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New LinkedIn Newsletter for 2023

2023 inset in a maze

My resolution for this coming year is to post a weekly article to LinkedIn on the topic of life purpose. Each article can be accessed at this link:

I will also upload each article to this blog site. However, the articles here will be a couple weeks behind what you can find at LinkedIn. Posting articles here will provide easy access to those individuals who do not use LinkedIn. It will also serve as an archive for my work. Below is my first article of the newsletter.


Is the Second Most Important Day of Your Life in 2023?

As a hospital chaplain and a 988 crisis counselor, I've come to respect the wisdom of the following Mark Twain quote:

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."

Over and over again, I've discovered that the young woman calling into the suicide prevention lifeline at 2 a.m. in the morning has something in common with the elderly gentleman languishing in his hospital bed at 4 p.m. in the afternoon. They both are uncertain about why they are here. I know this empirically because I consistently ask the following question to the people I interact with, "What would you say is the purpose for your life?" And more often than not, they just don't have an answer.

But if I'm honest, how many of us actually have a thoughtful answer to this question? Let me be even more specific. How would you respond to this query if I tossed it your way on a warm day with time to chat? Would you be able to articulate an answer? And if so, would it have the following components? Would it be:

  1. Positive. It has a focus on advancing what is good or beautiful within society.

  2. Authentic. It is thoughtfully and honestly constructed by you. It's not simply a cliché borrowed from the cultural expectations of our current society.

  3. Practical. It encourages actual behaviors that you can carry out on a regular basis.

  4. Individualized. It's tailored to your specific strengths and skill sets.

  5. Situational. It adjusts based on the life stage and limitations you are experiencing within a particular time frame and setting.

  6. Tested. It's been tried out and has held up under trial.

In future articles, I'll dive a bit deeper into each of these components and explore the reasons why finding our purpose should entail each of these aspects. I'll offer some practical tips and suggestions on how we can cultivate purpose and assess whether we're on the right track. Because illustrations are helpful, I'll also provide some relevant examples from my own life and from those of others. Finally, I'll encourage participation from regular readers who want to share their own thoughts and experiences related to this topic.

January calendar page on table

As we begin the new year, I hope you'll join me in contemplating how we can find and engage in a more meaningful life. My purpose is not only to initiate a weekly newsletter on LinkedIn, but also to inspire the discovery of what Mark Twain considered the second most important day of your life--the day you find out why you were born. Perhaps this day will take place in 2023.

(Credits: 2023 maze photo by 愚木混株 cdd20 on Unsplash; January calendar photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash.)

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