Discovering Your Purpose
When we are born, our lives are a clean slate and the possibilities for what we can become are endless. The early foundations that are set for us can either put us on a path to realizing our potential or hinder us from achieving our true greatness, depending on the circumstances. Fortunately for me, I experienced the former. Throughout my childhood, I was supported by my parents and grandmother in whatever endeavor I chose to pursue. Whether it be writing, music, theater, public speaking or band, there was never a time that I looked out into the seats and didn’t see a smiling proud face looking back at me.
As we grow through our teens and adult years, the responsibility for discovering our own self worth and purpose starts to lie within ourselves. We have made mistakes along the way that have caused us to alter our life course, to attempt to become the person that we believe that we want to be. From those mistakes we build foundations, one brick at a time, that will see us through to adulthood and beyond. As we search for our purpose in those years, opportunities will come and go until we eventually find the place where we are supposed to be. When that happens we know it, because we feel it in our hearts and it consumes the very fiber of our being.
For me, that moment was walking into my grandmother’s senior community for the first time. It had taken me 53 years to get to the point that I discovered my purpose. When it finally arrived, it showed itself with no reservation. From the first delivery of cards I made to my grandmother’s community, I knew that my reason for being was finally showing itself and the path that I was supposed to take became very clear. Along the way there would be trials and tribulations, but every step of the journey would make the endeavor stronger and better than the year before.
When I founded the Bring Smiles to Seniors program, I said that I had a little dream that I hoped would one day become a big reality. I remember being so excited in our first year when we delivered 7,719 cards to senior communities all around the Tampa Bay area. When that number grew to 18,180 then 40,515 and eventually 71,586 in subsequent years, the validation of my purpose become even more clear. Then the year 2020 came.
This week the Bring Smiles to Seniors program delivered its 100,000th card for the year. More than we did in the first three years combined. Along this journey, I have met some of the most amazing people that have shown compassion, love and caring. They are the epitome of the kind of selflessness that makes the world a better place. I assembled an incredible team of people who give tirelessly of their time to run the program. We have made almost 1,000 deliveries to senior communities across the county and in other parts of the world. All along staying true to our purpose to bring smiles to seniors, one card, one smile at a time.
I am lucky that I discovered my purpose in the middle of my life. That means that hopefully I get many years to continue to experience the joy of that purpose. No matter what stage in life we discover it, when it happens we know. Our heart and mind will tell us and we will feel it in our soul. Never give up your dream of finding your purpose. When you do, and I know you will, it is then that an abundant life really begins.