I have always felt very fortunate to have work that gives my life purpose and meaning. Over the years, I’ve met many people who long to make a positive difference in the world, but they’re not sure where to start.
Encoded in our souls is our true life purpose. When we make contact with our souls, our service, our unique contribution to the world, becomes clear. The soul is our purest and most reliable source of direction and guidance. It is our divine partner, an internal GPS system that guides our lives, first as subtle promptings and later, as we establish a deeper connection, as a source of wisdom we can contact at will.
Our passions, the things we care most about, are whispers from our souls that can guide us to a particular career or service. I was a kid who loved books and magazines. When I was eight or nine, I read a novel about a girl my age who had her own column in a daily newspaper. The first time I saw that book, something clicked, and I read it over and over. I stared at the cover and knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to be that girl. A few years later, I started a newsletter for my sixth-grade classmates, and I’ve been involved in publishing, in one form or another, ever since.
Follow these steps to discover the unique contribution you can make to the world:
1. Identify your passions.
What are your passions? Do you have a passionate interest in spirituality, health, music, books, technology, the environment, media, or art? Make a list.
2. Match your passions with the needs of the world.
When we bring three things together—our gifts and skills, our own particular passion, and the needs of the world—we find what author Corinne McLaughlin calls the ‘sweet spot,’ the area where we can make our greatest contribution. My friend Kathy, who made her living as a chiropractor and holistic healer, longed to make a difference in lives of troubled kids. Last year, she founded a center to work with autistic children. These children, who are usually treated with behavioral techniques and drugs, made great progress when exposed to the full range of her gentle, body-based, therapies.
3. Start where you are
It’s not necessary to be an expert, or to have a degree in your field to make a positive difference in the world. If your passion is music, consider bringing the gift of music to a senior center
or nursing home by organizing a concert or solo performance for the residents. If your passion is helping the environment, create a community garden where those without a yard can grow their own produce. If your passion is spirituality, start a study group where like-minded people can discuss spiritual books and practices.
4. Ask for direct guidance from your soul.
Use this meditation to receive guidance from your soul:
1. Give yourself fifteen minutes of uninterrupted quiet time. Calm yourself by closing your eyes and following your breath, in and out, for a count of ten.
2. When you are ready, project a line of light upwards to the soul, six inches above your head. Imagine your soul as brilliant sun, a radiant source of energy.
3. Take a deep breath and meditate for ten minutes on the following question: “How can I make a positive difference in the world?” Listen quietly for the subtle voice of your soul.
4. At the end of the meditation period, take a moment to collect your thoughts, and when you are ready, end the meditation by silently sounding the Om.
When you have finished, write down any information you have received. Be aware that your answer may come in a dream or an intuition that leads you to pick up a book, explore a particular group or organization, research a new field, or reach out to a friend or colleague.