You-have-to-decide-whatYou can’t do everything to make this world a more loving and peaceful place, but you can definitely do something. I think it’s essential for anyone who wants to feel their life has purpose, who desires to feel fulfilled each day, to figure out what that something is going to be. It doesn’t have to be loud or public; one person can make a huge difference simply by spreading love as they move throughout their days. Holding a door open matters, as does letting people merge on the freeway, smiling at a stranger, lending an ear, a shoulder, a hand. It all counts, because those are the things that reassure us that people care, and we aren’t in this alone. The surest way I know to be miserable is to make life all about what is or isn’t happening for you, because it’s such a small worldview. It’s a population of one, and we are built for connection, not isolation.

I know many people who think they’ll give back once they “make it.” As if tomorrow is promised, and it’s okay to think of today as a rehearsal or a place-holder leading to some fruitful outcome in the future. Today counts. Today is the only day you know for sure you’ve got. You can make a difference today, all day long. Life may unfold exactly as we’d like (although it rarely does), or it may be full of twists and curveballs that turn our plans upside down and inside out. Waiting to make a difference is a way of letting ourselves off the hook.

For people who’ve figured out what their purpose is, managing energy becomes the thing. You cannot be all things to all people, and you will never please everyone. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t get anything done well. If you’re a giver by nature, saying no is a tough pill to swallow. Sometimes you have to say no to how you’re being treated, because taking care of your heart and protecting your ability to shine really must come first. Otherwise what do you have to share, and where do you expect the fire to come from to get things done, to show up for the other people in your life, and to be of service? You have to figure out what feeds your soul, what lights you up from the inside, and then you have to honor, cherish, protect and stoke that flame. Because that’s your purpose, that’s your gift, and you’re meant to share it. Sending you love, Ally Hamilton