What is your reason for getting up in the morning? Does it matter?
This is maybe the most important topic to write on concerning life coaching. Do you know that people living in what might seem to be the worst conditions imaginable, sometimes live the happiest lives? I was watching a documentary on happiness research and there were women in India who had the job of sorting garbage in a landfill. They were happy to work together and help their country be more beautified. They felt like they had a purpose and that helped them be happy.
I personally feel happy serving children. It has not been an easy journey being a special education teacher for 17 years, art teacher for one, and now a toddler teacher. Teaching takes a lot of energy and sometimes the kids, parents, and administrators kind of beat you up. I can honestly say that even with those components I have felt like my work has had purpose and that made me happy. On most mornings in my work career, I have woke up before my alarm, ready to serve kids with a little bit of excitement about what I can introduce to them and how I can make their life a little more joyful as they learn. I have found purpose in continually trying to get better and learn new things to improve my teaching practice. Teaching art last year was not in my license area and it was a struggle to figure out how to teach over 600 students, in pre-school through 5th grade, art at their level without the background of teaching that. I brought a love for art and kids and gave it my best. This year, I am teaching toddlers, and again, I am learning new things. I feel excited to see what they will learn every day at this stage of development. I deal with a lot more poop and snot than most people are comfortable with, but they are my reason for getting up in the morning and that is what makes life worth living.
How do you feel that what you are doing has purpose?
I think it is a matter of perspective, that is, the way you look at things. For me, work is an opportunity to be of service and make money to take care of myself and loved ones. Work is also an opportunity to help those I work with have some fun at work and invest in their personal development.
What about those people who do not have jobs?
Your existence in the world can have purpose, even significance, without you working. There are people that experience unemployment for periods of time or for a lifetime due to disabilities or other reasons. They may contribute by being caregivers, homemakers, raising children, or just being. Just being, has a purpose. As a Special Education Teacher, I have had a student that came into class on a gurney every day. He had a progressive disease and could not speak. He sometimes made some noises and facial expressions. He often slept through my class. He had purpose, however. My other students looked forward to seeing him every day. They greeted him and loved him. We cried together when he did not come one Monday. He had passed on over the weekend. The fact that he was missed, highlighted the fact that he lived a purposeful life.
As you are becoming a more evolved you, I hope to assist you in becoming more happy and resilient. I hope that you will have a long life and you will feel both competent and challenged at the work you do or the way that you are able to participate in this life at all stages. Take some time to think about what your purpose is? If there is something you would like to do to contribute more? There are so many opportunities to use your gifts in a way that has purpose. Perhaps changing your perspective and making meaningful connections to the work you already do will be enough to create a little more joy in your journey.
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