purpose

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.’ William Jennings Bryan

I was out walking alone today, marvelling, as I tend to do, at the beauty and variety of nature that is present in our world. During the walk I came across a small very pretty lake, quite hidden from the main walking route. I stopped for a moment to take in the vista. The water lilies were just freshly out, the new green shoots of the reeds reflected in the perfectly clear water, as did the rhododendrons and pine trees.

After one or two minutes I set off. I realised as I did that I was conflicted between staying there longer, in the peace and splendour of the lake or getting on with the walk. What was I choosing? The purpose of walking for me is to get exercise. Why walking rather than say, the gym? Because I love to be in the fresh air and nature, as well as discovering places I’ve never been before. This brought me to thinking about purpose and how it determines the choices we make. In the scheme of things, this choice was unimportant (appreciating the beauty of lake versus getting my exercise) but I had chosen my course of action based on the purpose.

I then asked myself, why was getting the exercise more important than taking time to breathe in the peace at the lake. My immediate reaction was that I need to stay healthy so that I can be strong and in service of others. In turn that feeds my purpose of enabling people to share some of the joy our world has to offer (even through these troubled times). And that feeds into the higher generic purpose of acting for the greater good of humanity.

How often do I, or you, question choices in this way? How often do we check how we behave and the things that we do are aligned with our purpose? In my case, probably not often enough. Yesterday for instance, I chose to turn the television on instead of calling my friend back. I woke up feeling bad about that this morning and, that I was not meeting my own values or purpose.

I know that when I do check and align to purpose, my resolve is greater, I have a sense of fulfilment and balance and my connection is deeper. I don’t know what my destiny is, or even if I have one, I do know that when I make conscious choices aligned with my purpose I feel like I am achieving something.

Kaaren Brook