Written by Jimmie Burroughs
Why am I here? Having a purpose and a calling in life fulfils our purpose for being on earth. Sometimes a calling drives men into some of the oddest and most unusual situations; one such is Richard Proenneke:
For more than 30 years Richard Louis “Dick” Proenneke lived alone in the high mountain wilderness of Alaska at a place called Twin Lakes. He felt that his calling and purpose in life was to be a naturalist. He constructed by hand his own log cabin, using primitive hand tools and the natural materials available. Over the period of 30 years Proenneke made valuable recordings of both meteorological and natural data.
On May 21, 1968, Proenneke arrived at his new home; he made arrangements to use a cabin, belonging to retired Navy captain, Spike Carrither and Hope his wife from Kodiak, on the upper lake of Twin Lakes. The cabin was close to the lake and close to the site where Proenneke chose to build his own cabin. Proenneke’s had a friend in Alaska who was a bush pilot, Babe Alsworth, he would return occasionally to bring food and supplies which Proenneke had ordered through him.
After 16 months Proenneke left to go home for a visit with relatives and to secure more supplies. He returned to the lakes the following spring and remained there mostly for the next 30 years only leaving occasionally to visit relatives in the lower 48. The film record of his solitary life would later be used to put together a documentary, “Alone in the Wilderness” and was shown on many public television stations. It was one of the most informative and interesting commentaries I’ve ever seen. In 1973, Sam Keith wrote the book “One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey”, based on Proenneke’s journals and photography.
In 1999, at age 82, Proenneke returned to California and lived the remainder of his life with his brother. On April 20, 2003 at the age of 86 he died of a stroke. He left his cabin to the National Park Service, and it remains a popular visitor attraction in the still-remote Twin Lakes region. 
I know that my calling is not to live a solitary life like Richard Proenneke lived. Our purposes are different but we all have one; it only needs to be discovered.
Too often we mistake making money as our purpose. While earning a living is an important part of our existence, it is only a catalyst that enables us to fulfill our true calling. The question that often arises is how do we find our purpose or our calling? The answer is: it lies deep within you and only you can answer the question. Here are a few guidelines that might help you to decide:
- What are the things that you like to talk about mostly aside from the ordinary daily conversation on who won the ball game or what the weather is like?
- What is the one thing that makes you feel the very best and I’m not talking about sex but purpose?
- What kind of things are you most interested in learning and reading about?
- What are your gifts?
- Do you like to help others and if so in what ways?
- What are you most excited about in life?
- What do you like to do?
- What are things which you do well?
You may not be able to answer all these questions at first; it may take some living and experience for them to be revealed. Proenneke was over fifty before he was able to embark upon his calling but he had over 30 years to complete that purpose.
The primary thing is to realize that there is a purpose for your life that only you can discover and fulfill, then make it your priority to discover it and to develop it.
From Wikipedia.com, the free encyclopedia
I have great confidence in the progress you are going to make.
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