These days, all it takes is a simple scroll through our social media feeds to see that the world is in a flurry of news, confusion and panic. Many of us have been given the privilege of having more down time to work from home, spend time with our ʻohana and reflect on what to do next. Itʻs hard to see clearly when we leap from post to post or email to email, but we challenge you to slow down and turn your attention and energy inward.
Our team at Kanu Hawaiʻi has spent the last few weeks focusing on what our role and our purpose can be during this public health pandemic by asking many questions, including:
- What are the greatest needs in our communities across Hawaiʻi?
- Who can we serve?
- How can we serve them – safely and effectively?
We ask you to do the same, but by first turning your thoughts to your gifts and passions. When we know our strengths and what we love to do, that often blossoms into our most meaningful contributions to the world around us. We find our purpose through that uncovering process.
What is purpose? According to the author of “The Power of Purpose”, Richard Leider, purpose manifests itself as “a clear-eyed, energetic person getting up in the morning — with a reason to get up in the morning — and going off to do something that they have really chosen to do with their time and their life.”
Individuals who move through each day with a sense of purpose are often happier and healthier because they have a strong sense of direction. In the five Blue Zones regions of the world – communities where people live to age 100 at high rates – purpose is a natural part of life. In those regions (which include communities in Greece, Italy, Costa Rica, Okinawa and Loma Linda, CA), nearly all the centenarians are able to state their purpose clearly and easily. In Okinawa, Japan specifically, the word “ikigai” is the phrase used to describe “why I get out of bed each day” and transcends the typical western idea that purpose and identity must only be linked to a career. Keep in mind that purpose can be small or large – from tending to a garden to caring for our grandchildren to launching our dream business, everyone’s purpose matters because it is intrinsically meaningful to them in that chapter of their life. Much like the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, purpose is unique to each individual.
If you have been gifted with more time, or simply want to explore your purpose, gifts and passions more, we have compiled an array of resources that can help you dive deeper. We hope this can give you more direction and focus as we move forward into the weeks and months ahead. These resources are also evergreen, so feel free to use that at any time.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- “The Right Outlook: How Finding Your Purpose Can Improve Your Life”
- Goodreads List of Popular Life Purpose Books
- How to unlock the power of purpose | Richard Leider TEDTalk
- How to live to be 100 | Dan Buettner TEDTalk
- How to Find Your Purpose | Jay Shetty on Impact Theory
- More TEDTalks to help you find your purpose
Research has shown that volunteering is one of the most effective ways to live with purpose in our lives. It not only contributes to the greater good, but it has immense health benefits for those who volunteer.
Find Purpose through Volunteering locally:
Remember, purpose can change from season to season in our lives so allow these ideas to simmer and settle in so that you can truly express your purpose with intentional and meaningful change. We wish you the best of luck in your exploration of purpose. Cheers to reading on!