Why is finding your life’s purpose important? This is my immediate thought:
Because if you do not find your purpose, someone will define your purpose for you. Usually, this will suit their purpose. Not yours.
Another thought is that if you do not know your life’s purpose, perhaps you will always think and act life out like you perceive other people expect of you.
Do you want to live a fuller life? Instead of rolling out of bed thinking, “Here I go again,” you jump out of bed with, “Here I go again!”
Begin to ask yourself: “What is my purpose for being here?”
“What makes me tick?”
“Is this all there is to life?”
“What do I really want?”
And finally, “What is my life’s purpose?”
Let’s begin with what is life purpose? Your reason for being? What makes your heart beat every time you think about it or experience it?
Life: the experience of being alive (Cambridge dictionary).
A definition of purpose that I like, “Purpose is the place you’re your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner)
I am amazed that we expect kids to discover their life purpose by 18-20 years old. And yet, so many of them are already clear on their reason for being; they are studying and are driven to meet their perception of the world’s needs: nurses, biochemists, doctors, tour guides, plumbers, engineers, parenting, teaching, military service, etc. My own children are clear on their purpose. Many of my former students are in their early 20’s, just finishing up college. I am amazed at their clear understanding of how it is they want to serve the world. I also run into some of the ones who are not sure what they want to do. I am okay with that as well. As long as they continue to search their heart and use their mind purposefully, they will find their way. I’m sure of it.
What makes one, say, a better doctor than another? Would you want a doctor who is living his or her life purpose or a doctor who is in the profession to support a lifestyle choice? It would be my hope that the person who is repairing my heart has experienced a deep joy in the work being performed, as opposed to thinking about how my heart is going to help with that trip to Europe. (Just for the record, I do not need heart surgery.)
One of the beautiful professions that I have witnessed life purpose being played out is in educating children. I know many teachers who go the extra mile to make sure students are completely engaged, spending weekends sitting at their own kids’ ball games grading papers, and using the summer break to learn more themselves. That is a teacher living his/her life purpose; always going the extra mile.
How do we go about finding our life purpose? Are you willing to put in some hard work to discover your purpose? What would happen if you are led to some drastic (positive) changes that would reshape your destiny? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live your life with passion every day knowing you are making a contribution to the world that only you can make; for there is no one else like you.
Remember, we get one shot at this life. We are here to play BIG! If you feel you are wasting your time, or worse yet, your life, you are playing small. We really don’t have time for that.
I offer some suggestions to get your mind thinking and your heart beating while discerning your life purpose. Keep an open mind and be prepared for whatever answer comes to your mind. Ask yourself, “if I had all the money in the world, how would I spend my time?”
What is your idea of the most perfect day?
What sets your soul on fire?
You ‘just can’t wait’ to do what?
What do you tell yourself you will do when you retire? Shouldn’t you already be doing that? We are not guaranteed retirement; the time is now to live your life purpose.
Still having trouble coming up with your purpose? What did you dream of as a child? When did you feel the most joyful?
Before becoming a practical adult, what did you hope for the most? When did you laugh the hardest?
The great gift is when you truly sit with these questions and write whatever comes to your mind, no matter how outrageous it might seem to you. When you put it all together, you will see a long-buried dream come to light. Or not, perhaps it is a new purpose that arises! Go with it! You haven’t felt this excited or have this much energy in a long time! You are ready to set your life purpose in motion!
When you are walking down the street and a stranger introduces herself to you and asks, “What do you do to change the world?”
You will be quick to answer, “I live my life’s purpose every day.”
Be assured, my next questions will be, “And what is that, specifically?”
I found one of those on-line quizzes that you take and then the results tell you what your life purpose is. I posted it on my Facebook page (You.Empowered Services). My results? Turns out my life purpose is to grow spiritually. I was amazed. I have spent a large amount of time, energy, and reading that has resulted in just that! I do not know that I would have named it as a life purpose, but given the definition above, it fits perfectly. Grow spiritually, how specifically? I cannot adequately express the love and joy I feel doing what I do.
Coaching people as they invite me into their story to help them sort out a particular chapter that has them stuck in their life, career, and/or dream. It is the greatest gift to watch them discover an even more wonderful them and then continue to write (live) their story. Often times the discovery leads to a renewed life purpose. I recognize I am the living vessel allowing God to work through me. This is living my life purpose – meeting the world’s needs with a happy, joyful heart!
Until next week, keep meeting the world’s needs through your purpose in life.