What do you want to do with your life? We all want to do something that matters. Father Moon says, “God did not send us into this world without purpose. When God created us He invested His complete love into each person. So we were all created for greatness.” (As a Peace Loving Global Citizen, 133).
But what exactly is that purpose?
It can be a daunting task to try and live up to this “greatness.” We might sit around for days, months, years, trying to pinpoint exactly how we are meant to make our mark. But if we really want to make a difference, we need to take action.
If you don’t know where to begin, ask yourself these seemingly strange questions that will give you a new perspective and ultimately lead you to a better understanding of your purpose:
WHAT DOES YOUR OBITUARY SAY?
We don’t often allow ourselves to think about death. It’s uncomfortable and sad, and unless we absolutely have to, most of us would gladly avoid the subject. However, the realization that our physical lives are finite tends to help us define our values. When confronted with the fact that we have a limited time on Earth, we strip ourselves down to our most basic desires.
Do this as an actual exercise; get out a pen and paper and write your own obituary. What are the accomplishments you will be remembered for? What will your friends and family say about your character and the impact you had on their life? Father Moon says that when we ascend, we should endeavour to leave behind “a tomb of love.” What does that look like for you?
Now that you’ve pinpointed your ultimate goals, think about the steps you can take now to start moving towards them.
WHAT KIND OF TREE WILL YOU PLANT?
In his autobiography, Father Moon tells us, “Setting a goal in life is similar to planting a tree. If you plant a jujube tree in the front yard of your home, you will have jujubes in your home…Think carefully about your choice of goals and where you intend to plant them” (134).
Similarly, the Bible says that, “a man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:8). If we want to manifest love, happiness and gratitude in our own life and for those around us, we need to plant those seeds. In our daily actions and especially in our interactions with others, stop and think, “What kind of seed am I planting?”
Defining your purpose is about taking the long view. If we make decisions based only on momentary gain or happiness, we may be putting our long term happiness at risk. Remember, a seed starts out small and takes years to grow into a tree, but once it is fully grown, it will bear fruit for generations to come.
What seeds have you planted today?
HOW WILL YOU CHANGE THE WORLD?
Just as important as what kind of seed we plant is where we plant them. Once again, Father Moon offers very specific advice on goal setting: “When you are setting your goal, be sure to consider the entire world.” (As a Peace Loving Global Citizen, 134).
Is our purpose only about us? Sure, we want to be passionate about our work, but what we do affects more than just ourselves. Inevitably, the things we do in our life affect the people around us, and even have the potential to impact the world.
The world is full of problems waiting to be solved. How might you use your dreams and passions to make a difference? Somewhere, there is a place in desperate need, just waiting for you to plant your tree.
It can be fun and inspiring to write down our goals, daydream and plan, but at the end of the day we need to go out into the world and make them happen. Little by little, what we do in our everyday lives matters. If we are willing to ask ourselves the meaningful questions and stay present to our values and goals, our day to day actions can be a step towards fulfilling our purpose.
Now get out there and begin!