Waking up feeling purposeless is frustrating. You look around and see your friends and co-workers living passionate, engaged, meaningful lives. They have deep relationships, rewarding jobs and a sense of direction that compels them to get out of bed each morning with a spring in their step. Trying to discover your life’s purpose can be stressful and overwhelming. It seems like a big confusing subject. You want to move forward, but you are not sure how, you feel like you are aimlessly wandering.
There is a saying that says ‘everyone was born for a purpose in life.’ How do you know that you are doing what you were born for? How does it feel to operate in your purpose? Do you reach your purpose early or later in life? Do you have to learn it, or does it come automatically? Do you sometimes struggle to wake up in the morning and feel like not doing anything? Does that mean you have no purpose in life? Can your purpose be destroyed by the burdens of this life?
Let us understand the meaning of a purpose: My Christian background gave me a belief that, everything in God’s creation has a purpose. That’s how you can be sure God has a purpose for you. (Psalm 52: 2 says,” I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me”. Our main purpose is to love Him. The second purpose is to extend love to others. However, our choices and actions also matter.
Your central motivating aims, the reasons you get up in the morning – purpose can guide life decisions, influence behaviour, shape goals, offer a sense of direction, and create meaning. We define purpose as a long-term aim or guiding principle based on meaning. It’s the impact we want to have on the world.
What are the signs that I lack purpose in life?
- Lack of joy and excitement: you wake up everyday filled with total boredom with no excitement that fills your day, work and your relationships. There will be difficult things you encounter that require patience and persistence, but your overall joy and excitement is not there.
- You don’t feel much fulfillment in life: you are not doing rewarding, meaningful, purposeful things, in your job, skills and relationships. You do not have specific goals.
- You are working for the sake of working: there is no meaning in the work you do. You experience pointless work.
- You feel stuck: you feel trapped in one place and get frustrated with no direction to take.
Where is my purpose hiding?
Life is too short, precious and not repeatable. All that we have is the past and the present, the future is unknown. The past has happened, and we don’t have control over it anymore. The present is our now moment, and it is at hand. Your purpose is in front of you. Our purpose is to serve our present with virtue. Your present will always gift you with an opportunity to find your purpose. You simply have to ask yourself how you can make the most out of your present time, space and circumstance.
Your purpose is to add value.
We exist for one another as we are unique, with different gifts and talents. Shift from me to we. You will get what you want in life when you help others and others help you. There are people around you that need you, whether it be your family or your friends. You can find fulfillment of your dreams when you help others get to their mountain tops. Remember to keep it simple. You don’t have to do everything, you don’t have to be everywhere, you don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to please everyone. You can’t do all those things and stay focused anyway.
- What is the one thing that comes easily to you?
- What are you good at that others can learn from you?
- Who do you do it for?
- What do people need?
- What is it that you can offer?
Are you happy?
When you do what you love, success will have no choice but to follow. You will not add value that is required and not find success if you do not change what you do not like. If you have an internal desire, passion, drive and motivation to propel you forward towards your goal, start practicing what you like. Determine your gifts and your strengths. Discover what you’re dying to share with others. Discipline yourself, show up for yourself and keep yourself going.
Move away from the negative people. Do not allow them to stop you. Mingle with people with higher purpose than yours. They will guide, teach, help and lead you to the path towards the fulfilment of your purpose. Proverbs 11:14 says,” Where there is no guidance, people fall, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety”. Your counsellors should be people you trust.
Every kind of work has its downsides, the difficult, unpleasant or the uncomfortable aspect of it. No work is wonderful at every moment of time. The only thing that makes us enjoy our work is the purpose in us.
Challenges in our life can never extinguish the purpose you were born with, instead challenges help you to prioritise your life, stay motivated in tough times, and move away from people and activities not serving your purpose. We can turn obstacles into opportunities by virtue of exerting control over things that lie ahead of us in life. Life will always provide you with the opportunity to find a new purpose because the universe is evolving. Try new things and gain new experiences so that you have new things to work towards.
You receive fulfilment and meaning in life when you wake up every day seeing the fruits of your love or how you have impacted the lives of people around you. Those who have a sense of purpose are better equipped to help others. When you are certain about your purpose, it gives you that confidence to stand up in boldness to do what you are called to do.
“Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of expectations and opinions of others.” Roy. T Bennett.
“If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.” Roy. T Bennet.
Author: Hazel Lebaka