Finding your purpose in your propósitos

Last night I went to a dance class in a gym, jam-packed full of people diligently working hard towards their New Year’s resolutions: to exercise more, lose weight, eat better. We want to be healthy, happy, more wholesome. Dancing salsa makes me happy first, and the healthy exercise comes as an extra perk!

Cali salsa
Dancing salsa in Cali, Colombia. Photo credit: Carrie Cifuentes

A New Year’s resolution is el propósito de Año Nuevo in Spanish. Propósito also means “purpose”. You must intentionally work towards accomplishing your goals, doing the right steps on purpose. It doesn’t have to be a struggle, though, a battle of the will to hit the gym. I like thinking of my goals or propósitos as being part of my purpose, or life vocation: el propósito de mi vida.

Make your goals centered on your life purpose, and you will find that accomplishing them comes more fluidly, more naturally—because the flow of doing what you are called to do in life is a swift-moving current.

Have you been caught behind an eddy? Allow yourself the time to catch your breath and analyze if you’re flowing in the right direction. Mainstream might not be best suited for you. Maybe it’s time to chart out a new course.

San Cipriano river
Crystal-clear river in San Cipriano, Colombia. Photo credit: Carrie Cifuentes

What drives my passion in my work is that it is purpose-driven. I am selective about working with clients who are also mission-driven, not profit-driven, and whose cause I care about. To my clients: thank you for the work you do!

I could choose to work for the marketing division of a giant corporation that seeks profit at the expense of people and the planet. Instead, I translate my values into action. I translate for programs and organizations that channel a few pennies back into the pockets of producers (shared value, fair trade), that plant trees for ecosystem benefits instead of only cash crop trees (sustainability, environmental health), and that refuse to purchase commodities operated under violence, slavery, or environmental degradation (ethical sourcing, human rights).

I grieve for the violence, injustice, and destruction that the military-industrial-corporate complex afflicts upon our world; I mourn for the innocent souls crushed under this greed.

To restore my own soul, I seek to breathe the fresh airs of change being enacted by innumerable, relatively invisible initiatives all striving for a healthier, happier, more wholesome future.

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