Right at the very beginning, we need to understand a little more about ourselves.
Before we begin the lesson, use Worksheet 2 as an introduction, to help you to begin to open your mind to yourself and your potential.
There are a few fundamentals that can help us to discover our purpose. Using Worksheet 1 we'll look at three key principles that can help give our lives meaning, significance, and purpose.
The first principle is:
I am a uniquely created being.
I believe that it takes more faith to believe that I happened by chance (and that this whole multiverse happened by chance) than to believe that it was all created with a purpose. I mean, just look around you. Look at your own body. Everything is designed to work together in perfect harmony. Think about it for a moment. Think about how something so complex could happen by chance.
Now, if you can begin to conceive the possibility that you were created, then you need to realise that you were created unique - there is no one else (no thing else) quite like you. No one shares your unique thoughts and feelings. Maybe you're saying, "Thank the Creator" right now, and you should! Not in a sarcastic way, but because their must have been some reason you were created. You see, if you believe you were created, then it follows that there must have been some reason for it (even if you happen to think that it was for a big joke at your expense or as some cruel experiment!). The bottom line is you're CREATED, and you're UNIQUE, and therefore there must be some REASON for your existence.
Now, if you're created, then you must contain some kind of energy just waiting to let rip. You carry the kinetic potential of the entire universe (multiverse) inside of you.
Kinetic potential is the potential energy of an object waiting to be released. If you hold an object at arms length in front of you and let it go, it falls to the ground and energy is released. As you held it, it had kinetic potential - the potential to move. When you let it go, it moved! Well, if you're created, then you have the energy that was used to create this multiverse at your disposal. It's just sitting their waiting to be used by you (kinetic potential). The decision to use it is yours. Know that it's there and then begin to tap into it. Use it - you can make a difference!
There's a story that illustrates this really well (I think it may even be true). It's the story of Waldo the Weatherman:
Waldo lived in the rubbish dump of a small town in Canada. He was well known by the locals, as he would come into town each day, pushing a shopping cart filled with all his worldly possessions. The townsfolk called him Waldo the Weatherman because he braved all kinds of weather. No matter how cold, Waldo would be there pushing his cart along.Not only do we have all that potential as created beings, but we are also unique, if we were created for a reason, then surely our reason must be to be the best possible YOU that you can be.
The townsfolk looked after Waldo as best they could. They gave him food, and even washed his clothes. There was one item of clothing that Waldo wouldn't part with though - a long black trenchcoat that he always wore.
One day after an extremely severe snow storm with the lowest recorded temperatures ever, Waldo never made his usual appearance in town. The townsfolk were worried because of the low temperatures and immediately sent out a search party to the dump. They found Waldo's cold, dead body - he had finally succumbed to the weather.
They planned a fine funeral for Waldo. They could finally separate him from his coat. As the undertaker took it off, he felt something inside the coat - it crinkled like paper. He opened the coat up, and found $100 000 hidden in the lining of the coat!
Waldo had the potential to live in a fine home, and yet he chose to live in the dump. Waldo could have rented a motel room for that really cold night, but he chose to chance the open air. Waldo could have chosen life, but he chose death. Each one of us has a choice. We have the potential to do whatever we choose- we must just choose to use it.
You don't need to be like any one else. You just need to be YOU. Don't imitate - innovate! There is no one else who can do the things you can do - you were created, put here for a REASON. Be the best possible you that you can be.
Always be a first rate version of yourself,
instead of a second rate version of somebody else
- Sean Covey
If you're searching for God's will for your life, look no further. Check out Paul's letter to the Romans (Chapter 12 verses 1 & 2) in the Bible. At the end of verse 2 Paul says, "Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Now, if there's a "then", it means that what comes before is the "how to" bit. So, how do we check out God's will? "Offer your bodies as living sacrifices", says Paul. In my understanding that means, BE THE BEST POSSIBLE YOU THAT YOU CAN BE. Please note, it does not say that we must sacrifice everything we are. It does not say that we should kill ourselves. It says, be a LIVING SACRIFICE. In my understanding that means LIVE YOUR LIVE TO IT'S FULL POTENTIAL. There is even another "how to" in there, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".
This world will tell you that you're just here by chance. That you are just another brick in the wall, or a cog in the machinery of life. The world may say, "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die". The world may say life is just another garbage dump . . . and then we become trash. You need to begin to change your thoughts (your mind). You need to say, "I am somebody. I'm here for a reason. My body is so complex it can't all just be by chance." Begin to say to yourself, "I have a significant contribution to make to this world. I am the only one who can make my unique contribution." Believe it (in your mind), and then JUST DO IT!
The world may tell you, as Desmond Morris does, that you're just another animal, a human animal. You may be slightly more advanced, but when it all boils down to it you're just like all the other animal species. You know what? You're not. All other animal species are controlled by instinct. Humans are not. We have control over our instinct like no other species of animal. That's what separates us. We were created unique just as each other species is created unique for a unique purpose. Yes, all life is significant and has meaning (that's why it exists). But each life is UNIQUE and has a unique contribution to make to this world. You are unique in that you can control your instinct, your desires, and therefore, you can change your environment.
Now, agreed, you have a choice as to how to change it. You can change it positively, or you can change it negatively. But, you can influence the world around you like no other creature can. (I'm not saying the other living creatures are less significant! I'm merely pointing out your unique difference. This is not a course for the Lesser Spotted Turtle Dove of Outer Mongolia - it's a course for YOU!)
The other living creatures play out there roles by instinct. They fulfil their roles automatically. We have control and choice. And, with that, comes RESPONSIBILITY.
We are not determined by anything outside of us, we are free to choose and to change. We may have a natural, in-bred tendency towards a certain type of behaviour, but we can control our decision to follow that path, or to choose a different one. I may be genetically predisposed towards Alcoholism and Depression, but I can choose to seek help when I recognise the depression, to choose to act against it, to take time out, to take medication if necessary. I am not controlled by depression. And, the same goes for Alcoholism. It would probably be best for me if I chose never to touch any alcohol because of my predisposition. Or, I can choose to live in control, and ask those who love me to be honest enough with me to tell me when it's becoming a problem - before it's too late.
That's why we need to get to know ourselves. We need to get to know all the good and the bad. Then we can grow the good and control the bad. Don't hide the bad from yourself. Be willing to admit it to yourself, knowing that you've been specially designed to control it. It will change your life.
I mentioned that our ability to control and effect our environment brings with it Responsibility, and I mentioned that we need to surround ourselves wit people who love us enough to be honest with us. I believe that we are created as BEINGS IN RELATIONSHIP.
We simply can not exist on our own. It is a medically proven fact that a child born who is never physically touched by another human being will die. They can receive all the nourishment they require, but if they are not touched they will die. One of the harshest punishments is solitary confinement. People have been known to loose their grip on reality if isolated from physical (and even emotional) contact of other humans. We all need each other.
Traditional African Culture teaches that humans are defined only in terms of other humans. A human does not exist on his/her own. We are defined by our relationships. The name for this concept is UBUNTU. There is much we can learn from one another, if we recognise that we do not exist in isolation. Every human being needs every other human being.
Finally (in this lesson), we need to learn that we are WHOLE BEINGS. We are intrinsic units. We are not made up of separate, individual parts. We do have many facets to our make-up, but each one is reliant on the other. Some would say that we are made up of body, mind, and soul/spirit, each one separate from the other. I prefer to believe that we are whole beings, not fragmented, but with different aspects to our nature. We have physical, spiritual, emotional and mental aspects to our being amongst others, but each one is a part of a whole that makes us who we are. We need to try to balance these different areas of our lives. Feeding each one them to feed the whole.
You often hear of people who have gone off "to find themselves". I often wonder how they do that. Where do they expect they are? Perhaps they believe that if they peel away the layers that make them up they'll discover the "real me". Have you ever tried to peel an onion. If you peel away layer by layer, you'll eventually end up with nothing. Each layer is a part of the onion as a whole.
You "find yourself" when you realise that you already have everything you need. Each facet of your being goes up to make up the whole being. Some may be good, some may be bad. Some incidents in your life or choices you have made may have left scars. Even those scars make up who you are. You are who you are - so what are you going to do about it? Realise your purpose and release your potential or just give in to the dark side. Choose to choose better in the future, or choose to give up. If you believe in yourself enough, you'd choose to go out and make a difference.
There is a story told (again, I believe it's base on a true story) of a group of men in a concentration camp in World War II. They were made to go out and dig ditches each day. The spades and picks were counted out carefully as they left, and again when they returned each day. One day a spade was discovered missing in the count. The officer on command was furious. He demanded that the person who had stolen or lost the spade own up or he would have every man in the group killed.
After many tense minutes, just as the captors were ready to fire, killing each man, one man stepped forward and owned up to losing the spade. He was immediately shot and killed.
The next day, when the implements were counted, every one was accounted for. There had obviously been a mis-count. The man had sacrificed his life so that the others could live. He believed in them and their potential enough to sacrifice his life for them. I wonder how many of them believed in themselves that much.
There was once a man who believed in you enough to die for you. He died believing that his death would make a difference in the lives of every human being who accepted his sacrifice. He believed he was God's only Son, God in human form. Whether you believe that or not, is not important right now, just know that he believed it, and he believed in you. He had meaning and purpose in his life, and that allowed him to accept a torturous death because he believed it could make a difference. Do you believe in yourself that much? Do you believe that you can make a difference?
There are also some affirmations that may help in the renewing of your mind. Everything extra that you do will help you on this journey. It's your choice!