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Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Five wishes for purpose in 2012 (donuts included)

By Julie Foudy

I saw this quote on New Year's Day, and I promise it did not come out of a fortune cookie (hence, I'm sorry, but according to non-fortune cookie etiquette, you cannot add "in bed" to the end of it).

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose." -- Robert Byrne

Amen to that.

But how does one define purpose? Making money? Raising happy, healthy kids? Discovering the cure to a disease? Having a job you enjoy? Getting from Point A to Point B? Being able to recite the Pythagorean theorem?

I am no philosopher, but I like to pretend to be one on special occasions. Cue: special occasion. For this article, "purpose" will be defined as meaningful action, and "meaningful" will be defined as actions that are meaningful to you (because the New Year is, indeed, about personal reflection). Gosh, being a philosopher is fun.

So, in honor of ringing in a new year filled with purpose and meaningful action, and because I think the term "New Year's resolutions" is so 1980s, here are my five wishes for purpose in the New Year:

• 1. Be present ... in work, with kids, at home. Wherever I am, I will be there. (Which reminds me of one of my favorite deep quotes: "Wherever you go, there you are.")

• 2. Be grateful ... and pass it on.

• 3. Be courageous ... explore, grow, try new things, take risks. Be comfortable with uncomfortable.

• 4. Be generous ... give back, help friends, help communities. Serve.

• 5. Be silly ... be me.

Be present. Be grateful. Be courageous. Be generous. Be silly. Oh, and eat lots of donuts; they are good for the soul. Here's to a life of purpose in 2012.

OK, your turn. What are your five wishes for purpose in the New Year? Pass them on.