“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are living links in a chain of wisdom, handed down through history. One axiom developed in that chain is to…BE USEFUL.
Our sense of worth and usefulness is tied to our self-esteem…and to esteem something means to elevate it.
So how do we elevate our own worth and usefulness? How do we esteem ourselves?
Think of the items you value either for their aesthetic or functional quality.
A nonfunctioning grandfather clock is still valued because it is a beautiful piece of furniture. A nonfunctioning can opener is discarded because it is worthless.
Our value in life depends on our FUNCTION. But just what is that function?
The answer is quite simple.
When one begins to purposefully elevate others by performing acts of kindness, the spirit changes and soon doing good deeds becomes a focal point for our life; doing good begins to be the same as feeling good.
The periods of emptiness when we search for the “meaning of it all” begin to fill with acts of kindness and usefulness.
Most of us ask ourselves questions of purpose that go beyond the routines of our daily lives. The obvious answer is to be kind to one another, to help someone in need, to perform good deeds…in short, TO BE USEFUL.
Neither wealth, fame, prestige, nor anything external can give us more than a fleeting sense of satisfaction. The only true lasting happiness is within ourselves. Unfortunately, this is too often the last place any of us look.
The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and hands and then work outward from there. If we improve ourselves by BEING USEFUL to others, we live our lives in the best way possible.
Good deeds really do have the power to change us. We should never consider any act that changes us as futile. No good, useful deed we have done can be taken from us. Good deeds have magical attributes which can turn sadness to singing and despair to joy.
Just one small selfless act benefits and elevates both the giver and the receiver. In this high-tech, fast changing world what is needed and what is lasting is HIGH-TOUCH PEOPLE and relationships.
CALL TO ACTION
I want you to wrap your mind around the idea that your duty and primary responsibility in life is to be useful….to elevate all, big or small.
Aspire to be useful. Think of ways that you can elevate your performance and usefulness as a mother, father, husband, wife, employee, salesperson or entrepreneur.
Identify every role you play in life and actively work to be more useful…to elevate everyone you come in contact with.
Be useful and elevate with words of encouragement. Be useful and elevate by asking bigger, bolder, and better questions. Be useful and elevate by setting an example that inspires. Be useful and elevate every life experience for yourself and others.
When you wake up in the morning, when you walk into a room, when you attend a meeting…set an intention to be useful and elevating.
Gary Ryan Blair