Jewish tradition teaches that every single person has a unique mission and purpose in this world that nobody else- past, present or future- can accomplish. Every single one of us has our very own contribution to make towards humanity. We are each a piece of a massive puzzle, and without us, the world can’t be complete.
The great Torah scholar, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook describes the correct way to view ourselves in relation to the world:
I was created now because the time has come that I am needed to perfect some aspect of the world. If I remain focused on the purpose that I was created, I am worthy, but if not, it is as if I never came onto this world.
Yet, so many of us go through life living without a clue what we are supposed to be doing here. Perhaps, every so often when life gets complicated or at a particularly spiritual moment- maybe around a campfire under the starlit sky listening to the wind blowing through the trees- or when we feel burnt out or bored with life, will we stop and think about it for a moment. But even then, how many people take it to the next level, really contemplating who they are and what their life is really all about?
We spend so much time analyzing every other aspect of life: how to make money, where we should take our next vacation, what kind of car should we buy, but often, the most important question that we can possibly ask ourselves doesn’t get enough of our attention.
Is it possible for any of us to really know with absolute clarity what our unique mission is in this world?
Our Sages teach us that in ancient times if you wanted to know your unique mission you would simply go to your local qualified prophet and he would tell you. And when the era of prophecy ended, there were still many holy people who possessed Ruach Hakodesh, an awareness of the spiritual realms, who could guide us on the path of discovering our mission. However, with the passage of time, our ability to tune in to these higher frequencies has greatly decreased and we are left to our own perceptions to try to figure it out.
One thing that we know: Every one of us are given the tools to discover our mission if we know what we are looking for. Not always can we figure it all out today. New circumstances unfold as life goes on, cluing us in to more and more of what we are here for. But Jewish tradition gives us much guidance to identify the signs along our journey that direct us down the correct path and help us understand where we need to channel our efforts.
In the next few essays, let’s explore some of what the Torah and our Sages teach us about this subject and hopefully it will bring us to greater clarity as to what is our unique role and how we can accomplish our mission.