January 11, 2021

Minute read

Why One Small Choice is the Secret to Discovering Your Purpose

Your purpose is important. We’ve heard and read about it ad nauseam .

But is it anything more than some self-help guru’s shtick? 

Some may advise that purpose is simply living the life that you desire — a life that brings you sustained joy and contentment. Others may say that it is the why of your existence, what gets you out of bed each morning, aside from that adenosine blocking cuppa joe! 

While I think both of these approaches have value, they are missing the practical, and essential element that I find, makes all the difference. 

I see purpose as the answer to the question, “if you had your druthers, what would your life look like,” combined with, each and every choice, activation, and decision you make over the course of your life.

You see, establishing that guiding star of “if I had my druthers…”, is transformative because it shepherds us forward and toward a destination. It often embodies our passion, and even gives us a little pressure to realize it. 

But without action, your “druthers” are just a dream.

It’s each and every step that you take, whether it leads you toward or away from that vision, that really matters.

Those micro-choices, or micro-activations, are the most important ingredient in your purpose recipe. 

Over time, those small choices form neuropathways and, as we do them consistently, become habits. As they do, they have the power to shift and mold our purpose. 

The trap that many of us fall into is that we fail to assess whether the micro-activations we integrate into our daily existence are helping us grow nearer to our druthers.  

So it goes both ways with the grand vision of our purpose inextricably intertwined with our daily decisions and actions. 

When I think about pursuing my purpose, I imagine I’m nurturing a garden. 

When we set out to plant a garden, we have a broad idea of how we’d like the end product to look and what we’d like it to produce. We might even draw out the plot of land and sketch in where we’d like to plant the tomatoes, cucumbers, and kale. 

Yet, there are two things that may cause our garden to become less than what we’d imagined. 

First is pure naïvetée. A lack of experience, knowledge, or foresight can often mar our good intentions and take us off course. Perhaps we failed to recognize that our dill plant grows wildly and needs room to roam, or that the lettuce should not be alongside the tomatoes. 

Although it’s not fun, with a little patience, re-planting, and education, it’s easy enough to get things back on track.

The second is far more detrimental: inconsistency. 

A vision and good intentions is not enough. Inconsistency in our activations leads to a garden run amok. The same is true with our purpose.

Just like our garden, our purpose can thrive, flower, and bear us great fruit, however, it requires daily TLC, patience, and attention to do so. We must keep a keen eye on where we would like to arrive, and take daily action to get there to ultimately experience the great joy our purpose promises. 

Our daily actions act like a centripetal force, serving as the inertia, drawing us to our purpose, and keeping the plates spinning. 

The best part of our purpose is that, much like our garden, we can change it if we choose. And it’s never too late to start planting.

So perhaps it’s time to give yours a look-see. 

If you had your druthers, what would your life look like?

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About the Author: Laura Araujo

Laura Araujo is the co-founder of The MAPS Institute, a classically trained vocalist, and a practitioner of Ashtanga, classic Indian yoga. She is the creator of the MAPS (Mindfulness, Activation, Purpose, and Surrender) philosophy and is in continual pursuit of helping her students find balance amid the chaos around and within them.

Dr. Friedman earned his doctorate in Psychology for New York University and received Post-Doctoral Training in Psychoanalysis for the Training and research institute for Self Psychology in New York City. He worked as an eating disorders psychotherapist at the esteemed Renfrew Center of New York and is on the Faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. For more than 10 years he has worked as a psychologist with adults, couples and Families. As his practice has evolved, it became clear to him that something was missing from traditional psychotherapeutic approaches. Curiosity and a chance meeting led him to discover the word of Nutritional Psychology, which teaches that many psychological issues are caused or made worse by underlying biochemical/ nutritional deficiencies. Further exploration led him to the practice of yoga, with its emphasis on breathing, meditation and movement for emotional centering. To enhance his effectiveness in helping patients to heal and grow, he became certified as Holistic Health Counselor at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. To go deeper into the hidden physical causes of mental health symptoms, he has studied with nutritional mental health leaders, Dr. William Walsh and Julia Ross. Additionally, Dr. Friedman became a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and is close to becoming a “Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner” through Functional Medicine University. Dr. Friedman’s practice in Omaha, Nebraska offers integrative psychotherapy services which combines the healing power of insight-oriented psychotherapy with education about lifestyle and nutritional tools that have shown scientific efficacy in improving mental health symptoms. He also has a telehealth business, Alternative Mental Health Solution, that offers functional medicine help for people with mental health issues in the US and around the world. Click here to visit his site.


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