We all have a purpose…our reason for being here.

When we don’t fulfill our purpose, things come undone or don’t get done.

Our purpose is sometimes revealed in an unexpected way when we experience something personally or something happens to someone close to us and we feel compelled to act.

Candy Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving after a drunk driver who had a history of arrests for intoxication hit and killed her 13-year-old daughter, Cari. Candy was compelled to act when she discovered the driver would probably not spend any time in jail.

Or sometimes we’re exposed to something for the very first time and we don’t understand how we’ve lived without it and don’t believe it’s possible to live without this in our future. Think Misty Copeland, the first Black female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre.

Misty wasn’t introduced to ballet until the relatively late age of 13, yet she was dancing enpoint three months later. She endured a painful family estrangement to be able to pursue her dream, ignored the naysayers to find her passion, and overcame shyness to discover her voice.

Every now and then our innate and obvious passions and talents are recognized, nurtured and developed from the beginning of our lives. We call those people prodigies. Pablo Picasso’s passion and talent for drawing were evident, explored and encouraged from an early age and expanded as a result of his art instructor father’s guidance.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets that kind of early, sustained support, but that doesn’t mean we can’t act on our desires and use our talents to fulfill our purpose as soon as we know what it is. It doesn’t matter how or even when we get to our purpose. It only matters that when the discovery is made, we strive to live in and on purpose.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson