The Value of a Purpose Driven Life
Happy New Year!!!!! And trust 2012 has been off to a great start. As for me, you know this jig goes, we keep keeping on! 😆
As I write my first post of the year, let me start off by saying thanks so much for taking the time to read my musings, rants, opinions, you know I have a whole lot of them. Thanks for the feedback too. I know some folks don’t comment but it does not mean they are not reading. How do I know? Well, they tell me in person and share some of the favourite posts they have read. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It means a lot and you all rock! So let’s rock and roll in 2012. Are you in? 😎
Been contemplating what my first post for the year would be, even jotted a few ideas down but I decided to go for something that centres on purpose. Call me old fashioned, which I’m to an extent, that’s right and now that you know, you best tell the truth that you are old fashioned too. Back to purpose, it is a word that has got me thinking of late. So many times, you hear people say I don’t know what my purpose is. Others know for sure what their purpose is and damn, they are darn confident about it too. Don’t you just find that attractive in folks? I do. when I meet a man with purpose, baby, that turns me on faster than his wallet because I know with purpose, he has a vision and with a vision, he has goals and with goals, he is disciplined and with discipline, brother has focus and with focus, he is determined to achieve his life’s highest priorities and boldest dreams. Now, the fact that I said having a purpose turns me, no one should come say ‘hey sista’ when he is broke like a joke. NO, NO. Have purpose mixed with balls and I will help you build. You may not have the money but baby, vision and purpose with some solid balls that says ‘H.E. double LL’ to the NO! I will work with you. No purpose, no vision, which means your arse is broke like a joke. And when you do make it, don’t ever come back and tell me you have met Shaniqua because I will make mince meat with the two of you. It was my mother’s generation that said let sleeping dogs lie, well NOT ME!
Now, where we were…just had to get that off my chest because every now and again sister gets tired of a brother with gold grills lined up in his mouth, talking about wanting to get with me. Sometimes, I just want to take the gold grills and make a gold necklace out of it and then pawn it at the shop, that’s right, sell it for the trouble of even opening his mouth at all.
With that sorted, many of us start the New Year with resolutions of what we want to do but do we all see it to fruition? The answer to that is yes and no. For those of us who do, I say well done and for those who don’t, 2012 is another great chance to get it right. As I was writing this on tuesday evening, the Stephen Lawrence murder case verdict came in and I wondered if the pair, Gary Dobson and David Norris, who were founded guilty and sentenced to life in prison earlier today, had a purpose, how different their life would be. If you have been following the case/story, then you would know that Stephen Lawrence was a young man, who had defined his purpose and vision in life, he wanted to be an architect and was working towards that goal. In addition, no one has ever spoken ill of the young man who was brutally murdered and taken away from his family. In comparison to the pair found guilty, the case is the reverse…their notoriety for all things negative preceded them in the local area. I have no idea if, in the 18 years they were free to walk about, they made any attempt at doing anything good with themselves but that chance is no more as they now face the prospect of spending the rest of their lives in prison. I also wonder, if in hindsight they have questions about how different their lives could be, if they had a clearly defined purpose that had nothing to do with criminality and being the racist thugs they were. I guess we will never know. On the other hand, the young man whose life was cut short, his legacy lives on and his name is forever associated with the watershed moment on race relations in the UK. Though a legacy will never bring him back like his mum rightly said on BBC Panorama programme when she said ‘I had rather have my son here than having his name attached to a legacy.”
It is like that with some of us. We are physically free but at the same time, we are locked up in a cage within ourselves because we are lost. Lost because we have lost track of our dreams, the ones we had when we were kids. I know life throws things at us that we didn’t plan for and often times, we found ourselves in situations we had no idea was ahead of us. That’s just life! It has a way of knocking you out of your game and it takes some extra special strength to get back in, and reclaim your rightful place.
Personally, I don’t have a step by step guide on how to go about finding and defining your purpose but after three decades and counting on this earth, I know it is intrinsically connected to your passion. I will not fall into the temptation of preaching at anyone but what I would like to say is our world is forever evolving politically, socially, culturally and financially. We are heading into challenging financial times…a time where there are no jobs readily available and more than ever we have a disenfranchised generation on our hands. The question is what are we going to do about it? I believe the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple says it best with his commencement speech at Stanford University. Jobs knew that whatever happened, he could start over.
Individually, we now have to make choices that determine if we survive or give in. I hope we opt for the formal, to survive and keep going no matter what. There are so many motivational speakers out there, telling us what to do and you know what, it is great to have that…someone to believe in you and drive the message home that you are all that and a bag of chips. But there comes a time when you have got to turn off the tapes of the motivational speakers, local, international or world renowned. And yes, you also have to put their books down and just have a conversation with yourself. Why am I here? In fact, you may need to ask yourself who am I and the dreaded question, what is my purpose? If you are scared, I understand. I’m also scared because the older I get, the more I want to make this thing called life really work. One thing, whatever you do, don’t let your fear hinder you. Let it push you. I was nervous about writing this post because I wondered, who am I to write about purpose when I’m just fine tuning mine and working it the best I can. But I realised that is one barrier we never own up to. We want everyone to think we have it together. Well, it is okay to be scared but you must learn to own and master your fear…it should not be the other way round. And whatever you do, don’t be afraid of failure. Just start again
I mentioned earlier that I didn’t have a step-by-step guide on this thing called purpose but I read a book some time ago, which I still refer to, called the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I can say that book changed the way I think about certain aspects of life, especially when it comes to using your gift to help others. While Rick Warren is a pastor, his book is applicable to all of us. You don’t have to be a Christian to read the Purpose Driven Life. Anyone can read that book and get something from it, based on what you are after…so feel free to pick a copy up. If it is not for you, that’s okay too.
I end on this note, when Steve Jobs and Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, from Kenya, both passed a way in 2011, the tributes that poured in for them was overwhelming and for the first time in a while, it hit me. If you do nothing, what will people remember you for? If you do something, what will people remember you for? Jobs will always be remembered for his innovative and creative role in revolutionising the way we consume and use technology and communicate with each other…from Macs to iPhones to iPads. Wangari Maathai, no one will ever forget her fight to save the environment with her Greenbelt Movement. Theirs is a legacy that was brought about because they found their purpose, defined it and shaped it.
Whatever you do in 2012, I hope you are set on being a better you and that you will sign a contract with success, whatever you decide to do. Don’t give room to mediocrity to grow, kick that joker out of your life. You know you are better than that scum. Get moving, get working and live your best life yet! I sincerely hope that 2012 will truly be your best year and that you will be daring to achieve your boldest dreams because you owe yourself that chance. You are valuable, you are worth it and in the words of Aibileen Clark, from the movie, The Help, “You is loved.”
I know I have touched on a few things in this post but I hope you are bold enough to say the world must remember you were here.