Bonjour Royal Friends!
Welcome to my ‘tongue-in-chic’ happiness lifestyle guide from a funny princess point of view!
Are you sick and tired of watching other people sky rocket to the moon on a jet beam of dreams, while you’re feeling totally unfulfilled riding your Tinker Toy horse? If only you could figure out what floats your boat!
That happens this time of year when many of us reboot, review, and revisit the movie set of our lives. We plan for the coming year by looking back and asking what worked and what didn’t. Often that leaves us a little chilly, especially if there was a lot that didn’t work and we’re trying to find our footing for our future. This process often provokes that hum dinger of a question: “How do I find my life’s meaning and purpose?”
The good news is your life already has meaning and purpose. Your very existence was a summoning. Without you, some part of the chain of life would have been broken. If you have ever loved someone or been loved, if you have ever smiled at someone or been smiled at, if you have ever made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a child, stroked a cat’s back, or watered a thirsty plant, you belong my royal friend… you belong to the world and help make it go.
Although it is true you already have meaning and purpose, you might not have “a sense of” meaning and purpose. I’d like to share with you one of my favorite strategies for finding a sense of meaning and purpose.
The strategy came to me as an epiphany when a guy I met at a football game one cold and frosty afternoon started chatting, and told me about his recent job interview wherein he was asked the question, “If you wrote your own epitaph, what would it be?”
This guy thought the interview question was ridiculous. But he humored them and answered that his epitaph would read, “He was a good guy and he lived a nice life.” I don’t know if he nailed the job or put a nail in his coffin with that answer.
Here’s the kicker. I didn’t think the interview question was ridiculous; I thought it was an amazing question! I realized that such a question had the power to change your life! I decided to use it as a prompt to help people discover a sense of meaning and purpose. I called it The Epitaph Exercise.
The Epitaph Exercise gives us a chance to reflect on the meaning of our lives in a profound way. It helps us crystalize the essence of our being in words so precise they must fit onto a small slab of stone!
The Epitaph Exercise helps us take a step back and think about whether we have aligned our lives with what is really important to us when all is said and done. Literally done. It gives us a chance to discover what life might look like lived in a more meaningful, purposeful way. It’s like getting a do-over in our own lifetime! Ebenezer Scrooge got one and we can too… and without the ghosts!
This Epitaph Exercise is a way of backing into profound meaning in our lives. It affords us the grace and the gift, before we cross over to the other side, to ask ourselves, “How do I want the world to have been a better place because I lived in it? Am I here to foster world peace? Am I here to make people laugh? Am I here to help children learn to read? Am I here to bake delicious blueberry scones? Am I here to help people with holistic wellness? Am I here to grow glorious flowers? Am I hear to be a light, to spread happiness and joy?”
My dad is a great example of someone whose headstone reflects the essence of his personality. When dad was alive, he was a poster child for optimism, positivity, humor, resilience, and kindness. This brilliant physician faced tremendous obstacles to happiness at the end of his life but he soldiered on and never let anyone suffer because of his life challenges. He had some doozies, not the least of which he was wheelchair bound and his beautiful and beloved wife of over 60 years, also a physician, was suffering from severe dementia.
But dad loved life, and he spent his very last years figuring out how to keep one step ahead of sadness by finding joy where he could. He told me once, “My new outlook on life is going from mitzvah to mitzvah.” He meant he was going to find happiness and meaning by looking forward to family life-cycle joys and celebrations.
When it came time to put something on dad’s head stone, all three of us, his kids, unanimously decided to inscribe it with one of his favorite expressions, which reflected the fabulous optimism that informed his worldview. It was a phrase he invariably said to put us at ease when we called him and asked, How ya do’in dad?” He would reply with a twinkle we could hear in his voice and no doubt reflected in his eyes: “If it doesn’t get any worse, I won’t complain that it’s not any better.”
Please know that this is no easy assignment. You might not find what you’re looking for about yourself right away. That’s totally okay. I’ve tried to answer the question in the past and struggled. I came up with a few phrases, but nothing concise. Finally, this year I found it: “Royal Ambassador for Positivity in the World.”
Happy New Year to you!!!! May you find a sense of meaning and purpose if you seek it, and may you know how wonderfully important to the world you truly are!
ROYAL FRIENDS, before you leave, one question. Are you interested in happiness, optimism, positivity and well-being? If yes, SUBSCRIBE to my blog so you don’t miss periodic tips on how to live your royally happy life! CLICK HERE
Bisous & Tra la la!
Bonjour! I’m Princess Diane Von Brainisfried™
Motivational Speaker. Certified Life Coach. Award-Winning Writer. Breast Cancer Survivor. Offering seminars and coaching using humor to inspire happiness.
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