Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My Purpose in Life

Whether life beyond our own point of view has a purpose, I am unsure, but I believe each person develops his/her own purpose in life, some knowingly and others unknowingly. I myself did not start considering the idea of developing what my purpose in life was until my freshman year in college. Today, I would describe my purpose in this world with the 4 L’s: to learn, to labor, to laugh, and to love.

Learning makes a person who they are. Can a person do anything without learning it first? A person is constantly learning, however, what matters is whether the person chooses to practice his/her newly found knowledge or not, because if he/she does not use it, he/she will lose it. And learning undoubtedly develops intelligence. It is when he/she takes this learned intelligence and applies it in life that he/she displays wisdom.

With my dedication to learning ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I can in life, I hope to one day possess the wisdom I see displayed daily in the lives of some of my role models: a past elder and a widow from my church congregation back at home, my aunt, a high school teacher, and some of my college professors. In order for my role models to sustain their wisdom, they choose to continually learn and apply what they learn. I believe if I want to achieve my goals, my purpose, or even become the person I desire to be, I must learn constantly along the way as well. Fortunately, my desire to learn is high!

Laboring to others is also important to me. It is through learning that a person is able to help another who needs assistance. Personally, I believe man was put on this earth to serve one another. Choosing to serve others means putting yourself second to others, and while I cannot say I take that mentality in all situations in my life yet, I hope to accomplish it one day soon. Being characterized as altruistic is a goal I will continually strive for in my life.

Laboring to others does not only include tasks such as helping fix a car, or cleaning an elderly lady’s home, or assisting a young child with his/her homework, but serving and laboring to others means teaching them and sharing with them your knowledge. I believe it is my duty to share with others what I know so they can learn and enhance their own lives. The laboring a teacher does toward his/her pupils is indescribable. The number of lives he/she has influenced is beyond counting. In my life, I must be a “teacher” willing to help those I come in contact with.

Laughing is very important to me. I believe that laughter is a key to getting through life. I am always excited to share in a good laugh or to make others laugh. Without humor and laughing, I believe one will take him/herself, as well as life in general too seriously, which in my opinion, dims the light at the end of the tunnel. I truly believe that laughter and happiness have amazing power over an individual’s satisfaction in life, as well as his or her well-being in life.

And finally, to love is possibly the most important step in my life. It is love that leads me to serving and teaching others. It is not only my love for the other person, but also my love for the feeling of satisfaction I feel when helping that someone.

To love another is a learned task, almost like an acquired taste. The way you choose to love a person in whom you come in contact depends upon whom the person represents to you. You learn to love your family with a certain kind of love. You learn to love your spouse or significant other specially. You even love your friends differently. You probably have a different type of love toward your closest best friends than you do with your other friends or acquaintances. Learning how to love each type of person can be seen through examples people set forth or discovered through your own findings. It is the feeling deep down within you that tells you when you have learned how to love.

I choose to show love to everyone I encounter. I can show my love through simple gestures such as a warm smile and kind word or by caring for another individual. Forming a relationship with each person I possibly can and encouraging him/her while sharing my joy and happiness with him/her represents my purpose to love in life.

Overall, my purpose in life is to leave the world a little better than I found it. I hope to touch some lives, and leave some people with a better-changed view of the world; a positive, better view of life. I truly believe that happiness is contagious, and if I share my joy and happiness with those around me, I will leave each place possibly better. I think it is important to try to find the good in each situation. EVERY situation has good in it, you just have to find it. I need to be the person that finds good in everything and shares the good I find with others. I want to be known as someone who lightens tough times.

So you ask, “Where am I going in life?” and “How am I going to fulfill my purpose in life?” My answer is in the goals I have set for myself. I hope to someday become a therapist. As a therapist with my own practice, I hope to labor to others by helping them to solve their psychological problems. Not only will this career give me the opportunity to serve, but also it will put me in contact with people, which is what I love, and present me with situations TO love. Of course none of this will be possible without my dedicated effort to learn. I must be willing to learn about people, in order to become a successful therapist.

I firmly believe that if I choose to AND succeed at learning, laboring, laughing, and loving, I will have led a purposeful life. These four acts are what give my life purpose.

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