On Finding Purpose, Using Sandwiches
Updated: Jan 30
Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.
- Elizabeth Gilbert
Often considered a perfect food by yours truly, as it can contain all you need for sustenance for your day - carbs, protein, and veggies.
Have you ever considered that your purpose can be a lot like a sandwich?
Me neither, until this morning.
Bear with me, dear reader.
Countless conversations have been flowing around lately about finding purpose and living your passion.
This has provided a lot of stressors in my world, as I do not have a set PURPOSE or PASSION that I know of. Yes, I have hobbies and things that set my soul on fire, but there is not one thing that I could do day after day, talk about ad nauseam, and preach from the hilltops.
There are many things.
So whenever someone starts to speak, read, or be about passion and purpose, I kind of shrink into the background and think I am a failure.
But, if this is you, you are not a failure.
Instead, you have the opportunity to explore so many things! To be of use in many areas!
It can mean that you wander around aimlessly, oh, dear artistic souls, I feel you here...but what it can mean is an opportunity to explore what sets your soul on fire and apply that to your life.
Over the course of a few decades and also a few days, an idea lept into mind (thank you Universe).
As an artistic soul with many passions, I can have all of these things, however, I need to put blinders on. The world is a very sparkly, distracting place, and whenever another person is encountered that has a beaming passion in an area of life, I tend to follow that sparkle. That sparkle has turned into an attempt for me to become that passion too.
I carry passion around like scarves, changing them to match my moods and my habits.
But having this as an MO is not harmful if harnessed.
Enter the sandwich. This morning, I was considering all of this. *she says with dramatic gestures to the room*
And it occurred to me that composing a passion can be like composing a sandwich. Also -> YUM! I love a good sandwich.
First, you have your bread, then your sauce, then protein, then additions.
Let's break it down:
If you are distracted by the sparkly, the image above may be helpful.
The Bread = Blinders to Your Purpose: This is what keeps you focused. Maybe it is owning a business, or helping others, or having fun. Whatever mantra/saying/guide that keeps you focused goes on the bread. This keeps you focused in this sparkly world. For me, it is several things which I broke down into an acronym to keep me focused. The acronym is LEAF - and this stands for Love, Ease, Align, and Fun. Each of those words ties to a deeper meaning for me which align with my goal in this lifetime. This became a really easy way for me to include multiple things, but to not get overwhelmed. Notice: It is not one specific thing, but a vibe I am hoping to set as I move through this world.
The Sauce = Keeping It Together: What is it in your life that keeps you focused and grounded? For some it may be God, or Universe, or a Muse. For some it may be family. The sauce is what holds you together. This is the place you go when you are needing inspiration or needing guidance. The sauce truly makes everything else stick in your life.
The Protein = Meaningful Work: In the United States, we are fantastic at working. Overworking that is. The hustle has been brought and we don't know how to get out of it entirely. Given that the pandemic has made us realize how to value work-life awareness, are we there yet? As with work in the United States, we also focus on eating a LOT of protein in our lives. However, we tend to overdo this as well. Protein is absolutely essential in our diet for building and repairing tissues, and it forms the building blocks of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood, hair, and nails. Yet, Harvard's School of Public Health reminds us that the average adult needs only 7 grams per 20 lbs of body weight. If you weigh 140 lbs, then you need only about 50 grams of protein per day. Note: This depends upon your lifestyle, health goals, etc. Returning to the needs of your body and your life, the protein of this sandwich model represents the meaningful work in your life. Not a job, necessarily, though that may be where your focus is on the meaningful, but what work do you do in this life that is meaningful? Don't overdo it on the work thing, as there is more to life, and your purpose may not be found in your work or entirely in your work. Be open to the idea that you can work a job and still have a purpose outside of that job you use to pay your bills. And remember, you may need less actual work than you think!
The Toppings = Hobbies/Other Pursuits: This is an area to consider where parts of your purpose may actually dwell. Here is where you give your time to pursue things that give you joy. The topics are often the veggies on a sandwich, thus they are vibrant, colorful, and juicy. This analogy is helpful to me, as it reminds me of where my fun lies. It lies in racing my bike, reading, drawing, writing, and being outside. These are the vibrant parts of my world. These other pursuits make us well-rounded and often provide the zest for our lives. While on the surface, these pursuits may not seem as though they connect to a greater purpose, they DO connect to a greater purpose, as they make US better, and when we are better, we can serve the world better.
Above is the Sandwich of Purpose. While you may have one driving force in your life that gets you moving, chances are you have several things that make up your purpose. The sandwich reminds us that we can have a life of purpose and passion that is created by many, different layers.
These layers connect and add to the greater purpose of your world.
The next time that you feel you may not have a 'purpose' or a passion, consider the Sandwich of Purpose, and the layers that make up your vibrant, grounded, spicy place in our world.
**Aside: When considering purpose, it would be remiss to not mention a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on the matter on Oprah's Super Soul Sundays. Gilbert is a beautiful example of someone with that ONE driving purpose, which she refers to as a jackhammer - to write. In this talk, she addresses the concept that others are more like hummingbirds, and they have multiple avenues to purpose.