The biggest frustration I hear from people right now is, “How do I find my purpose?” If you don’t get that right, you’re missing the whole point, right? You can act like it doesn’t matter, you can busy yourself with the day-to-day things, and you can even fake happiness for a while. But the question keeps gnawing at you. It keeps scratching at the door like a dog that wants in. It keeps throwing pebbles on your window like a boyfriend trying to get your attention.
Some people try to ignore it their whole lives because thinking and doing something about it is too scary and hard. But it will not be ignored without negative, soul-crushing consequences.
You don’t want to ignore it. You have this feeling deep inside that you were made for something better. You realize this is it. This is your life – right now. You don’t get a dress rehearsal or a do-over. You get one shot and it’s not going the way you want it to go right now. You were supposed to be somewhere else by this time in your life. You want more – more meaning, more significance. You can’t stand the idea of being average, mediocre or just getting by.
I’ve got so much to say about this, I could write a book on it. Oh, wait. I did. You can get my book, GO! by clicking here. You can get the companion workbook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose, as a free eBook by clicking here.
But I want to add to that as well. So, I’m going to write a series of posts over the next few weeks to help you find your Passionate Purpose and then a few more about how to pursue it.
We better define what purpose means when we talk about it here.
Purpose – pur·pose: The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
–Oxford online dictionary
For me, your purpose is not just your job or career. Your purpose is why you do everything you do. It’s why you’re here taking up space and breathing. (Oh, is that all? No problem. I’ll figure that out on my lunch hour today, Greg. Thanks a lot.)
Hey, I didn’t say it was easy. But it also doesn’t have to be so hard.
Let’s bust some myths.
Myth #1: There is only one way to find your Passionate Purpose
If you’re struggling to find your Passionate Purpose, I get it. I spent years trying to figure it out. (Hey, I still don’t have it completely figured out. Is that ok to admit?)
That’s what I want you to know today. There’s more than one way to find your calling. One way is no more right than any other. It’s what ends up working for you that is your right way.
Some people are struck by lightning when they’re young, they know why they were born and they pursue their passion for the rest of their lives. (I tend to hate these people. Ok, not really hate, I just really wish that had happened to me.)
Others try a bunch of different ideas until something resonates with them. They keep going with it until their desire builds or burns out.
For most of us, we don’t get the Aha! moment. We have some ideas about our purpose, some things that excite us, some ideas we’d like to try, but nothing like a voice from a mountaintop telling us what to do.
And. That’s. Ok.
But if we’re not careful we can spend weeks, months, years, even decades waiting for that Aha! moment. We’ll keep reading books and blogs, watching TED talks, listening to podcasts and buying online courses, and not taking any real action to change our lives.
Get this. For most of us, there is no perfect purpose, idea, career, job, or plan for our lives. The best we can do is go with what resonates with us the most right now. Take action on it. Try it on for size. See how it feels. If a passion for it starts to grow, feed it some more. It might grow to become your Passionate Purpose. If it isn’t doing anything for you, try something else.
Here is one way to start working on it: Ask yourself some questions:
Why do you get up in the morning? Why are you here at all? What do you want to do with the time you have? What difference do you want to make? What do you want to accomplish? With your life? Your family? Your relationships? Who do you want to become? What do you want to be known for?
Those answers will get you started. My free eBook has a ton of questions that can help you drill down deeper on this. From there you can work on how you use your purpose to fuel every part of your life in and out of work.
Maybe you’re like me and you need to spend time searching for your purpose that will lead you to the extraordinary life of your dreams. I spent countless hours thinking introspectively to determine why I was here. I read books, listened to tapes, attended seminars, watched videos, kept journals, and did all kinds of exercises.
That works for me. I put that in the present tense because I continue to work on personal growth. I love learning this stuff. But that’s me, not necessarily you.
You might do best trying a combination of these methods, or something totally different might get you where you want to go.
Even after you think you know what your Passionate Purpose is, you will still take some detours and hit some speed bumps along the way. You might decide to change your mind and pursue something else.
All of this is OK. Walk your own path.
However, some things are the same for all successful people. They know what they want, why they want it, they take consistent action and – even if they stall out for a while – they keep going.
Myth #2: You can only have one Passionate Purpose in your life – ever
Most people have more than one purpose – often more than one at a time – and they change throughout their lives.
I have several purposes right now. My work purpose is: To help as many people as I can find and pursue their purpose so they can live out extraordinary lives and change the world.
That gets me super excited. I want to get up early to do that. I want to help people do that through my books, blog posts, online courses, coaching, videos, and more!
My family purpose is: To unconditionally love and serve my wife and daughters and help them live the extraordinary lives they were created for.
That leads me to spend more time with them and finding ways to help them.
My spiritual purpose is: To develop a deeper relationship with Christ and try to act more like Him.
That leads me to spend more time reading the bible, praying, and looking for ways to serve.
What about you? What purposes get you excited? Please don’t just read this and forget it. Take some time today or this weekend and figure it out.
1) Get my free eBook and spend time this weekend answering the questions to get you started on finding your purpose.
2) From your work answering the questions, take at least one action on a purpose that resonated with you.
3) Let me know how it’s going and ask me any question that pops up by emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org