Humans focus so much on the learning and growing that they forget the art of being. They focus so much on striving against one another that they forget they were made for loving one another. Humans were made to learn and grow. Dogs were made to just be. But both were made to love unconditionally. From Dharma’s point of view, people would be a lot better off if they learned to just be and to focus on loving unconditionally. Humans needed to simplify things and stop making everything so complicated.
Everyone is unique and must go through their own unique process and circumstances to find and live their calling. However, one thing is certain: Everyone will go through four stages as their purpose unfolds in their life. The stages unfold at different times for each person, and the duration of each stage depends on each person’s unique purpose and journey. But the one constant is that everyone must go through four stages to find and live their purpose. The process doesn’t care what age you are or what your vocation is or what school you went to. Its only concern is for your growth into the person you are meant to be.
Stage #1 Preparation
It is a stage that lasts until a person decides to plant his or her seed. It is the stage of preparation. The preparation stage includes your birth, the family you were born into, your weaknesses and strengths, gifts, passions, the place you were born, and the experiences, challenges, and the lessons you have learned throughout your life that prepare you to be planted.
The preparation stage prepares you for the planting stage. It helps you find the right place to plant. It prepares you to be planted, and it often presents a defining moment that prompts you to decide where to be planted. Did you have a defining moment?
it might be a crisis, an illness, a moment of prayer, advice from a friend or stranger, a positive feeling, a conviction in your heart, or a sign that lets every cell in your body know what you are supposed to do. Regardless of what the defining moment is, it is a moment when you decide to plant yourself where you are.
Stage #2 Planting
Everyone must embark on a quest to find their purpose. It’s the one thing in life that truly matters, and if you don’t pursue it, everything else is meaningless. The journey is not easy. It’s filled with mystery, challenges, obstacles, and dead ends—much like this maze. But if you are willing to follow the path and learn from wrong turns and keep moving forward, even when you want to give up, you will eventually find the right place to plant your seed.
During the planting stage, you realize it’s not about what others want you to be. It’s not even about what you want yourself to be. It’s about what you were created to be. Now, with that said, different people find their purposes at different times. Some decide to plant themselves when they are younger and others make this decision when they are older. Unfortunately, some never plant themselves, and they live a meaningless existence.
Stage #3 Growth
It is this stage that makes you unique and provides you with the characteristics that determine what you will grow into and become. During this stage, you will likely experience adversity of some kind that prepares you for your calling.
You will also experience events that help you soar to new heights, but you will also face adversity and challenges that strengthen your roots. You will experience nourishment that helps you grow in order to reach the final stage. And you will be pruned like a bush and experience things that appear to be setbacks but are really designed to help you fully grow into all you are meant to become. You will experience moments when you say, ‘I can do this’ and ‘I’m on the right path, and don’t give up. Follow your heart and follow the signs, and you will find where to plant the seed.
Remember, your purpose and faith must be greater than the opinions of others. You will also face the naysayer within. The critic inside you is far more dangerous and adept at crushing your dreams than anyone else: ‘Who am I to be leading others? Who am I to be doing this work. Who am I to be in this position of influence you might ask yourself?’ And during these times, your passion and desire to make a difference must overcome your fear and self-doubt. Also remember that God’s thoughts are greater than your thoughts and God’s plan for your life is greater than your plans. Trust more in God’s plan than your own limited thinking and you’ll accomplish more than you ever thought possible. You don’t have to be great to make a difference. You just have to serve with great desire, and if you do, God will help you overcome your doubts, bless you and bless through you so you can be a blessing to others.
Stage #4 Harvest
This is the stage where you reap the harvest you have sown with your seed. During the harvest stage, your purpose becomes so clear you can say it in a simple sentence.
When you reach the harvest stage, you are able to look back and see how all the stages are connected. Your past prepares you to be planted. You plant yourself so you can grow. You grow so you can produce a harvest that will produce fruit. And your fruit produces seeds in others that change lives. The duration of the stages may be different for each person, but the cycle is the same. The cycle has a purpose. You plant yourself so that you can reap a harvest that will help others become all they are meant to be. The cycle then begins in others who are willing to plant themselves where they are so they in turn can produce a harvest for others.
It’s a time of great abundance. During the harvest, there is nothing you lack. You give, you give, and you give, and you are replenished. What you give comes back to you exponentially. You produce much fruit in the form of benefits to others and to the world, and in turn this fruit becomes a seed for others to plant.
The seed must surrender its own vision and desires as it is placed in the ground. It must die to itself so it can give life to something greater—something that will rise up from the ground and grow beyond its humble origin. Whether you work for a company, a hospital, or a school, whether you’re an entrepreneur, an athlete, an artist, a singer, or a stay-at-home parent, whatever role you have in life, you decide to plant yourself where you are and you decide to become all you can be in the service of others.