What’s your purpose?

The quality of our life depends on the quality of the seeds that lie deep in our consciousness. ~Thich Nhat Hanh from Understanding Our Mind

what's your purpose? ~d nelson

what’s your purpose? ~d nelson

In this most rare & wonderful life
what shall be our aspiration, dear ones?
This is food for thought
to be contemplated slowly.
Perhaps after an hour or two
of slowly ripening
please let me know.

Are you a do-er,
a be-ing,
a dream-er,
a musician,
an instrument,
awaiting a bath,
or rejoicing being
part of something much bigger?

Aside from enjoying
the wonders of life,
what is your purpose, dear one?


49 thoughts on “What’s your purpose?

  1. Marty

    Purpose Matthew Ricard opines,
    Is to be happy

    Since happiness is not a
    Birth right our
    Purpose is to
    Enough energy to find happy

  2. jurnul

    I would hope to be most like a blooming lotus, my consciousness slowly unfolding and expanding, as I continue to understand myself and surroundings.

  3. Carol A. Hand

    I love the beauty and elegance of this reminder about what is really important in life, David. Chi miigwetch for a lovely way to greet another morning 🙂

  4. Michael

    I cannot be more specific today, than to say that after some reflection, my purpose is to give away my heart. At times, the world can feel a place at odds with this purpose– a place too cruel to allow this to occur safely, a place too distracted to even receive it, a place too practiced and dogmatic to accept my heart’s validity. But these are the flawed perceptions, the obstacles, that are healing… as bit by bit, and breath by breath, I discover places such as this one, where I can reflect upon and share such things, and in doing so feel the fulfillment of our deepest purpose…


    1. smilecalm Post author

      such a sweet life’s purpose, Michael!
      i’m honored to take this position
      of humbly & purposely
      receiving your truths,
      david 🙂

  5. milliethom

    Your lovely post makes us all consider what is important in life, and the list of purposes on your placard are all excellent. If asked to pick one, I’d veer towards the spreading of a little happiness to others. Your picture of the blooming lotus flower is so beautiful. and certainly spreads happiness to me.

  6. Sonnische

    It’s complicated, I read this post several hours ago, and I took your suggestion to let it ripen in my mind. Today I did my Metta Sutta and Heart Sutra recitations and the 108 repetitions of the mantra, and I thought of those in need, including family and friends and friends of friends, revered and respected ones, problem folk, and on and on as we do. I tried to be kind in my conversations, and I worked on some writing for a professional project. I also had set goals to go to my garden, sit in the shade by the community pool, and cook, and they never happened. I chose to forgo them all to accommodate one of those I knew was in need, and it felt that it didn’t help. I felt better meditating than I did interacting. I sat and worked on the writing a while more. It is a process. Thank you, David, for your efforts here.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      I’m grateful to hear of your taking the time to find an answer that reflects how things are now, Sunny! Nice to stretch out our usual quick, non-contemplative reaction. Later things may be quite different for you. Your aspiration of being of benefit to others makes me smile 🙂

      1. Sonnische

        You were right! The rest of the day went well and I did get to my garden, the troubled one felt himself again, and I got a great night’s sleep! My purpose is to live now, be in it, be fully here for it, however it is. A lotus for you, 🙏

  7. susanenholm32

    My purpose? To give and guide – give my time, money, skills, intuition, knowledge, and much more to people, animals, insects, plants, environment, community, and world. I’m busy as my purposes are many. I was amused when my son described me as Fire and Nice.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      i’m so happy to be aware of your offerings
      of gifts to beings in need, susanenholm32!
      may your son & others feel your support
      & generosity while offering it back to you 🙂

  8. Vicki

    These days my purpose seems to be in sharing what I observe in the natural world around me and reminding people of the blessings we all take for granted. I also support several people with severe and chronic health conditions and hopefully offer words of comfort and understanding (of what it’s like to have that heavy weight of physical suffering). Not many people understand what it’s like to have your life turned upside down and everything you once loved and knew, now gone. One needs to be reminded to focus and be thankful for what one does have , not on what one has not.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      I’m touched by your strength, Vicki
      in transforming pain into powerful healing
      for yourself & others.
      Everyone need help
      and may they receive
      what they need 🙂

  9. harulawordsthatserve

    A big question, one I sit with often, though I haven’t yet found a definitive answer. I do know it involves expanding my understanding of ‘self’ until there is no separation between me and any other being, and therefore my fears no longer insidiously involve themselves in my motivations/actions, and any service I offer is sourced from a place that is an infinite positive feedback loop. H xxx

  10. niasunset

    to have a well experienced life voyage. Because at the end we will be gone from this stage, but what will we leave behind us… To be an human is not easy, and not like all other creatures… Human is something should improve himself from the first day to this earth… 🙂 My big voyage to myself… my purpose to complet my job, my inner voice carries me or keeping me on my own path… Kindness, rightness, and love in peace… I have to learn, I have to take lessons from all my mistakes, and also all about life events, I should build myself… till to die… never I can say I did, I completed…
    Something like that dear Smile, sorry for my language, I feel I couldn’t explain enough my thoughts. Thank you, love, nia

    1. smilecalm Post author

      your images & words
      clearly express a heart filled with compassion for yourself & others.
      I admire how yours
      is a life well lived, dear nia 🙂

    1. smilecalm Post author

      sounds special & challenging
      to generate the energy of equanimity, patrissia,
      holding the difficulties
      while playing in the joys & happiness!
      wishing you balanced success 🙂

  11. marga t.

    some mornings it seems simple –
    to love myself radically –
    which softens my belly
    and opens my heart showing
    that my love of self
    is boundless to EVERYthing that crosses my awareness
    including smile calm and
    the beauty who joined with the sculpture art (above). xo!

  12. francisguenette

    To be or not to be – is that the question?
    Get busy living or get busy dying – maybe
    Go joyfully amid the noise and haste – for sure
    Live every day as if it is your last – hard to maintain such a pace
    Not having a plan is planning to fail – don’t make me cringe
    Jesus says love one another as I have loved you – noble
    Altruism is hard, life is short, time’s a wasting
    What is my purpose, dear friend?
    I must go for a walk on my recovering sore knee and figure out what I think.

  13. greenlakeblue

    Ahh… the perpetual question. With such a beautiful poem almost know the answer. I figure out that there is no purpose. We live one moment after the other to the best of our current ability. Perhaps the purpose is in everything we do/think/feel whilst in this life time. The principal purpose is the one to be alive.
    Very interesting 🙂


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