Word Of The Week: PURPOSEFUL

In her 2006 book, What I  Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self, Ellyn Spragins coaxed forty-one notable women from all walks of life to write a letter to their younger self, and share with them wisdom and insights they know they could have used at the time.

Olympia Dukakis wrote to the woman she was in her 30’s: an actor working at making a living, an actor working to organize/run a community theater, mother, and wife to a man who was seriously ill. Everything, every single moment about her life at that point was about work, and duty.

In her letter she counsels the younger Olympia that “You will come to understand that by purposefully capturing happy moments you expand the soul”.

I don’t think I ever thought about that word before I read that book, but it’s been a beacon to me since. I especially love it this time of year, when tallying up the past 11 months, and looking to the future.

Purposeful is not forceful, or rushed. It’s not regretful, judgemental, or hurrying to make up for lost time.

Purposeful is thoughtful that did its homework, and met up with some confidence and commitment along the way. Purposeful has made a decision, and is about moving forward.

What I really love about this anecdote is the quiet backstory: in not so many words, young Olympia is being gently urged to at least re-think, if not move out of her comfort zone (worrying, working, busy), perhaps re-consider think what is instinct or reflex, and have a little faith-all in pursuit of a larger, better goal. Like I said, my beacon.

Have a great, purposeful week!