Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fortune Friday 7.2.10: Demons Reined In

“A purpose is the eternal condition for success.”

I can't believe this.  This fortune sounds like Part 2 of my 'Demons Unleashed' blog from Wednesday night!  This is a blessing though, since somehow this fortune illuminates the point that having a purpose is at the core, not just of success, but ultimately, contentment or happiness.

After reading all the comments I received in response to my previous blog entry, I realized three important things so far:  

One, I am in great company.  I am definitely not alone in my doubts and questions with regard to my value and contribution to the world.  So many other women share the same predicament and it's not just that misery loves company.  It's the fact that somehow, sharing the cross with so many others just makes the burden seem lighter, the task at hand more doable.  So to all of you who wrote your comments and sent me such comforting messages, I am and will forever be grateful!  You made it crystal clear to me what an amazing group of readers I have on this blog site!  

Two, there is probably nothing more valuable and more special than raising another human being and help shape that life to be something filled with love, compassion and integrity.  I have always known how special parenthood / motherhood is and how it's the most difficult job on earth.  But I suppose I have yet to REALLY believe that it should be enough and maybe more than just 'enough'.  More importantly, whatever I do, wherever life takes me, I need to know that nothing can make 'me' ordinary for as long as I'm being myself.  As my wise niece Francesca said to me, my being present in situations, my letting my true self show up, already takes the situation out of the ordinary just because it has my personal stamp on it.  YOUR stamp will never be like anybody else's and that makes every situation we touch special and unique.

And three, it's not so much about being 'ordinary' or 'special' as it is about being happy where you are.  You can be the most accomplished person on earth by normative standards and still feel lost and keep wanting more.  Or you can have a life that most people would label as 'simple' and yet be filled with so much contentment and zest for life.  In the end, really it's up to you.  It's who you are, who you want to be and which lens you want to view your world with.  A Dr. Phil quote is in order:  There is no reality; only perception.  

It's very tempting to think that this latest fortune is merely telling me that having a sense of purpose and being clear about your purpose or objective will ensure success in your endeavors.  Yes, sure it's saying that on some level.  For me though, it's speaking in another voice, and although muted, it certainly is not less valuable.  

First of all, success means being able to achieve an objective, a purpose.  Hence, if you are not clear about what you want to achieve, then you'll never know when you've achieved it if you ever did.  It's like driving on a long road without a destination in mind, or shooting arrows without a known target.  Being clear about what you want to accomplish is of paramount importance.  

Second (and more importantly), the muted voice of this fortune is urging me to redefine my purpose.  You see, I've always thought of 'purpose' as one's 'calling', or that all too elusive ideal job, career or whatever you want to call it. It could be being a teacher, journalist, artist, doctor, social worker, mother/parent, economist, etc...anything you truly desire and feel as the reason for your existence.  However, thinking this way has only left me utterly frustrated and lost.  For at least two decades now, I have been trying to figure out what the Universe is calling me to do and to be.  I have done my best to listen to that voice (whatever it is) telling me what to do, what I was made for, where I can make the most difference and most of all, what will fulfill me and make me genuinely happy.  Suffice it to say that I have not figured anything definite to this date and my search has only left me questioning my self-worth.  I see people on television talking about how passionate they are about what they do, saying that if you truly love what you do, then work does not feel like work and success is sure to follow.  Countless books have been published helping people figure out what they were made for, what their passions are and helping them translate these to lifetime careers.  

I have listened.  I have read.
Have I found answers?  No.

Now I think is the time to redefine what purpose really means.  After giving all this much thought, I have resolved to  think of purpose not as a task, work or job position, but as a state of being.  I am done obsessing over what the most perfect job is for me or what place in this world I need to be in.  The only purpose worth endeavoring for is to be present where ever you are placed on this earth, in this life.  The only thing that truly counts is to be certain that your true and most brilliant self is showing up whatever task is at hand. 

I could end up working in a coffee shop, be a clerk somewhere, a counselor, professor, chef, writer or remain a stay-at-home mother and none of it will matter if I don't allow my best self to show up.  I don't need to exhaust myself and strive for perfection at all times.  That is not the point.  The point is to be self-aware at each moment; to savor each moment in your journey; to be where you are instead of thinking of the next step, the next possibility as if every stone you are in is merely a stepping stone.  The point is to find joy where you are planted in the now, instead of holding back, forever anticipating, hoping, dreaming of the next journey or something better.  

This is not to say that we should all let go of our aspirations for a better life or more favorable situations.  Aspiring and hoping for something though, should not distract us from truly finding joy in our current situations.  I cannot tell you how often I've been in situations feeling miserable just thinking to myself that I should be somewhere else, doing something 'more', something of greater value.  In the process, I just ended up not giving it my all and missing out on so many pockets of happiness that could've enriched me...all because my mind, my eyes were focused on something else...something that wasn't even really there.

We always hear that we are where we are for a reason.  Well, that reason could be so that you can show more of who you are and what you are about....always unique and special...never ordinary.



  1. You may as well have titled this blog "To My Niece Francesca"... I feel like you were giving advice/food for thought specifically for me :)

    It's so cool to read your blog and be able to relate to so much of it.

    It's better than a book; I often read books to escape this world and enter someone else's environment and life... in contrast, when I read your blog, I learn and reflect about my own life, rather than some fictional character's life.

  2. Joy, I have to say, when Che said SAHM, I had to look it up. But I found another meaning that I think suits this blog entry and YOU better -- SAHM = Sexy And Hot Mama! How about that, Sexy!

  3. " is what happens while you are busy making other plans..." - john lennon.

    I read your blog and somehow it reminded me of this quote. it rings true for me. Many times I find myself more focused on planning for the future or daydreaming of what I could be doing now than on living in the present... somehow being in the "NOW" seems mundane. As i focus my energies on planning and on what-could-have-beens, I inadvertently "fade" in the present.

    It is true what you say - in order to shine, one must live in the moment - savor the experience because it is unique - none of the confluences present in my "now" is, was, or would be present in someone else's.... but doing so requires a mindset that recognizes the importance of the present, the preciousness of who I am, what I am, and what I have now... it doesnt mean I do not need to exert effort to better myself, it just means I need to be more appreciative of my life as it is....

    Reading your blog also reminded me that I am not a victim of circumstance. I am where i am now because of certain decisions i've made... and perhaps when i made those choices, the rationale was very clear to me.... perhaps I just need to remind myself of these reasons to appreciate the "NOW".... and in so doing I may also feel more empowered...

    Keep your blogs coming, Joy. :-)


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