"Everyone has a purpose in life ... a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals." -- Dr. Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Have you ever contemplated your purpose in life? For some of us even the thought of it can seem daunting because it may drag us out of our comfort zone. However, to earnestly do so will open the portals to your highest self in a manner may alter your understanding of many things; it could well change your reason for being alive. In Hinduism the quest to fulfill one's purpose might be thought of as following your Dharma. To follow your Dharma isn't so much achieved just by "what" you do but, equally, the level of awareness in which you do it. For me personally this where the rubber really meets the road on this journey called conscious living; it lays the foundation for living a spiritually grounded life because it requires that we make a fundamental change in how we see life and the role in which we have each come to play. Dr. Deepak Chopra suggests that our purpose for being will be found automatically when we follow our Dharma -- by fully demonstrating our ability to embody these three components:
- Seek our higher self through spiritual practice, which lies beyond our ego.
- Discover our unique talents and enjoy using them.
- Ask ourselves how can we best serve humanity by utilizing our unique talents.
To achieve these three things is a high calling for most of us because it requires us to transcend our own sense of self-importance. The interesting thing about the human condition is that it doesn't normally pay much homage to the idea that we have each come here to give something vitally important to the world. The quintessential question is, why do we miss this fact? The gravitational pull of the egoic-self is powerful; it's all about taking care of its own needs, not other people's needs. This is because as a culture we are primarily consumer based in our orientation of how life "works." The consumer mind uses and depletes; it doesn't add to anything. (If you need proof just look at how the natural resources on this planet are being mindlessly "used.") The concept of following our Dharma, or having a purpose in life that serves others, is difficult for many people to wrap their arms around because they have a hard time believing they could ever have a talent or gift "worth sharing" with their family of the earth. Perhaps that's because, to a large degree, our culture has a deep sense of shame running through it, and shame is about "not being enough" which leads to "not having enough" to share.
Out of this sense of "not enough" the average human being is far more attuned to being served -- or given to -- rather than giving to, or serving others; the mindset is, "It's hard to give from an empty bucket." The truth is one's bucket is never empty because we all have something to share! As the awareness of this mindset becomes more obvious to us we can begin to evolve consciously. As a result we enter into conscious living awakened to the reality that we are not merely human beings who have been born to be consumers or takers; we are spiritual beings bringing great and unique gifts to those who are still in need of assistance on their journey. There are any number of ways this can happen: The unique talents and gifts we have don't necessarily have to be found in a career. Perhaps it means being the best parent, or gardener, or friend, or hugger on the planet; perhaps even being mindful enough on our walks to take time to stop and pick up a piece of trash, or broken glass or nail that may harm another. Maybe it means volunteering at our spiritual community or a local nonprofit that serves the greater community. This puts a whole other spin on the meaning and purpose of life, doesn't it? From a spiritual perspective many believe that God's presence lies at the center and circumference of all that is. This is another way of saying that every human being, in some regard, is a reflection of the Divine (whether they know it or not). Logically then, when we are called to serve others by using our unique gifts and talents, we can know that we are also serving God.
What Dharma (or purpose) boils down to is this: You and I have come here on a "mission" to express life in a manner that leaves the planet a better place than it was when we got here, and following our Dharma -- our highest life purpose -- is how we do that. The good news is, because we are all one human family, as we share our gifts and talents with others we'll enjoy the benefit of creating a joyful, meaningful, productive life for ourselves; a purpose-filled life -- one that is truly worth living... and that is a beautiful thing!