I’ve been battling internally with that question for some time now.
“What in the heck am I here to do? Where do I go from here?”
“Is what I “do”, and how I make money the same thing? Should it be, and can it be?”
“Should I live for my days “off”? Is there more to life than just “the weekend”?”
“If so, how on earth am I going to find out what my purpose is? Is it the “right” purpose?”
“Can your purpose be wrong? Can what is in your heart be wrong?”
“Am I here for something big, or maybe something small? What will my impact on this world be? What will I be remembered for?”
You’re probably hoping I’ve got an answer to all these questions, and I wish I did too.
Here are my thoughts.
With my wedding coming up, I’m consumed with the desire to be a good husband, as well as a good leader of a household of two people completely separate from our previous influences. I’m concerned just like you are with how I will pay my bills, how I will put food on the table, keep myself looking and feeling my best and providing a home for my wife and I.
Of course we all have to consider living as we go through life. But what about those times we’re all good on the living part. Bills are paid, money in the bank, for me, business is picking up. What about then? When the struggles of life aren’t so consuming that we have time to think? That is, I believe, when our purpose comes out, if we let it.
Now, sometimes it may be overwheling. For me, or course I have some big goals for my impact on this world. To create a waste management project that can change the way we grow our food and protect and promote the beautiful and wild places we have through an effort of billions of people simply by education and action. Yes, of course I want to see that done. I’m not there yet however. I’m on my way, but not there. So it gives me something to work on. If I break it down to right where I’m at, that is what reveals my purpose. To do the best I can right now with what I’ve got.
I’ve heard it said that living paycheck to paycheck is a wasted life. I would also argue that living mansion to mansion is just as wasted. If your life, or your dream life, is characterized only by consuming more and getting a bigger high, you may be wasting your life.
What does that have to do with purpose?
Purpose is not a wasted life.
Purpose is what makes you tear up. Purpose is that desire inside of you that has nothing to do with how you make money, or where you live. Purpose has many forms, and I believe has been limited to “someday”; where a purpose can only be real if it’s huge and changes the world in some way. I believe that’s wrong. It would be like asking a child at 4 years old what they want to do for the rest of their life, and then expecting them to do just that, forever.
A purpose is not some far off goal you have now, and will complete some day when you’re older and wiser.
Purpose is what you’re here to do right now. It will change just as the seasons change. Your purpose is not to go to work and slack off, that may be your desire, but it’s not your purpose. Your purpose is inside of you. You know what it is.
Who needs you right now?
Where do you need to work?
What do you have to do extraordinarily well right now?
What would bring you joy today?
What do you need to do today?
You see, your purpose is you. It’s inside of you. It’s who you are. No one has the same purpose. Whether you believe in God, or evolution, or something else, you are here for a reason different than everyone else’s. This world would not work without many people and things serving many different purposes.
Nature is a great example and I urge you to step outside and explore it. It can teach you a heck of a lot about life.
A tree has a purpose. In the summer, a tree and its leaves are to provide shade, and nesting areas for wildlife, and cover for the ground below. The shade provides resting areas and refuge from the hot sun. Sit under a tree this summer and eat a slice of watermelon and you’ll know the trees purpose that day. The tree has a purpose in the summer, and when the leaves fall off of the tree in the fall, the tree still has a purpose. To give the earth its energy through shedding of its leaves, to provide insulation to the insects and other ground creatures that are so necessary to life. To feed the soil that it grows in. To expose prey to the predators. As the seasons change, the tree remains the same, but serves a purpose. That purpose is to be a tree.
Now we are not trees, but we can learn from them. My purpose right now will change as the seasons of life will change. So will yours. Your heart and what is in it will guide your life if you let it. You allow your purpose to be know by creating a life with time to think. When you have time to think, you may just realize that just like the tree, your purpose is to be who you are in this season of your life. To be the man or woman you need to be, right now, to satisfy what is in your heart right now. As the greatest book on earth says (paraphrased) ” Don’t worry about tomorrow, enough will happen today that you’ll need to worry about. Can you add anything to your life through worrying about tomorrow? Then don’t.”