Good day and welcome back! Today we are continuing our discussion on creating the life we want. Yesterday’s post The 3 things you absolutely need to know in order to begin creating the life you want discussed the necessity of knowing how to set boundaries by recognizing limits. In order to create the life we want we need to recognize our limits (boundaries). The only way to recognize our limits is to know our purpose, vision and mission. This article will discuss how to discover your purpose.
The first thing to realize is that your purpose is not a mystery. Many times we get the idea that our God-given purpose is this huge thing that carries immense weight and has so much cosmic-size impact that we get a little shy about it. We also get the idea that our purpose is somehow designed to evade us. That our job is to seek it out and its job is to run and hide. I would like to present a slightly different idea:
If you genuinely want to know your purpose then you can. The One who designed you created you to succeed. Your success is in His best interest and understanding your purpose is part of that success. I like to say it like this: Your purpose is not a mystical creature hidden away in some far off forest in a mythical land. Your purpose is not a unicorn. You are your purpose! You are the unicorn! LOL!!
1. You are not looking for your purpose. You are your purpose.
2. You have been designed to succeed so your purpose is in line with your interest, dreams, and passions.
3. Your purpose is as unique as you are.
4. Your purpose will be a passion, not a project. Meaning that your purpose will be described as an impact rather than a task. Example: Building houses is not a person’s purpose. This is a task or project. There is a reason why this person builds houses. A passion. That passion is part of their purpose. They would be happy working on any task that allows them to address their purpose.
Now, grab something to write with and let’s dive in.
One of the main indicators of your purpose are your childhood dreams. What did you dream about doing as a child? Why were you so drawn to this? Why did you envision yourself this way? Remember, the initial information that your memory provides might be project or task focused: Doctor, Singer, Baseball player. These tasks though, would be motivated by a goal or desire that is “other-centered”. Unless you suffer from a mental health challenge, like narcissism, you most likely wanted to better the life or circumstances of others. Your dream was other-centered. What did you want for others? What impact did you feel being a photographer or school teacher would allow you to make? Maybe you didn’t envision yourself helping people directly, like nursing, but may indirectly like art or writing. Or maybe you envisioned yourself helping people in the future or on the other side of the world instead of people in your community. Take some time and let your younger self talk to you. They are still in there entertained by these childhood dreams and can share a lot with you, if you want to know and understand.
Another major indicator of your purpose are the things that upset you. Think of a situation where a lack of know how or insight would irritate you. A situation that seems simple to you but difficult or unimportant to others. When you walk into the room what problems do you notice? The answers to these questions are not your purpose. They are clues to problems that you naturally recognize and can solve. Every person was designed to solve a problem. Again, that problem is not a task. It is a passion. For instance: The problem isn’t disorganized furniture. The problem is a missed opportunity for people to connect and feel heard and seen. The poor use of space and furniture is deeply frustrating because it gets in the way of connection.
The last indicator that we will discuss in this article is regarding space. What do you do with extra unaccounted for space. Whether its extra space in your mind (what do you think about when you are alone with nothing to do?) extra space in your finances ( what do you do or intend to do with extra money) extra space in your relationships (what do you seek to do with others just to hang out) These answers will help you to discover your purpose. The key to getting insight from these questions is doing the work. You have to keep asking yourself why until you know you are at the core motivation. This called w. o. r. k. It takes work to unearth any valuable item and you are not exception. To know your self and to be who you are requires that you unearth yourself.
Take your time with these questions and answer them as honestly as you can. There is no need to rush. Just do not abandon your desire to know and understand yourself.
I have written my purpose many times and each time I loved it and felt that it wasn’t quite there yet.
My first statement was a quote I found:
I would like to learn, or remember, how to live. by Annie Dillard
The most recent iteration of my purpose statement is:
My purpose is to help leaders inspire growth in other leaders.
This one fits the best but it may not be finished just yet. That’s the thing. Your statement will change and grow as you get to know and understand yourself. That’s ok! We can only do what we know to do until we know more. I encourage you to get busy with what you know now and continue to learn.
When Jesus told the parable of the talents he said that everyone who made more from what they were given would be given more and the one who hid his gift would have his taken away. The point is: don’t wait. Never wait. Do something with what you have.
Tomorrows article will be a little more about purpose, just to offer clarity and further your exploration. Then we will talk about vision!
See you then!