What’s the purpose of your life? Mine is to live, to laugh, and to love. Seriously. I’ve always had a personal vision of sorts, although at times somewhat complicated. I guess I was having a hard time narrowing down who I was, who I wanted to be, and how I needed to show up in the world.
In my Leading From Within program, I have participants create their own personal vision on the last day. In preparing them for the assignment, I would share my elaborate vision for myself with them, often depicted in a metaphor on paper that included my values, passions, and purpose statement. Although I always liked sharing my vision, I can honestly say that I rarely remembered it without my notes. There were simply too many moving parts.
Last May I went on a 3-day silent retreat in hopes of walking away with some great insight about my life and my place in it. I remember struggling when nothing would come to me. Hour after hour of reflection and meditation slowly evaporated and all I could tell you at the time was what was not happening.
And then, on the last morning, it happened. I was eating breakfast at the cafeteria, searching for something to read or stare at while carefully avoiding eye contact with my fellow classmates, when I spotted a large frame on the wall with the words, Live, Laugh, and Love!
I was in awe! Those three words, all by themselves, captured what was most important to me in my life. Those three words were the essence of all the previous personal visions I had ever created. Those three words simplified my purpose and represent how I want to most be remembered for.
I journaled about the three words and even remember putting a sticky note in my daytimer so I wouldn’t forget. And then shortly thereafter, I forgot…almost as if it never happened. I’m still not sure how something so important was able to drift away so quickly.
Then one day as I was facilitating a teambuilding session at someone’s house, I saw the three words in wooden blocks up on their kitchen wall. It was like seeing an old friend again. A smile immediately came to my face as I remembered how significant those three words meant and still mean to me. It was a great reunion for me and a reminder to never lose touch with the words that describe what matters to me the most.
As I write this blog, I can see the words Live, Laugh, and Love right off to my left as I gaze at my kitchen wall. I’m still smiling!