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January 3, 2016

What’s the Purpose in Having a Purpose?

depressionWhat’s the Purpose in Having a Purpose?

Start 2016 with purpose. What’s the purpose in having a purpose? Have you ever wondered that? Why is having a purpose in life so important. Here’s the answer – at least the answer I believe to be true.

The purpose behind having a purpose is not so much to achieve or accomplish some goal. It is to forge you into the person you can become by giving you motivation to improve yourself and by giving you strong enough reasons to withstand the trials and tribulations of life – trials and tribulations that either bring out the best in you when you live with purpose, or the worst in you if you live without purpose.

It takes time and pressure to turn coal into diamonds. Aging (time) coupled with trials and tribulations (pressure) meld us into the people we are capable of becoming.

We all need some thing bigger than any struggle we might face to rise above the difficulty. Having a strong purpose can fill that role, but it’s not the only thing. Another is a strong belief in God. He is certainly bigger than any problem you might confront.

During my first year in practice a woman in her early to mid-60s came to see me. She explained to that me that through a series of unforeseen events she became the legal custodian for her only grandson. She was all he had left in his life. She wanted to be sure she stayed healthy for him. I was at the Cooper Clinic at the time and the Clinic does not take insurance. And, in 1990 when she came in the comprehensive evaluation she requested was $2,500. She was of modest means and saved months for the evaluation.

Her grandson became her purpose. He was the thing bigger than any crisis she was going to confront in the future. Based on what I learned about her I had little doubt that her desire to care for him and prepare him for life would carry her through any difficult time. She had resolve. That’s what purpose does. It gives you resolve – firm determination.

We all need something to motivate or carry us through the rough times. We need purpose.

Life is one test after another. And, each test better prepares us for the next as we develop more skills, more wisdom, and a broader perspective of life, which means looking beyond ourselves. It means seeing life from another person’s vantage point as well as God’s perspective.

Some trials and tribulations are not easy to pass. And, it is easy to quit unless you have some strong and compelling reason to keep on keeping on. We each need something beyond ourselves that keeps us going each day to withstand life’s tests. If you have a cause or mission – something bigger than yourself – you will find a way to weather life’s storms – storms that will make you a better person in the long run.

Life is supposed to be a struggle now and again. When you go through a tough time ask yourself the following. What did I do to bring this situation upon myself (in most cases you played some role in the struggles you face)? What am I suppose to learn from this? What can I do to endure or get through this struggle? How might this struggle make me better?

Why the Trials and Tribulations?

Like any test we are tested to see how much we have learned, but we are tested to also nudge us in the direction of being more God-like by the time we die. We begin life as coal – pure potential energy (life). We should end up a refined diamond worthy of God’s eternal kingdom. Each test should take us closer to that goal. We should end up bigger and better than our circumstances.

If everything was good all the time we would have little reason to better ourselves. Have you thought about it that way before? Towards the end of our lives we should be more gracious, understanding, patient, caring, sympathetic, loving, generous, kind, and forgiving. By that time we should internalize all those qualities that you would expect to see in someone worthy of living in heaven.

And, those qualities are not possible to fully develop without some trials and tribulations. We have to experience the negative qualities in life to fully develop the positive qualities. Can you be sympathetic having not experienced pain? Can you truly forgive if you were never forgiven? Can you console having never been hurt? Can you truly love having not experienced an absence of love? Can you understand having never been misunderstood? Can you be kind having not experienced selfishness? Can you fully celebrate the thrill of victory having never experienced the agony of defeat?

And, can you receiving everlasting life without dying? It seems not.

Don’t be afraid of the trials and tribulations that come across your path. They are there to steer you in the right and upward direction. Earth is just a test. Be sure to pass it Develop a purpose that will get you through the tough times!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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