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If You Had a Choice: What Would You Want to Do With The Rest of Your Life?

Updated on March 31, 2017

Is It Really About Riches?

We all want to matter in some shape or form.

I believe that is why so many persons strive to be rich; because, being rich is an outward symbol of "being worth something"... but is having riches what it is all about? Can we be worth something without riches?

Consider that many famous people were not wealthy in their lifetime. Those famous people lived their lives as they wanted to regardless of wealth and even ignored fame though many found it posthumously. Hardly something to make one happy ... Posthumous fame is not worth much on a personal level!

Working life often interferes with what we would rather be doing. I certainly found that to be true. Work is essential for providing the necessities of life and that is a worthy pursuit. Food on the table IS important. A career can provide a great living and all the trappings that go with it.

However, life devoted to just to work can be draining... unless your work is your calling!

My own remedy has always been to have interests outside of work that made up for the lack of creativity at work...because creativity drives me; it is what makes me want to get up in the morning raring to discover something new. My own desire to learn or discover something new would not necessarily work for you though. We are all, thankfully different!

What works for each individual is specific to what is of interest to you.

I enjoy drawing!

I enjoy children and their expressions and drawing them!
I enjoy children and their expressions and drawing them! | Source

I enjoy the beauty of nature in the smallest flower

Nature, one of the wonders of my life
Nature, one of the wonders of my life | Source

Is Your Dream Impractical?

Remember that even if it sounds silly to others, if it isn't silly to go and get it done:

"That lawn ornament made of beer bottle caps will give you a good night's sleep at the very least.

The garden, your spouse builds around it, trying to hide it may just draw in the crowds!"

(quote by Scribenet)

"When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind." ~Seneca

Most of us do not have the luxury of devoting our lives to what interests us. Perhaps we do not even know what our purpose in life should be, even if we have the means to pursue it. That is often the dilemma... what do we love? What puts the light in our eyes? Often society busily tells us what we should do. Passion can get lost.

Sometimes in my busier days I use to think my purpose in life was shopping.

Seriously, that is when I would truly loose myself and forget about my worries until I checked my bank

In those days, I enjoyed shopping as a way to unwind as I am sure many busy women and men do. However, in later years, I have discovered the folly of too much shopping and began to reverse that trend. Most definitely, I ran out of space then is not my calling!

Besides, I would suggest, shopping really is the siren call from advertisers, not your own voice....LOL

Martha Graham had it Right

Quite a few years back I read the following quote in Oprah's magazine, "O". I clipped it out and kept it framed for a time. Eventually I wrote it down on a card I refer to once in awhile and even have passed it on to a granddaughter. It has been an inspiration for many years and something that speaks to me about finding purpose in life.

The quote I refer to is from Martha Graham, the famous dancer. I would like to share it now:
"There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost..."

This is what is usually found on the net, but there is more to the quote that I think is worth reading:

The quote goes on..."The world will not have it. it is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware of urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open."

The complete quote is from Martha Graham as told to Agnes de Mille in "Dance to the Piper".

A Quote from George Bernard Shaw

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." ~George Bernard Shaw

What is Your Unique Perspective?

I know people who are great bakers, seamtressses, carpenters and gardeners. One of my aunt's didn't seem to have a great purpose in life as far as anyone could tell... but she could grow gorgeous, amazing plants like no one else. I remember her vegetable gardens were something to behold...neat rows and beds of perfect vegetables and not a weed in sight.

My mother could get lost in sewing...she was an awesome seamstress completely self-taught and she never earned a living from her calling.

Some people are good with facts, some people light up the world with their humor, as did my late husband. I remember his humor vividly.

Whatever, your skill or calling, no one else will do it exactly as you go ahead, knock yourself out! Your friends and family will identify you with your expression in life...your unique perspective.

Our world will be richer for it.

Have I Found My Unique Voice in Life?

I have been fortunate in my working life. That is a blessing. I enjoyed work but felt it lacked the specific feeling of a "calling".

I had followed my instincts in choosing chemistry in college, an interest that I was able to enjoy throughout a modest career. I also ran my own sign business with my late husband for a number of years and that came very close to being a calling since I could forget to eat as I worked on projects... and it had a very strong creative factor. There was the satisfaction of being part of a team...but was that a calling?

At this stage of life, I am exploring all those things I had no time for in my younger days. I moved away from the big city and my hours of long commutes have ceased as well as the huge expenses of living that life. I live frugally. I have decided to do what I love: learning, writing, researching, gardening and art. Now they all play a huge part in my every day life. So much, I sometimes lose track of time.

What have I accomplished? Nothing so much as anyone can tell.

However, the saying goes: "It is the journey that counts; not the destination! Then I am on the right path!

I sort of like this particular road trip.

Thanks Martha Graham!

I enjoy photography!

What a thrill to capture this image!
What a thrill to capture this image! | Source

I love gardening indoors and out!

I do love a beautiful flower and growing them!
I do love a beautiful flower and growing them! | Source


Submit a Comment

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thank you Treasureofheaven! I personally love the Martha Graham quote and read it once in awhile because it resonates on a daily level as I do what seems mundane stuff. It gives meaning on a daily level! :)

    I appreciate your comments!

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 

    6 years ago from Michigan

    Well said. I agree with you on so many counts here. The person who's work and calling is intertwined is blessed. Having a "Purpose" in life gives more meaning and motivation to you. Good write!

    Have a great day!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Gary...Thank you so much for the your inspiring comments:

    "I believe we have unconditional worth and value. I believe there are infinite rainbow colors inside and outside of us." ...

    I believe as well, there is greatness in the details of our ordinary lives we often overlook thinking we have to make some huge contribution to the world.

    Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comments!

  • qlcoach profile image

    Gary Eby 

    7 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

    Yes to purpose, balance, peace of mind, joy, and staying centered. Beautiful and powerful Hub. Too many people are adrift and some fall deeply into suffering because they don't realize who there really are. I believe we have unconditional worth and value. I believe there are infinite rainbow colors inside and outside of us. Sending you beacons of golden Light....Gary.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Louise, Thank you for your kind comments. I was hoping you would find this Hub and I am delighted it inspired you! Thanks for dropping by!

  • louiseelcross profile image

    Louise Elcross 

    7 years ago from UK

    Thank you for this wonderful inspiring writings. I have been wondering what my purpose in life is for such a long time and I feel that it is to write. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thank you MPG Narratives for the vote and the comments! It would be great if we all could find the right inspiration in our lives!

    Thank you for stopping by!

  • MPG Narratives profile image

    Marie Giunta 

    7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Happiness is different for everyone, some people do like to work all their lives because that is their passion, others find passion in other things. My hope is that everyone finds their passion in life, and Scribenet, a hub like this is a great inspiration. Well written and voted up.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thanks Movie Master! It is great, isn't it! Finding what is interesting to do makes the days fly by!

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    7 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Scribenet, What a fabulous read, I really enjoyed this. Isn't it great to have some time to do what we want, instead of slowing down, finding more new and interesting things to do.

    many thanks for sharing and voting up.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Wooded! Your comments are appreciated! I enjoy sharing the gems I have found along the way.

    Thanks for commenting! Cheers!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Wow, I really love this. Thanks!!!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    b.Malin...Thank you so much for the encouragement...always appreciated!

    I agree working life is hectic to say the least...even now I am having a time doing all I want... and I have time!

    I enjoyed your comments! Cheers!

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 

    7 years ago

    This was such a Rich and Rewarding read Scribenet, truly Inspiring. I personal find at this stage in Life I am happy to be finally able to write. When I was working, life was Hectic...when the kids were little there was NEVER enough TIME...and now there finally is!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thank you breakfastpop...Perhaps many us do not have a choice about our working lives... but our own time should focus on what is important to us and what moves us. Sometimes that is forgotten in our busy lives full of chores. Having a purpose in life, whether making the best meatloaf or being able to fix just about anything puts the smile on our faces and those around us...and that is priceless! I think even the "little" things count!

    Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

  • breakfastpop profile image


    7 years ago

    Wonderful inspiring piece. Way too many people just get up each day go to work, come home and never once stop to think about what it would take to truly make them happy.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi psychicdog....Now I am really glad I wrote this Hub...

    It is great to get comments on this subject and I am certain there are many paths to discovery of self!

    I am often surprised when someone points out something obvious about myself that I have completely overlooked. Sometimes we are too familiar with ourselves to notice what is right under our nose!

    Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

  • profile image 

    7 years ago

    Scribenet really enjoyed reading this and as I did it reminded me of my own quest and what I discovered - others - your community, workmates, relationships, contacts etc... really tell us often more about ourselves than ourselves! I think our true self is found through others not only in inner contemplation. Cheers!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thank you, Born2care for adding to my Hub with your thought provoking comments. I am grateful.

    If this Hub helps just one person to find inspiration from "my point of view", then it is me, who has "also" been blessed and that is truly priceless!

    A warm welcome to Hubpages...keep mentoring; the young men and women are important!


  • Born2care2001 profile image

    Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

    7 years ago from Asheville NC

    Dear Scribenet,

    First and foremost continue expressing!If you touched me, and you did, your expression will also find others who will be inspired by what you have to say.

    I have been exploring life purpose for many years, for myself and with the young men whom I mentor. I have read many great works that describe the quest for significance and I would add that you have performed a valuable service by explaining your perspective so well.

    I believe our callings are more than luck or happenstance though often they may seem that way. I ask you, why did George Bernard Shaw, Martha Graham or even the author of Scribenet speak or write or express themselves in the way they did? I believe it is because there is a greater good that beckons all of us to give that unique something you described to the collective consciousness we call life! The choice to answer, of course, is ours.

    Gregg Levoy, the author of "Callings, Finding and Following an Authentic Life" says there may be many callings throughout our lifetime. I also believe, as you do, keeping the channels open to discovering it and then answering the call just may be some of many purposes to which we will respond.

    Thank you for listening to the whispers that speak to your creativity and for following that voice to this present place!

    Well Done!


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