“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
The quote above is from Ralph Waldo Emerson; and I often turn to it when I need motivation or need to be reminded that there is a whole world taking place as I walk through my days.
What is it to be yourself? Is this a form of destiny combined with ambition? The truest form of who we are is somewhere in our soul, and that part of our soul speaks to our mind; and in those words, we hear whispers of what we need to do. In our soul, we can feel the rumblings of purpose.
Purpose. Our purpose can be found by asking what does life expect from me? This is a question that I have mentioned before as it comes from one of the most influential books I have read titled Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl. This question was raised as he observed not only himself, but other men who had lost everything as prisoners in concentration camps during the Holocaust; and had been stripped of their very humanity, yet found the strength to rise again each day and believe that there was a reason to persevere in the face of their great suffering.
We can learn from their perseverance, and find strength from their strength. So I ask, what does life expect from you?
Another of my favorite quotes that I have shared before is from Howard Thurman about coming alive:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
What moments in your life did you feel truly alive?
To be truly alive is akin to being yourself. When the task at hand can be done with joy amidst struggle, or the process becomes more enjoyable than the product; perhaps you have glimpsed your purpose. This is found in the space where your skills or talents align with what you enjoy doing. This is a sacred space when you discover that your passions and talents also align with what the world needs.
I ask you these questions as I ask them myself. Perhaps together we can find our true self, our purpose, come alive, and in turn provide the world around us with what it needs.