What on earth are you on this earth for? Have you ever asked yourself questions like why was I created? What is my purpose for being here? Is it just to go to work and binge watch shows with the occasional dinner reservation or vacation to look forward to?
When asked the reason for being, I often hear people say “My kids give me purpose.” Yes this sounds sweet in theory but what was life like before your kids? Are you willing to render the life you had pre-kids as meaningless, and what will you do after your kids leave the nest?
I pose this question not to insult but to adjust your lens to focus on the thought of PURPOSE. We all have a gift/purpose in this life. One that is NOT attached to someone or something.
If you stop here and don’t read any further, I want to tell you your gift/purpose has no limitations. So stop fighting for these limitations (I can’t because I don’t..) and instead fight for the possibilities.
No matter how many people are doing or creating the thing that you know is your gift. No matter how young or old you may think you are. There will always be room for you at the table. And as Shirley Chisholm stated ‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.’ Remain strong and proud in your gift/purpose.
Now if you’re still with me…
I do want to give you a disclaimer. This post will not give you all the answers, but it will set you on a path that will lead you closer to revealing your purpose.
WHAT IS PURPOSE?
Purpose defined by Oxford states—it’s the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
The Bible calls our purpose God’s plan for our lives. Refer to (Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians 2:10). It’s that thing you were created to do. It was placed in you well before you could even say the word purpose. Remember when God created you, that was the day he decided you and your gift(s) were needed in this world.
Haven’t found a relationship with God? Well, even science says that no two humans were made alike. Each with our own uniquely designed fingerprint and DNA, there were no extras made. This further validates that you were put on this earth for a special reason – your purpose.
HOW TO FIND YOUR PURPOSE
The Japanese term ikigai pronounced Ick-ee-guy which also loosely translates to “a reason for being”, has often been mentioned when referring to purpose. “Your ikigai is at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing,” says Hector Garcia, the co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.
Ikigai is said to have originated on the Japanese island of Okinawa, which is home to the largest population of centarians in the world. Some attribute their longevity to having found ikigai. Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones: Lessons on Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, suggests making three lists: your values, things you like to do, and things you are good at. The cross section of the three lists is your ikigai. (There are different versions of this formula found, but I like the simplicity of this one).
Friends and Family
Another suggestion would be to ask friends and family, what it is you do best or what do they come to you for? This will help you pinpoint things you otherwise find difficult to see in yourself.
Purpose may be one of the hardest things to discover because most of the time it is right in front of your eyes. It’s something that comes so naturally to you that you don’t even see it as a gift. Some may even first view their gift as a flaw.
For example, I am very in tune to my emotions and often find myself crying at situations and circumstances that don’t directly affect me. I used to hate this about myself. But over time I realized this trait allows me to connect with people in a way that others cannot. I now call it the super power of compassion. This is why it’s important to step outside yourself and examine all of your qualities with non-judgmental eyes.
Here are a few questions that you can answer to help point you in the right direction.
- What would you be doing that would make you fulfilled everyday?
- If you planned out every detail of your day what would it look like? Example, Wake up at 6:00AM, Meditate at 6:30AM, Shower at 6:50AM, Coffee at 7:30AM, etc.
- What could you do for hours and not even realize how much time passed?
- When you are 85 years old talking with your spouse, grandkids, or friends, what will be the thing you are most proud of doing with your life?
- If money was no longer an issue, what would you be doing with your life?
Myths About Your Purpose
It’s a package deal
Some people think you find it once you start a family or have children, so they wait for it to reveal itself. This is usually not the case. It doesn’t appear once people enter your life. People may alter your perception or understanding of your purpose but they do not create it. If I had to say it was affected by any outside force, I would say time.
Purpose although already placed inside of each of us, it is not ready to open at the exact same time. Our experiences throughout our lives, help us unwrap it or affect the way we use our gift.
It’s doing Good Deeds
Some think that purpose is doing good deeds. Now this may bring you altruistic joy and is a great way to spend your time serving the world and others, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are living in your purpose.
Once I know, it will be easy
Once identified, your purpose/gift may come easily to you but may not always be easy to do. For example you may enjoy coaching others on eating right or living a healthy lifestyle. You have a true passion for this because it has changed your life and it comes naturally to you. But, along the way you have clients that are stubborn and may veer from your program. This can be frustrating and really challenging because it involves factors you can’t control. This does not mean to give up on your calling. Keep going.
I have to have 10K followers/friends/clients
Your purpose in life is never too small or too big. Whether it impacts 1 or 1,000,000, you have changed the world for the better with your gift. A change that would not have happened if it weren’t for you. Your gift may be your story, your gift may be your craft. It may be as strong as your voice or as powerful as your gift of listening. There are no limits to what it is, but it will always involve your heart. Your purpose not only fills you but impacts others.
Disclaimer: Your gift will not be for everyone. Just because you have an awesome gift and have mastered how to use it, this will not exempt you from the haters and negative talk.
POWER OF YOUR PURPOSE
Actor, Author, TV Host Steve Harvey
Harvey says your gift is not found out in the world. It’s not found in sacred waters or some remote destination. It lives within you. When your alarm clock goes off and you are unhappy, then you aren’t living in your gift. You must pay attention to the thing that burns in your heart because it will never go away. When you discover your gift, you can’t wait to wake up. So, pay attention to those things that make you happy.
Everyone has a gift but the reason you may have trouble identifying it, is because you want your gift/purpose to be what someone else’s gift is. Don’t fight for someone else’s dream or vision or gift.
Harvey lays out a formula to identify your gift —- It’s the thing you do the absolute best with the least amount of effort.
If you want to check out more about purpose from Steve Harvey click here.
Pastor Mike Todd, Transformation Church
Pastor Mike Todd shares his thoughts, stating that purpose is not a destination it is a journey. You will never reach your purpose, but rather, you will walk in purpose. There’s a misconception that purpose is at a certain destination point like on a GPS, but that is not what it is. Everyday that you obey God you are walking in your purpose.
Cathy Heller, Inspirational Speaker and Podcast Host of Don’t Keep Your Day Job
Purpose isn’t found in a hiding spot but discovering it comes from following a small whisper that lights you up. And little by little your purpose will unfold as you take a step towards it. Trust what excites you. Don’t be afraid to step out and try something because even if it “fails” or doesn’t go the way that you intended, it will open another door that will lead you closer to your purpose.
The First Step
Each of these influential speakers agree that all it takes is one step. One act of faith. A few seconds of courage.
Take Marie Callendar for example. She was a single mother who worked in a diner. The restaurant was about to shut down due to low profits. Marie asked if she could bring one of her homemade pies to see if it would sell. Slice by slice, the pie sold out quickly. The next day people were asking for more pie. So she went home and baked some more. She turned her pies into a multi-million dollar business. Now you can find her pies in grocery stores around the world.
Marie was good at baking. It came easy to her. She started with one slice of pie and a few seconds of courage to believe in herself.
Your gift will make room for you. Don’t run away from your gift to chase someone else’s dream. Just take that one step.
“I would hate to die and never do the thing I was born to do. It’s worth looking into before you check out of this world. “Steve Harvey
If you only have a few take aways from this post today, remember that you are special and your life matters more than you know. There are religious and scientific texts that prove it! As you begin or continue your journey to fulfilling your purpose , do not get discouraged. Those things in life that are the most rewarding, take time. And this is one gem that will truly transform your life for the better.
Are you living your purpose?