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Posted by Michael Finkelstein | September 17th, 2020

Discovering Your Purpose

For those who follow me, you know I often refer to “life’s purpose” as one of the seven spokes in the Slow Medicine Wheel of Health. Today I want to expound on that a bit, and push the point that understanding our purpose in life is essential to our well-being. I firmly believe that if we are not directed toward a goal of such magnitude, we squander this life’s opportunity for growth. That’s not to say it is all wasted if you chose not to consider this more seriously, but I hope to compel you to at least examine your plan more closely in this respect.

Perhaps, like many who have been presented with this question, you might have a hard time identifying your purpose. And, even if you do have a sense of it, there’s often lingering uncertainty. It just feels elusive, for some even troubling, to be so unsure and unsettled, like walking aimlessly – which, by the way, is the reason I am addressing it in the context of our health and well-being. That sinking feeling and disorientation is the crux of our “dis-ease.”

Aristotle, one of the greatest scientists, mystics, and philosophers of all time, must have also understood the predicament, because he famously wrote:

“At the intersection where your gifts, talents, and abilities meet a human need; therein you will discover your purpose.”

He, like I am now, was trying to be helpful.

So, I invite you to take a personal inventory: what are your natural gifts, talents and abilities? If you’re not sure, ask someone who knew you when you were young, like 5 or 6 years old. What did they recognize in you then that might apply now? Look there for the inherent meaning and value of your life among all of us. What might you do to bring your daily activities in line with your strengths? How can you serve others in that capacity? It’s not important that this become your occupation per se. But, can it at least become the theme of your actions in all that you do?

Why not try this out for the next month and report back to us. Do you feel more alive, more energized and more fit to meet the day to day challenges of life? Are you more certain of your path and thus do you find that the challenges themselves have taken on a different quality; no longer as disturbing and important as they once seemed?

When we identify our purpose with clarity, all the other efforts in life come naturally together in support. The project of health is now wisely dedicated to the project of service, first to the awakening of your own soul and then to the contribution you can make to humanity as a whole. The universe of consciousness has split apart to offer each of us a chance to accomplish both as we return to the center. Purpose allows us to manifest our fullest potential, which is the answer to any significant question about the meaning of life.

Mitakuye Oyasin,


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