It is tempting to buy-into the notion that our purpose and calling is solely a product of our personal ambition. While our ambitions may well reflect our personal dreams and hopes for the future, often we discover that our true aim is found in service to others, rather than service solely to self. It’s found in those moments when we are invited to stretch beyond our present comfort; to step out of ourselves and into the world, recognizing that we each are part of a larger whole.
Yet living and leading in service to others need not be a black and white proposition. It does not mean martyring ourselves to our causes or abandoning our own dreams in the process. Importantly, the inevitable sacrifice that comes with serving others is not synonymous with abdicating our sense of personal responsibility, whether to ourselves and/or our families.
Rather, it’s about carrying out our work, in whatever form it takes, from a mindset of noble purpose. It’s recognizing that we each have gifts and talents to offer the world that when combined with the gifts of others, can leave a lasting imprint and create a ripple effect far beyond our own personal vision or reach. It’s allowing ourselves to find meaning and glory in the mundane, not just the milestones of personal achievement.
I’m curious to know…
How do you define and distinguish between personal dreams, ambition and living a purpose-driven life? Are they all one and the same? How to you choose to live out your own sense of calling and purpose? For those who are driven by a deep sense of calling, have you ever martyred yourself to the call at the expense of self-care and personal responsibility? How do you navigate the tension between head and heart? How can we better learn to live and lead from a mindset of noble purpose and service to others, regardless of the work we do in the world?
2 thoughts on “On Service, Sacrifice, and Self”
Sharon, your writing is inspiring and compelling. I would love to somehow connect with you. Am in UN Women Champion competition.
Karen Sneha Moawad. Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen — Thank you so much! I’m happy to chat with you and will reach out directly via email. Best of luck with the UN Champion competition. It’s been an incredibly rich and rewarding experience. Sharon