Living on Purpose: The Ultimate Gift to Others
by Paul Bernitt
Director of Wellness Services
Board-Certified Doctor of Holistic Health
Happy holidays, and hello 2024. This is the season of giving and receiving, and as we wind down 2023, it is also a time to prepare for the future. It is important to devote ourselves to the idea that people really do matter, as does what they have to offer. Grace gives us the ability to celebrate the great gift of life by being of service to others, possessing a positive vision for the future and being a good steward of the resources passed down through previous generations.
Our intention for the future is seized only within the present moment, and our actions should be worthy of the bountiful inheritance of life we have received. During this holiday season and into 2024, bring honor to the sacredness of the abundant life you have been given by living on purpose, with intentionality. We are all leaving a trace, a signature or an imprint that is making a difference one way or the other, so living on purpose is our unique responsibility to ensure a better life not only for ourselves but for the generations to come.
Avoid Common Regrets — Here’s How You Can Get Started
1. Pursue Purpose
A lack of purpose is the most common regret of all. Too often we live in the obscurity of others’ opinions rather than the inspiration of who God made us to be. Don’t wait until the end of your life to realize your true potential. Every choice you make and every effort toward your dream is a step closer to its fulfillment. In moments of stress, we too often do not realize that we are living from a place of fear of loss. In 2024, shift from the fear of loss to the loss of fear and what can be gained as a result. The world needs the authenticity of you!
2. Make Time for Those That Matter
Harry Chapin produced a song called “Cat’s in the Cradle.” It is a song about how a daddy didn’t have time to spend with his child because he was too busy, and subsequently the child didn’t have time to spend with his father later in life. Enjoy every season of your life. Take time away from your busy schedule to be with your children, your significant other, a relative or a friend. Get off the treadmill of existing to “work to get more” only to lose what you hold dearest. Make the people you love a real priority.
3. Let Go of Bitterness
Too often we choose to please others by bottling up our feelings. Prolonged and unresolved anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, sorrow and many other stressful feelings can lead to physical distress on our bodies. While the appearance of peace between people may be on the surface, deep, suppressed emotions can prevent the relationship from moving ahead. Be generous in your relationships. Take ownership of your own feelings by releasing others from the conflict. While the other person may not agree to heal, you still win because you no longer harbor destructive emotions.
4. Be a Real Friend
While social media and technology are great tools to help us maintain contact, “connecting” online is not the same as being present with another person. We all need someone in our lives whom we can trust. We simply can’t be at our best by ourselves or through technology. In order to have a friend, we must be willing to be a friend. Reach out and be present with those you want in your life. Make an effort that’s deserving of their true friendship. In the end, it’s all about the relationships we foster.
5. Embrace Change
Choose happiness over being right. Being happy is a choice we all have to make. True happiness requires us to accept change and respond with resilience. The only thing in life that is guaranteed is change. The only thing worse than the discomfort of change is perpetuating the negativity associated with it. We simply need to give ourselves permission to let go of our old habits and patterns and adopt new ones that lead to sustainable happiness and fulfillment. Try not to take everything so seriously, and take time to have fun, laugh, smile and be a little silly. Happiness is a state of being that can lead to more effective actions and positively influence the outcome of your life.
Focus on important things that lead to sustainable fulfillment and that provide meaning and true happiness. Living on purpose is a choice. It is YOUR life and YOUR choice. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose purpose!
In the process of life you will have many challenging opportunities which will cause you to develop more passion and courage to fulfill your unique purpose. In 2024 commit to giving more credence to the opportunities found through your personal commitment to purpose than the fear of the unknown. As you celebrate and share your life, ask yourself these three questions and then live, love, learn and repeat.
- Why are you here?
- What do you value?
- How will you be remembered?
May the rest of your life be the best of your life, and may you add years to your life and life to your years with greater purpose. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Paul Bernitt, DHH
Passionate advocate for helping others experience greater physical, emotional and spiritual wellness
Board-Certified Doctor of Holistic Health and Director of Wellness Services, TriVita, Inc.