If you don't yet know why you were born and what you're supposed to be doing with your life, this is for you.
You were born to grow, and learn, and improve the world around you by using your unique combination of skills, talents, intelligence, perspective, and your character and personality traits. What you are perfectly equipped to do will help others. In fact, it may even positively transform the lives of others. The bottom line is: YOU MATTER!
I'm not talking about you trying to change anyone. It's not your responsibility to change anyone. It's on you to change YOU. When you improve yourself, you show everyone within your influence how it’s done.
When you choose to find and fulfill your purpose, you are choosing joy and peace and love, and every other good thing that accompanies that one powerful choice. When you make finding and fulfilling your purpose your passion, you make authentic success your goal.
So, the first of the most important questions you'll ever ask yourself is, “HOW do I find and fulfill my purpose?”
You will not fulfill your purpose until you know and embrace your true identity.
We'd like to think that we know our authentic identity, but do we? It's been said that we become like the people who we spend the most time with. If that's true, does that mean that our true identity shifts? Or does that mean that we shift (consciously or not), in an effort to be who others want us to be? And if we're trying to be like someone else, or trying to be who someone else wants us to be, are we really living our own authentic identity?
Many of us become who our families want us to be. Some of us become who our significant other wants us to be. Some of us are influenced by a teacher, coach, or employer, and we become like that person.
Then there are the people who thought they knew their identity, only to have it pulled out from under them. These are the people who defined themselves by their work, right up until they lost their job; and the people who defined themselves as "Mrs. so-and-so," which was great until Mr. so-and-so left or died; and the people who's identity was wrapped up in their looks or athletic abilities or their talent, which was great until they aged out of their good looks or athleticism or let their talent get rusty. These are the people who wake up one day and find that they've lost the identity they thought they had, and ask, the second of the most important questions we can ever ask, "who am I really?"
If you're asking these two questions, regardless of the circumstances that brought you to this point, GOOD FOR YOU! This is the beginning of living the life you were meant to live.
Let's start with the understanding that we aren't what we look like, what we can do, where we work, to whom we're married, or any of the other ways that we typically identify ourselves. We aren't our gender, our race, our nationality, our religious or political preferences, or our socio-economic status. These are important factors that give others understanding about us, but none of these things tells the whole, intricate, complicated story of who we are. There are other, more significant clues to our identity that we would all do well to examine, such as the things that we're passionate about. What we enjoy doing so much that we lose track of time and forget to eat. The things that upset us or grieve our hearts.
These things are important clues, but they're just the beginning. You are unique in all the world, and while you may be a part of different groups of people who look similar, vote for the same candidates, or believe the same things, you are an individual distinct from any other human now or ever in the history of humanity. Pause and think about that for a moment.
You see things differently than others do. You think differently. You draw different conclusions than others do. You feel things that others don't feel. You hear and perceive things differently than others do. You can articulate certain concepts better than others can. It would take an entire book to explore all the ways that you are unique.
Your purpose will be found at the intersection of your identity and a specific need in the world that you are uniquely qualified to fulfill.
Every one of us is designed to do a specific thing that needs to be done in the world. One of the reasons we have so much trouble in the world is that so many people are not pursuing their purpose.
When we invest the time in understanding our unique identity, and then use that information to actualize our potential, we move toward the intersection that changes everything.
So let's get started. Take inventory of the good character traits you embody, such as resilience, perseverance, courage, and more; and the good personality traits you personify, like a good sense of humor, being a good friend, bringing peace where there's conflict, and all the rest. Assess the ways that you show love by doing good in the world. In doing these things, you will be on the road to recognizing and embracing your true, unique identity, and to being the very best YOU that you have ever been.
If this resonates with you, please pass this on. If each of us knew our authentically awesome identity and confidently pursued fulfillment of our purpose by putting our love into action, we could exponentially improve our lives as well as the lives of everyone within our influence.
Rhonda Sciortino, author of Succeed Because of What You’ve Been Through, used the coping skills from her abusive childhood to create personal and professional success. She built two successful businesses, then turned her attention to helping others to find their purpose and their authentic success through her Your Real Success program. Rhonda is the national champion for the Love Is Action Community Initiative.