I think Jill Pertler harbors the same questions all of us ponder.
Writing at Logan Daily News, Jill confessed, “On one level, I believe I should aspire to have a grand and world-changing purpose. On another, maybe being average and obscure has a purpose in it as well.”
That is a dilemma. Do we want our purpose to lead us to something great where we achieve fame, fortune and a large following of faithful fans? Or do we want to make a quiet difference in the lives of others by working behind-the-scenes to help when and where we can?
With fame, people often give up all semblance of privacy. With fortune, they’ll have a constant stream of people hoping for financial support of themselves, their companies or their causes.
Yet, if we seek a quieter, less-traveled path, will we miss an opportunity to help a greater number of people with our unique skills, talent and life experience?
Noting that not everyone is destined or even inspired to become Mother Theresa or Mahatma Gandhi, Jill said, “Instead of going for the grandiose purpose, maybe we take it to a smaller scale. Instead of life-altering, perhaps appreciating and maximizing on each moment is a purpose in and of itself.”
That’s excellent advice for someone who is struggling to identify a purpose for their life. By finding purpose in every moment or even something to do on a particular day, eventually, you’ll find yourself repeating the same things that truly speak to your heart to provide a why for your life.
Many times, people think that by the time they get to 50, they should have their lives figured out and know what their purpose should be. However, what if they were tirelessly dedicated to raising a family, caring for an aging parent or simply being the best worker, spouse or person they could be for many years?
Now over 50, those people might not be able to discern a specific purpose for the second half of their lives. Then, the best option is to embrace life in a child-like way by trying a variety of new things just to see if it’s something you may like.
Jill described the “unexplainable, yet very real feeling you get deep inside yourself when you provide a kind gesture or reach out in kindness to a random person because your heart pushed you to do so.” Doing those things may not only give purpose to your life at the moment, but it could lead to something that really inspires you to a higher calling.
Even if it doesn’t lead to something grand, surely each of us can string together a series of moments to create a more purposeful life.
Jill encouraged readers to look at life in three ways:
- For new beginnings — because they are possible at any time in life.
- For endings, because they lead to new beginnings.
- For middles because they are the ooey, gooey and sometimes best part.
Jill’s full column is available at www.logandaily.com.
After closing his business and enduring several painful years of uncertainty regarding what to do with his life, Greg founded Forward From 50 to help men and women over 50 to live more purposeful lives by pursuing things they are passionate about. A Wisconsin native, Greg currently lives in Arizona.