Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How Do You Know If You Are Living Your Purpose?

As a society, we continuously contemplate the meaning of life. In trying to define the reason for being, we attempt to understand the purpose of our own lives. That said, how do you know your purpose? 

Some believe that purpose can be derived from
chasing a passion. Oftentimes, people equate passion with activities they enjoy most.  However, the most successful people do not limit their life’s purpose to activities that only bring pleasure.  Their desire to accomplish something great is bigger than any inconvenience life presents.  These achievements are made only through a high level of commitment, prevalent in the face of any pain or discomfort.

For example, Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world.  When he trains, he pushes himself so hard that he occasionally vomits during his workouts. Though far from pleasurable, the result for him is the ability to break world records in the 100 and 200-meter races. How many are able to say they are willing to endure that extreme in order to become the best at their passion? 

Nowadays, many people pursue one aspiration after another. These changes can take place over the course of weeks, months, or years.  Consider this: if your passion is your purpose, why would it change? 

In other cases, people seek purpose by looking for signs.  They wait for events to occur or people to show them the way. However, it would be fair to say that most people go to their grave without ever knowing their life’s goal.

Others may have witnessed a sign, but lacked the courage to pursue it. They reassure themselves saying, “it’s not the right time” or “I don’t have the money to fund my goals”. Some wander in circles, needing another sign to prove the first signal was in fact leading them toward their purpose. 

Seeking purpose, to say the least, is a complex process. Perhaps it is complicated because we have made it that way. We are conditioned to wait for life’s purpose to do something to us. It is no wonder most go to the grave without knowing and experiencing their life’s purpose. 

To be the best at something requires practice and preparation.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he said those who mastered their craft did so because they practiced for 10,000 hours.  That implies practicing in the face of good and bad days.  There is no magic to it. 

How do you know what to allocate 10,000 hours of practice to?  That question may be key to finding one’s purpose.  Perhaps feeling good or waiting for a sign can be a dead end street.  Perhaps the only way to know one’s life purpose is to declare it.  Instead of waiting for the right moment, take a stand and decide what your purpose will be. 

If you say, your life purpose is to be a criminal lawyer, declare it and take action.  Perhaps the only key to finding your purpose is right on the tip of your tongue.  If you can stand for your own future to be who you say you want to be, you can announce it and practice and prepare to fulfill all the goals that come with that purpose.  This approach would allow you to ‘live on purpose’, instead of ‘looking for a purpose’.  What purpose will you declare for your life?  

What do you think? I would love to hear your feedback. And I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, let me know.

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