How to Tell if You Have Found Your PurposeAugust 31, 2020
“When faced with uncertainty, take a moment to reflect on what it is that you want out of life and the future you envision for yourself and ask God for guidance”
I have come to the realization that your purpose is oftentimes borne out of being in difficult circumstances, times of disillusionment or despair. There have been numerous times I have had to learn to dig in and get past feelings of self-doubt, failure and regret and push through. It’s like preparing to give birth to a baby. For anyone who has had a child you should understand what I’m talking about. There are different emotions and feelings and stages you must go through before your baby is born. Your purpose, like a baby, is your prize at the end. Some people are fortunate enough to discover their purpose at a very early age. A few examples come to mind: Jesus, Mozart, Mary Shelley, Joan of Arc, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, just to name a few. What do you think they all have in common? They all discovered their purpose as they faced many personal challenges. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Be Determined: I love reading biographies as they help me see how some of the world’s most famous and successful people lived and how they overcame challenges to get to the level they achieved. What I learnt was that it takes determination, and a love for people and for the talent and or skill you are born with. I also realized that the people who were pursuing their purpose were all committed to honing their craft. They were all consistent in putting in the time to be the best at what they did and were not afraid to take a risk to get what they wanted. They defied their critics. If Kobe had listened to the Guidance Counsellor who told him he would never make it playing basketball, he would never have been known as the legend that led the Lakers to many championship titles.
“Don’t let the uncertainty of what lies ahead scare you. Go forward in faith.”
Pursue Self-Reflection: Take a closer look at your life and ask yourself what do you like to do?; what do you think about all the time?; what are you really good at?; what challenges you, yet brings you a sense of purpose or a feeling of belonging? Think long and hard on the responses to these questions and let them truly sink in. You will start to see and feel the answers coming. Be brave and shake off the doubts and fears which threaten to make you uncomfortable with what you are trying to accomplish. Yes, walking in your purpose can be scary, but ultimately you will be able to recognise it and embrace it. You need to claim it and own it! You know you are on to something special when it seems to be calling you. What do I mean by this? It is not a coincidence when people tell you things like “that’s what you are called to do”, or “you’ve found your calling”, or you feel uneasy when you see others doing the thing you love, which may leave you feeling like you are missing out on something, or it is all you dream or think about. I once heard Oprah Winfrey say that she loved talking and that she was really good at it. Anyone who knows her story, knows she was in television long before she became a worldwide phenomenon. She threw herself into her passions: her books, movies, talk shows, philanthropic efforts, which all came about through her identifying what she loved and what she was good at. Don’t expect to be an overnight success, you are the author of your very own story. We all have a story that is our life and it’s up to us to determine how our story will unfold. Will it be a best seller? Only you can determine what type of story you want to tell.
“Seek God’s guidance and refer to your inner compass to help you on your journey towards your destiny.”
- Dare to dream: Do not be afraid to dream, and do not underestimate your abilities! Whatever you lack in skill, you can make up with the determination to overcome any obstacle that threatens to set you back. If you are good at baking, be the best baker you can be. You may love to draw or create art, hone your skills, show the world what you are capable of. Do not die with your dream unrealised. Myles Monroe said that the richest place on earth is the graveyard as it has a wealth of knowledge and dreams buried there. Not pursuing and realizing your dream would be a waste, in my opinion.
Amazing things happen when you follow your purpose
Have you ever been in the presence of someone who you thought exuded radiant confidence, or was always full of energy and enthusiasm and that despite whatever negativity was going on around them, they always seem to remain upbeat and positive? In my experience I’ve found that this type of person tends to have a certain type of character trait, they seem to be driven by their passion, and what they view to be their life’s purpose. They are always focused on taking care of their minds and bodies. You might then ask, but what if I’m following my purpose but am not energetic or vibrant or feel confident? In response to this, you should recognize that we all struggle with certain things and that no one is perfect. However, there are some people who just seem to have cornered the market in certain key areas like the ones I mentioned earlier. Persons like, Will Smith, Denzil Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Mohammed Ali, Michelle and Barack Obama are just a few examples that come to mind who focus on maintaining a healthy mind and body while making a positive impact on the world. Of course, there are everyday people like you and me that make a huge impact on the world, but are not famous or known to have a “household” name. I use the aforementioned examples because their stories are known on a more global scale. I am sure it is not impossible for you to think of someone you may or may not know personally, who exhibits these character traits. I’m sure you will agree that these persons have that “it” factor, that special something that others admire or even envy. They exude a certain confidence and they all confess to have found and are fulfilling their purpose. All these persons have excelled in their chosen fields or careers and have made a fortune by living their “best lives”. Now that’s not to say it was easy!
They all have said that they faced adversity at one time or another. Oprah was sexually abused by a relative, and has discussed how she had to overcome many obstacles that threatened to derail her career. She overcame racial prejudice, as well as gender bias on her journey towards becoming one of the richest women in the world. She is highly respected and has given back by building a school for girls in Africa, given several scholarships and is well known for her ground breaking talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as heading her own television network and magazine. She also helped to the launch the careers of several people, like Dr. Phil, Iyanla, Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus, Suze Orman, Gayle King and Rachel Ray, to name a few. All the persons she has helped have one thing in common, they are good at what they do and are passionate about sharing it with the world!
“Launch out and have faith in yourself.”
It can be said that in finding your purpose you instinctively want to help others find theirs. You tend to focus on helping your fellow man. It’s like you have found something valuable and you can’t rest until you have shared it with the world. It is my firm belief that paying it forward, so to speak, ultimately makes the world a better place. Therefore, I implore you to find out what your purpose is and pursue it with all you have got and watch your life change!