I don't mean your immediate purpose: to do a great job at work, pay the mortgage or rent, create a painting, keep the kids clothed, buy some fresh milk. I mean your lifetime purpose: the one thing you are meant to do during the time you are enrolled in this intruiging university we call planet earth.
Discovering our mission is a wonderful exercise; and once we have it, we can wrap it around the top of our mind like a banner and allow it to guide us like radar. It's a clarifier, a compass. I'm not making this up: avatars the world over have insisted that having one overreaching goal is mandatory for success. I think they know what they're talking about. If we're unclear about why we're here, if our goal varies from hour to hour, week to week -- how can the inner Self help us get we're going? Better to have one big, simple purpose; the little immediate goals will fall into place like clockwork.
For example: if our purpose is to make money -and that's all- we are giving ourself a direction that has only temporary relevance. On the other hand, if our purpose, like Mother Teresa's, is to be a blessing to the poor, we have hit on a mission with both immediate and transcendent value. And that mission is something we can continue to do wherever we are, in whatever context we find ourself. You don't have to be a saint to have a divine purpose.
In fact, many teachers have suggested that the primary purpose of all humans is to reconnect with God; to awaken. Knowing that is a tool -- something we can use as a driving force anywhere, anytime. We can move towards awakening while we are a mom, a computer analyst, a clerk in a bookstore or a prime minister; the career choice doesn't matter. What knowing our purpose does is inform our choices and our behavior along the way, and add depth and authenticity to our movements.
And that's not all; knowing our purpose helps keep us out of trouble. If we realize we are here to discover our Real Self, it is likely we will react differently to the little squibs and squabs of daily life. Why? Because we see them as little lessons, little opportunities to stretch our awareness. Without purpose, we are more likely to sink into every pothole that appears and forget everything but our discomfort.
More than that: a purpose will empower our comings and goings.
For instance, suppose I am at a resort and am about to journey down to the beach with a friend or spouse to have a picnic. That's a cheery enough activity, all by itself -- either we'll have a great time or we'll have a wave of mosquitoes, or we'll have both. Nothing is wrong with this plan: it will be a pleasant afternoon even if all I think about is nice sliced tomatoes.
But let's say, before I start out, I have reminded myself of my real purpose -- and let's say my purpose is to experience oneness with God. In addition to the normal pleasures of a sunny sky, benign chit-chat, fresh fruit and sandwiches by the sea, I am now looking at the adventure through this far, far greater lens.
What happens? Well, I get sunny sky, chit chat, cool delicacies like everyone else, but now there is a subtle difference. I enjoy the surface pleasures, but I am seeing something beyond them as well. Possibly I will see my partner or friend as a teacher; therefore deepening my experience of our communication. Perhaps the blue sky will appear like a gentle blanket of goodwill, blessing my day, and the warmth of the sun will feel like an act of divine love. The food may remind me of eternal abundance; the mosquitoes might appear like harmless creatures at play. I may experience the dancing breeze as though it were living breath.
It is a picnic that does more than please me: it restores me.
So there it is: the same afternoon, the same people, the same picnic, but suddenly it has become a larger, vaster moment. An experience heated by hidden fire. All because I remembered my purpose: to see God all around me.
I carry my purpose everywhere.