I’ve been thinking about these three words lately. What they mean to me. And how they fit into this life I’m creating. Each of them are different, but intertwined. Each stands by itself but alongside the others. And each is helping me create a simple, slow and quiet life.
Purpose = “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists."
Purpose has had me perplexed for a while. People talk about purpose often. What is your purpose? Why do you exist? What value do you add to the world?
So what is your purpose? Do you even know?
Is it to ensure all women are empowered by creating a soul-filled, heart-centred life? Don’t even get me started on that topic.
Is it to inspire everyone to be the best version of themselves? At the end of the day I think we are all just doing the best we can.
Or is it to teach others how to create that six-figure, freedom-based business that I don’t believe exists. It’s a bit like believing in unicorns if you ask me.
We are often made to feel that if we don't have a grandiose purpose we aren't living life to it's fullest.
But what if our purpose wasn’t grandiose? What if we let it be quite simple? And what if it didn’t impact the world but only those closest to us?
The answers to these three questions led me to my purpose. The purpose that is the common thread throughout the decisions I make and how I live my life.
My purpose is to be the kindest person I can be. To be the best partner. Dog-Mum. Daughter, sister, grand-daughter, niece and aunty. And to be a best friend. To listen when needed. To be there when times are tough, and also joyful.
That type of purpose feels good to me. It's not grandiose. But it still makes a positive impact in other's lives. And I'm happy with it being incredibly simple.
Values = “one’s judgement of what is important in life."
What's most important to me has always been constant. It’s just taken a while to weave my values into the life I am living now.
My fiancé and I share the same values. They are stability, simplicity and security.
Stability for us means a place to call home. In the past 25 years I have lived in four countries, eleven cities (some many times) and twenty-one houses. In the past two years we have moved four times. And I am done!
Over the past couple of years it became important to both of us to create a stable home. One where we felt settled. Where we could nest for a while and create the stability we craved. But we also knew it had to be a special.
We have found that in the Purple House. We finally feel like we have our forever home. Or at least until we are too old to get up the stairs!
Simplicity for us means time and experiences. By living a simple and quiet life we have created more space in our days. This gives us time to do the things we enjoy. And with time comes experiences.
These experiences can be as simple as walking the dogs together in the evening. Or taking a road trip on the weekend to see more of Tasmania. It could be sitting around the fire in the shed at night, with dogs at our feet, music playing and a glass of wine in hand. Or it could be enjoying lunch at our favourite tavern on a Sunday afternoon, before stopping at the lake for a swim.
Simplicity = time = experiences.
Security to us means decreased stress. We bought a home to ensure we didn’t have the stress of looking for rental properties that would accept dogs. We choose to work for others, rather than ourselves, so we don’t have the stress of unpredictable income. And we have set ourselves up with a financial plan so we won’t have to stress about money when we retire.
Stability. Simplicity. Security. With every decision that we make these three words are forefront of our minds.
Meaning = “communicating something that is not directly expressed” (expressive, eloquent, significant, pointed).
I want to live my life with meaning and I want to live a meaningful life.
This means living a life where my purpose and values show through in the everyday things I do and say.
If I’m living a meaningful life you will know that my purpose is to be kind. You will know that stability, simplicity and security are important to me. Through my actions and the things I share. Without me having to express them to you as I have done here. Does that make sense?
That is how I interpret ‘meaning'. It’s walking my walk. And talking my talk. I don’t always get it right, but I do always try.
Purpose. Values. Meaning.
These three words might mean completely different things to you. And I hope they do. Because I have written this article to make you think. Not follow.
Once you know what these three words mean to you it makes decisions easier. It helps you carve your own path, rather than follow the path of others. And it makes you a whole lot happier.
And while they are buzz words that people throw around like confetti, I do think they are important. Even my shaven-headed, tattooed, builder fiancé thinks so. And if he thinks so, you know they have something going for them.
Even if you aren't sure what they mean to you right now, that's fine. It takes a while to figure this stuff out. And it might not remain constant. Your purpose, values and meaning can all change with time and life experiences. I know mine have and I’m sure yours will too.