Perhaps a play on famous words from Dr. Suess; but true nonetheless. Have you ever just “stopped to smell the roses” and suddenly realized you are in the middle of a crossroads? There you are, you had no idea it was coming and now you have to make a decision… Or maybe for some of you it was/has been a little less obvious. You question things now and then but never really give much thought to it; or at least not long enough to make you change anything in your life. Well, my friend, the time has come. YOU need to determine your purpose.
Orrin Woodward describes it well in his best-selling book Resolved:
A purposeless-life is similar to a rimless basketball game – one can hurriedly dribble up and down the court; however nothing of any consequence seems to get accomplished. Doesn’t this describe the majority of people in the game of life? People running frantically back and forth in no particular direction, having no purpose, meaning or significance.
Orrin proceeds to describe how then, once a rim is added to the game of basketball, everything becomes much clearer and there is now a purpose for the game to be played. Much like our lives. We all have a purpose, something we live for, a source to our happiness, or our ambition in life. Autonomy, mastery, and character must come into combination in order to determine your purpose. Autonomy is having a desire to direct our own lives. Mastery is wanting to strive to improve in something that truly matters. Character is having integrity, courage and moral/ethical quality; being honest. Purpose can only be achieved when the three of these are combined. Purpose is doing what we do in greater service than for ourselves.
Orrin also describes a great way to aid in you determining your own purpose in life. By determining your passions (your motivation), potential (things you are great at – your strengths) and profits (your economic engine) you can then find the intersection of all three to be your purpose.
I like this photo. A crossroads, unmarked, no destinations for you to choose until you, yourself, sit back and contemplate where it is YOU want to go; where you want to be in five or ten years. Maybe you have never wondered what you are truly meant to do; maybe you are content working at something you kind of like for money that “pays the bills.” And that is fine, if its your honest choice, and something you are happy to live with each and everyday. However, I believe we truly give up the right to complain about our situations the minute we choose to not pursue our purpose with our whole heart. Afterall, what would really give anyone the right to complain about something they CAN change but are just UNWILLING to change?!
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy
Still having trouble understanding purpose? I know I am still learning and trying to nail mine down more concretely, so here are a few definitions that may clear the muddy waters for you.
“The reason for which anything is done, created, or exists.” – Dictionary.com
“A target, an aim, a goal, a result that is desired; an intention.” – Wikipedia
“Something set up as an effort or end to be attained; an action in the course of execution.” – Merriam-Webster
Based on your own personal belief system, your purpose can come from philosophical, scientific or theological background/basis.
A great way to finish this up is leaving this poem for you to think on.
Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.