A Simple Solution to Finding Purpose

Sometimes we look for something “big” when seeking purpose in our lives.

I’ve been guilty of it. As a first-born overachiever, it’s who I am. Go big or go home. Yes, I’ve struggled with that.

We’re human, and I think many of us want to do something that will make a huge impact. We may even be a bit envious of those who accomplish great things, create charitable foundations, or contribute to meaningful projects in our communities—even other countries.

We may ask, “Why can’t I do something as awesome?”

But, let’s pull back a second. Who says we have to do something extraordinary in order for it to make a difference in someone’s life?

I love the following quote . . .

People will forget what you said, forget what you did,
but never forget how you made them feel.
—Maya Angelou

Maya’s words remind us that we can find great purpose in making someone feel important, cared for, appreciated—noticed!

It also reminds us that when we do acts of service, we need to check our hearts for motives.

For instance, we can serve meals to the homeless, but if we make them feel less than—not worthy—or disrespected in any way, we’re not really “serving” them. At that point, the act becomes more about us and how we’re trying to make ourselves feel.

Purpose can come in unexpected ways. Recently, I was contacted by a woman to wanted to read one of my novels and write a review. It’s something she does on a regular basis for authors. But when I responded to her message, I didn’t hear from her. After a week had gone by, I tried to reach her again. She apologized for her lack of communication. She’d been going through a rough time, still grieving over the death of a young grandchild she was close to.

That unexpected admission opened up the door for us to have more conversation, and it gave me the opportunity to offer empathy, genuine care, and encouragement needed at the time. The original connection was all about a book review, but it turned into a greater purpose.

Unplanned opportunities to minister to people’s needs come along. Be open to them—take the time—and you may find your purpose that day was as simple as making someone feel good.

Anyone can find dirt in someone. Be the one who finds gold.

So, what do you think? Can you find purpose in making others feel good about themselves? Will you look for ways to offer encouragement to people who need it?



  1. I spent too many years loathing myself and I hate to see it in anyone else. Any time I can help change that for someone, I feel i've sown a seed and accomplished a great mission.

    1. Awesome, Robin! It sounds like the painful situations in your own life have helped you to be empathetic. It's wonderful that you're using what you've experienced to help others feel better about themselves.

  2. As a first-born overachiever, too, I relate! Sometimes I think I don't want to do anything because I can't do it all. Then I think how Michelangelo only took a few blocks of marble....
    So, now, I'm comparing myself to Michelangelo! Haha Not!
    Thanks, Dawn, that was good!

    1. LOL! I enjoyed your comments, Margo! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the article.


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