This is one of my favorite quotes ever, often attributed to the influential painter Pablo Picasso.
If you have already found your gift in life, consider yourself fortunate; if you are giving it away, then you are truly blessed.
I know what my gift is, but these past two years I have been struggling trying to figure out how to give it away. I was feeling lost. I wanted so badly to find my purpose in life. I always thought that I knew what it was, but at some turning points in your life you critically question it and feel the need to reassess your entire life’s purpose. Does that sound familiar to you?
I was going through that turning point in my life. I quit my corporate job several years ago because I felt egotistic politics were controlling my “gift”. I wanted to be the one in charge of how I gave it away. However, finding the most fulfilling ‘giving’ path is one of the most challenging discoveries you could ever make. When you figure this out, it will be your purpose in life.
What is my gift?
I am fortunate to feel compassion and have a strong passion for helping others, as well as a positive mentality and approach in life. My entire life’s experience has been focused on helping others become happier and better versions of themselves, as well as on positively impacting the lives of children all over the world in order to grow up happy, confident and successful. That was my mission in life—my true passion and divine “gift”.
Sadly though, I faced obstacles a lot of the times, in addition to challenges and frustrations brought upon by resistance as well as global politics in the field of education, many of which had personal agendas to fulfill. Yes, I thought “global” rather than local. I was ambitious and an idealist. I was raised to believe that I could change the world with my actions—even the smallest actions have ripple effects. I was taught that the most divine humans are those that help others and positively impact their lives. I acted on this and persevered…until stubborn roadblocks hindered my steady march and prevented me from giving away my gift. I had to stop and reassess my actions and efforts. I had to change my path.
We are ever-evolving beings.
We cannot (and should not) become stagnant. At every stage in our life, we must reflect on and reassess our path in life. We must (and will) re-shift our priorities. So, that’s what I did. I spent the last couple of years trying to evaluate the path that I had been taking in order to figure out how to overcome those barriers preventing me from fulfilling my mission. It has been so difficult. If that is something you have struggled with, then you understand what I mean.
It’s like driving through a storm with only your intuition and prayers keeping you alive. Certain moments may seem hopeful and promising, while others appear to be enveloped with complete darkness and hopelessness. Nevertheless, when you know that you can’t or shouldn’t give up, you keep going…until eventually the storm subsides and you begin to catch a glimpse of the light of hope.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
This quote by Martin Luther King Jr. kept me going. You cannot arrive at answers if you stop moving. You must keep going—the movement will yield the answers that you are looking for.
So, what did I do these past couple of years? How did I keep moving?
I know what my gift is—and I had an abundance of it—but I had to figure out how to give it away. I started my PhD research thinking that with evidence I could convince and change the world. I took on coaching clients wanting to help others. I studied law and earned a certificate in children’s human rights, in order to back myself up with the knowledge of binding laws and the certification that I believed I needed to support me as an advocate for the rights of children.
I also wrote and wrote and kept writing about topics that I strongly believed in so I could give them a voice and bring them to life. I published a book of poetry and continued to promote my previous fiction and nonfiction books. I took part in humanitarian volunteer work and wrote out a plan for my nonprofit organization because I had a strong urge to be selflessly useful. I took part in protests to back my country’s “peaceful” revolution against an intolerably corrupt government. I travelled and explored new countries to quench my thirst and to find inspiration.
I prioritized my family over everything and spent so much time making precious memories with them. I attended conferences and events nationally and internationally to find answers to my life questions. I met lots of new people who inspired and supported me. I have been everywhere trying to figure out the best and most fulfilling path to “give away” my gift.
On some days…
I felt completely hopeless and useless, and I cried myself to sleep. On other days, I felt full of hope and excitement, and soared through life feeling absolutely unstoppable. I searched and I sobbed; I ventured and I risked; I sprinted and I fell…until a few days ago when everything just became so clear to me…
It was that “aha” moment when I discovered that my most fulfilling mode of “giving” was right here, right under my nose. But I needed these two years of exploration to awaken me to the fact that the door that I needed to open was right here before my eyes. The door that I had been opening and closing every single day.
So, I defined my purpose in life in the following statement:
“My purpose in life is to use my insight, compassion and positivity to better the world by firstly raising my two boys to be happy, confident, conscientious, compassionate and responsible young men, and secondly by writing to inspire others and to help adults gain insight, transform themselves and practice a positive approach with children.”
This is my passion, my mission, my PURPOSE. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning, what keeps me up at night, and what makes me the happiest. This is how I can make the world a better place. These are my personal priorities. This is my Divine purpose in life.
Go ahead. Your turn. Find your purpose in life.
First, look into yourself and find out what your “gift” is. What is it that you love doing more than anything else? What is it that you do so well? What is it that you know so much about that you could lecture others about it without even preparing anything? What is it that you know like the back of your hand? This is your gift—what you have been divinely endowed with—making you fortunate, unique and special in your own way.
Next, figure out how you are going to “give it away” in the way that you find the most fulfilling. What gets you out of bed every morning? What keeps you up at night? What is it that you would be ready to give up your entire plans for? What is it that sparks up happiness in your heart? What is it that makes you feel proud and satisfied? That will be your most fulfilling mode of “giving”. Remember: it’s not about doing so much and so many things; it’s about the one or two things that you are ready to “give away” every single day and that makes you feel the happiest. This is your purpose in life.