My husband and I saw a wonderful movie over Thanksgiving weekend – Hugo which was based on a children’s book and directed by Martin Scorsese. It was so heartwarming and it was such a treat to experience Scorsese’s very soft side.
While you can read all the reviews and synopses you want about the movie online, there was one particular part of the movie that really touched me. It was when a little boy named Hugo, who loves fixing machines and making things work, shared his views about life – the world is one big machine and because no machine has extra parts, everyone must have a purpose.
Now, we have all heard that we are here for a purpose from different people and sources, but to hear it articulated in a way from a little boy who was passionate about what he was doing was refreshing. The irony was Hugo was struggling to find his purpose and his companion suggested that he was meant to fix things. And in doing that, life unfolded in the most beautiful way for him.
Bottom line is Hugo knew his purpose all along. If not, he would not have been able to make such a beautiful articulation about machines having no spare parts and that we are all here for a reason. He just needed to claim it.
We all have inklings of what our purpose is. Sometimes, we judge it or think it’s silly or not earth-shattering enough and we silence that part of ourselves. Other times, we confuse life’s purpose with making a living. It’s nice when these two things align, but that’s not always the case.
The key is to have a natural curiosity about what it is that gives us a great sense of lasting fulfillment (versus a momentary high). Finding our life’s purpose and then doing it is one of the most worthwhile and self-loving things to do. It means we are honoring ourselves and the role we are meant to play.
And it’s not about what we get out of we do. The search for some great reward or accolades takes the joy away from truly being in the moment and living our purpose. When we are living our purpose, the process is what it’s all about and anything we receive as a result of it is just icing on the cake. Having this view allows us to not be so consumed with whether what we are called to do is big enough or important enough. And it allows us to fully stay in the moment and do what we are meant to do, with no judgment or expectations.
I find great comfort to hear every now and then that the design of the Universe is perfect and that if I am not here to play a part, I would not be here in the first place. My only role therefore is to pay attention to clues about what gives me great joy and fulfillment when I do it….and keep doing it. And the energy I put out doing what I love is what will make everything fall into place.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman, spiritual advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)