique giftedness in response to real needs and challenges that exist around you. It is about you finding yourself in the giving of your contribution in service of those needs, and feeling the sense of fulfillment and growing confidence as you do.
But there is another less popular reality. You do not ever only offer up your strengths and contributions, in service of purposes you care about. This is particularly true when the situation takes you beyond your current knowledge, skill-level, or experience, which most assuredly will happen! You can be guaranteed, whether you like it or not, that you will also give the gift of your weaknesses. After all, when you choose life as a meaning-maker, choosing to live on purpose, you don’t have the luxury of being half-way in, and only revealing the most attractive side of you. When you become all in, both your strengths and your weaknesses become revealed.
Before you dismiss this thought with disgust, which is the way most people feel about revealing weakness, consider what you offer by authentically showing up, fully offering who you are in service of purposes you care deeply about. First, you become a pathway for others to also boldly own who they and who they are not with the same courage. Without fanfare, you model what it looks like to find an internal compass, the compass of meaningful purpose; and to grow your own internal strength as you focus on the inner signal of powerful purpose, rather than being distracted by the cacophony of naysayers who have not yet fully found theirs, and who would criticize you for trying. Second, you quietly teach others how to stay the course when things are challenging, and to be true to your deepest, best self, without worrying about appearing perfect or absolutely getting everything right. In truth, this may leave more of a long-term legacy that you can possibly imagine, as others, in time, finally begin to see more fully your contribution, and feel the power of your commitment to living in integrity to yourself. Perhaps they, also, will find the courage to do what they see you boldly doing, and find their own inner compass. Think about how the world would be different if they did!
It’s entirely possible that right now, in this moment, others may judge you for putting out there who you are, because you care to live life as a meaning-maker and stretch into your own untapped potential to do so. But, as you grow toward the vision that burns in your soul, and as you break free of the chrysalis of your own limiting beliefs, and the need for others’ approval, you will soar into the sky, while others, with their feet still on the ground watch in wonder at who you are becoming right before their very eyes. When others’ negativity no longer has the power to stop you from living your life on purpose, you know you have truly found who you were meant to be on this planet, and you will be giving the most important gift of all to others: yourself.
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