In other words, what is your goal or objective? I'm not referring to your goal for this month or year; I'm referring to the goal for your life. Now, that's the big question of all time. If you don't have the answer, don't be hard on yourself; even Aristotle was frustrated. In 350 B.C. he wrote, "The highest of all goods achieved by human action was Eudaimonia; meaning happiness." However, without a definition of happiness, (which is personally subjective,) how can one achieve happiness? In the 38 years of my work, I have come to the self-truth that, the goal of life is not happiness, meaning, and fulfillment. It is my naive suggestion, that these are by-products of the goal or object of life. Aristotle, and later Thomas Aquinas, declared, that living so as to purpose your gifts and talents bring you closer to living, so as to realize your full potential. They stated it as, "Living in accordance with virtue."
Eudaimonia translates to, "living based on self-truth and self-responsibility." The end game, the object of a well lived life; to know one's gift and talents and to know they can be applied to make whatever one encounters more meaningful and fulfilling. The two Greek imperatives were to "know thyself" and to "become what you are (realize your full potential)." Or, as I would say, "Know the gifts that are part of your created nature and apply them in the opportunities that have been sent your way to make the world (or the situations) better." A life well lived, is a contributive life. The purpose of life is not to make a profit; not to become wealthy or successful, but rather, to make your life as a whole, better. Wealth and success are subjective objects that diminish in importance progressively over time. I meet with people each week who have attained those physical objects and are unhappy and unfulfilled; void of meaning. Many others that meet with me had a purpose once, but cannot find purpose now after changes have occurred in their life.
Organizations make the same mistake when they define their objectives solely in terms of profitability and efficiency. Jim Collins, the author of "Good to Great!" did an extensive research project around sustainable companies; those companies that last. They focus their efforts on the people, not the product. They focus on the real objective; growing people, not growing the business. When the right objective is put first, the world changes.
The identification of one's gifts and talents applied to the needs of those encountered and situations one experiences, bringing fulfillment, meaning and joy, to a well -lived life. The right objective brings the right answer. It brings the right actions to achieve the objective.
Reflection: What is the one talent that I can share with those I encounter today?
Examine: When today was I able to share my gift or talents that made things better?