Purpose gives life purpose. What were you created to do? Who are the people you will impact most? Most people fear discovering their purpose because they fear discovering they may have gone down the wrong path. But the beauty of God is that there is no wrong path, everything you have done was apart of His original plan. Jeremiah 29:11 (my favorite verse) states “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” Therefore nothing you have done or can do, will deter you from your purpose, in fact, it leads you to it. However discovering it helps you avoid the distractions along the way. Here are 3 areas that need to be examined to discover your purpose
1. Your passion. What are you passionate about? What makes you cry? What makes you angry? Who or what do you find yourself unknowingly defending? Passion can sometimes become so second nature to us that we don’t even realize we are doing it. It’s just what feels right in our souls. Sometimes passion can change as we gain knowledge and understanding but overall it remains constant in the actions we take. What do people always come to you for? This should be beyond money and general advice. I remember when I discovered my passion for research and sharing knowledge. I complained one day about people always coming to me about random stuff, asking me questions about anything. I remember asking “why you asking me, how am I supposed to know.” And the person replied, “I don’t know but I know you going to find out.” If people asked me anything, even if I said I didn’t know, I was going to do some research to find out.
2. Your pain. This is a hard one. But the pain you have been through is often an area where God will use to help others. What have you been through? More importantly, how did you not only survive but overcome? What’s your story of triumph? Did you overcome abuse, poverty, etc. into success? What steps did you take? What was your turning point? People love underdog stories of how ordinary people with scars became successful. Sometimes we cannot see it because our definition of success is tainted by expectations of material gain. Look beyond the pain and allow God to show you how He can bless others through you. Like spirits attract. Generally, you will know if your purpose is in this area by the people God will send your way. Also, a purpose in this area will require complete transparency and vulnerability. You will have to allow others to see and feel what you experienced to gain their trust, respect, and admiration. People also generally avoid this area when it comes to purpose because it is not the most profitable, especially in the beginning.
3. Your experiences. Your perspective regarding your experiences is also an area of purpose. Experiences can include education, work experiences, church experiences, mistakes and successes. Do you see the humor or bright side in otherwise tough situations? What are the lessons you learned from your failures and mistakes. For example I have obtained 3 degrees, from both traditional and non-traditional schools. My research into student loans, types of financial aid, scholarships and types of accreditations to help myself has lead me to an area to help adults returning to school. Sometimes our desire to go beyond to obtain our own goals will help others who may be struggling or lack the strength to do the work themselves. Most businesses don’t flourish by being innovators, but rather by capitalizing on doing what others don’t want to do.
Remember your purpose does not have to be in one of the above areas. It can be a combination of all three. The key is to find the common denominator between your passion, your pain and your experiences. There you will discover your purpose, that which is uniquely you!