Living With Purpose is About Serving Your Community

One of the most eye-opening experiences for me when I started to live with purpose was that life is about so much more than just me in my little bubble. Living a full and meaningful life means being part of a community and serving it in a variety of ways. Let’s look at a few of them.

Your Inner Circle

The first community you encounter and the one you spent most of your time in is your very own inner circle. By living more purposefully and more intentional, you’ll have the most influence on this one. It’s your inner circle that’s compromised of your family and close friends. These are the people you spent the most time with. It may also include your coworkers. This is the community you should focus on first. Start making a difference with the people you’re closest to.

Your Local Community

Your next step will be your local community. It’s amazing how much change you can affect here when you put your mind to it. Let’s say you want to live a life where you’re more aware of the impact you have on your environment. You shop smarter, recycle and reuse more at home. From there you can branch out into your local community and encourage positive change. Start a community garden and encourage people to recycle more. Get involved with communal policy that’s focused on environmental efforts. Join the organizations that are already present within your own local community.

Finding Your Niche In The Global Community

One of the amazing things of being alive today is how connected we are. The internet, mass communication, and fast travel make it possible to connect with people from all around the world. We all do it to some extent. Some of us work in global companies that get us in touch with team members who live in different countries or come from different cultures. We may connect with people online who enjoy the same hobby. We do more traveling today than ever before which of course exposes us to different ways of living and different cultures. We watch TV shows and movies from various different parts of the world. We have in fact become global community and that gives us a unique opportunity. As a result, living purposefully and taking part in online groups and global efforts can bring about change that affects the global community. That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it?

Love Yourself Enough to Be Your Own Valentine

“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” –Barbara De Angelis

Do you love yourself?

If you’re a Southern woman, as I am, as soon as you hear that question, you’re thinking, Well, I do, but… And then you start adding all sorts of caveats after it. In the south, we’re brought up with the Biblical adage about not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3).  We recognize, abstractly, the importance of self-esteem, but have a difficult time applying that to ourselves.

To me, loving yourself means according yourself the respect you would give any other human being. How often do you find yourself saying things in your head about yourself that you would never dream of saying aloud to your spouse or your child or your boss? We hold ourselves up to such a high standard, and pounce the moment we see some infraction.

Self-defense much?

I think it’s a defense mechanism, personally. I want to establish my unworthiness before anyone else can say it. But lack of self love isn’t part of the renewal/reinvention mindset. (As an aside, as I’m typing this in Word, the program underlined “self love” in the previous sentence, wanting me to hyphenate it. Beneath that, it listed a definition: “egotism, selfishness, egocentrism.” See? Even Word thinks it’s a bad thing!)

Loving yourself means you care for yourself, and want the best for yourself. You can’t provide a drink of cool water to the thirsty if your own well is dry. We understand that kind of love doesn’t mean egotism or boasting about how wonderful we are. I need to recognize my faults, sure, but instead of beating myself up over them, I need to work on them in a loving, caring way.

 

Have compassion on yourself. Be your own valentine.