Finding Your Purpose
Have you ever questioned why you are here? That’s the question all of humanity has been pondering since the beginning of history, isn’t it? What is this all about? What is the meaning of life? What part do I play in this whole “life” thing? Is there such a thing as purpose? If so, what is MY purpose? Do I even have a purpose?
Most people go through their entire lives and never realize the full potential of their purpose. I would like to offer those of you reading this the opportunity to explore your purpose. First, though, I would like to look at a couple of things that your purpose is not.
- Your purpose is not someone else’s purpose. You are unique. You have a unique purpose. While there may be others who can do the same things as you, none of them can do those things quite the same way you do. I remember eating dinner as a kid. My mom made the best meatloaf on the planet! After I got married, I attempted to make meatloaf for dinner one night. It actually turned out to be edible, but it definitely wasn’t moms! It turns out that lots of people can make meatloaf, but none of them can make it like my mother.
Many of you can relate to this. You have a similar story. You had a great boss at one of your early jobs. They took you under their wing and mentored you. You came to expect that this was how it was going to be everywhere you worked. You soon realized that while a lot of people can lead, not everyone will be a mentor and take the time to really help you develop.
You are the same. There may be many people who possess similar skill sets as you, but none of them can leverage those skills quite the same way that you do. You are unique in the way that you think, process information and leverage your particular knowledge and experience. Don’t try to imitate someone else’s purpose. Stay in your lane.
2. Your purpose will be closely tied to your natural abilities. Many people don’t recognize their purpose because it comes so natural to them. [tweetthis]Many people don’t recognize their purpose because it comes so natural to them.[/tweetthis] They think that everyone has the same ability because it seems so easy for them. For example, my purpose includes speaking to groups of people. I actually enjoy it. Then I read a survey that said that the #1 fear that most people have is the fear of public speaking. This was followed by death as a close second. The #3 fear was dying while speaking publicly I think. When I discovered that something I enjoy was the fear that most people have that exceeds the fear of death, I began to recognize that speaking in public was part of my purpose.
So how do you figure out exactly what you are supposed to do with your life? Well, the answer really is that you generally discover your purpose more than you figure it out. And discovery usually means that you are searching for something. In 1970, a chemist named Spencer Silver was working for 3M labs. He was working on the development of a strong glue. He failed miserably. What he came up with was an adhesive that wouldn’t even stick 2 pieces of paper together. He found that the glue stuck to either one piece of paper or the other.
Four years later, one of his co-workers was singing in the church choir. He used markers to keep his place in the hymnal, but they kept falling out. He tried coating them with the glue that Spencer had developed and it worked! The markers stayed in place but could be pulled off without damaging the hymnal. And just like that, the Post-it Note was born.
Often, we discover our purpose completely by accident, or while searching for something entirely different. Your purpose can be discovered by searching for it, though. While discovering purpose in life eludes many people, the first step is usually beginning the search. [tweetthis]While discovering purpose in life eludes many people, the first step is usually beginning the search. [/tweetthis] Andy Stanley says it like this: “What is it that breaks your heart?” It can also be phrased “What makes your heart beat a little faster?” Ask yourself – When I don’t have the energy to do anything else, I will still _____________. That blank contains clues to your purpose. It may not be your entire reason for being on this earth, but it will be a part of it.
When I was just starting out in ministry, I was volunteering as the worship leader for the youth. I was working several part-time jobs at the time so that I could study for my ministry license. There were many times I would arrive home after a long day at work and receive a phone call. The voice at the other end of the line would ask if I could come and lead worship for their small group. I never declined. I sometimes left without eating dinner. That was my purpose. To lead others into the presence of God.
So what makes your heart beat a little faster? What injustice do you see that breaks your heart? Where do your passion and natural ability intersect? That’s a good place to start. If you would like help in discovering and living your purpose, coaching can deliver! Let’s talk and see if coaching may be right for you. There is no obligation and I offer a no questions asked guarantee. Give me 90 days to get yo on the path to living your purpose! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @RealTomRawlings!