There have been many books and stories told about the importance of having purpose to your actions and to your life and for the most part I think that people are generally effective at doing this, at least for the most important things, and at least for short bursts of time. But I have to confess that sometimes my “purposeful life” is very short lived as I use my internal power to achieve a particular goal or solve a difficult problem.
The challenge therefore is how we maintain our long term focus on our purpose in the face of our short term memory on this subject. One of the answers is to go back to what was working for us in the first place. For me that means re-acquainting myself with some of the masters. These include the all time favorites like the Dalai Lama and Wayne Dyer but also some new thinking, like BerticeBerrywho I had the opportunity to hear a few years ago. She may be young in years but she is wise in wisdom. Dr. Berry earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Kent State Universityat the age of 26 and is a sociologist, author, lecturer and educator.
The theme of her presentation was “When You Walk With Purpose, You Collide With Destiny” and although Berrybelieves that purpose doesn’t come by formula, there are some steps we can follow. Here are some of her suggestions:
Berry cautions us not to be trapped by the labels and stereotypes that society may place on us. We should allow our thinking and beliefs to evolve as we grow and not be ‘boxed in’ causing societal beliefs to limit our purpose. Embracing diversity doesn’t mean that we see the difference in others, but that we join with others to achieve our purpose.
Living Your Life in Thirds
“Living your life in Thirds” is her way of saying that we shouldn’t get too focused on one part of our lives at the expense of others. We are whole consisting of three different aspects: work, family, community. Thus our purpose must involve all three parts as well. Her view is that our purpose does not involve only one aspect. We need full and balanced lives to be truly successful and our purpose in life will not come from only from work, but also from social interaction and community involvement.
Being Well and Staying Well
Dr. Berry points out that we have to maintain a balance between our body and spirit in order to stay focused on achieving our purpose. This involves eating well and exercising often, and it also means feeding your brain by engaging in continuous learning.
Claiming All Parts of Yourself
Dr. Berry believes that everything happens for a reason and once we understand the reason for our experiences—good and bad—the easier it will be for us to grow towards the light. By honoring all experiences, we align our self with our true purpose.
Learning to Laugh More
As a humorist Berry clearly understands the link between learning and laughter. Laughter is a restorative for all of our day-to-day ills. Through finding the humor in difficult situations, life is much easier.
So… How’s your walk going these days??
Mike Martin is a freelance writer and consultant specializing in workplace wellness and conflict resolution. He is the author of “Change the Things You Can” (Dealing with Difficult People). For more information about Mike please visit: