How to Uncover Your Purpose, Part 1

I don’t claim to have all the answers. 

But I have searched out my Purpose and sacrificed traditional safety and security to gain passion and peace of mind. Today, as opposed to having a J.O.B., which is how I lived in the past, my work reflects my calling. 

That, I have to admit, is unusual. 

I’ve also worked with people like Venus & Serena WilliamsNick Bollettieri, Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance, and Lisa Price, founder and CEO of Carol’s Daughter -- all of whom have highly developed their gifts, live in their “lane” in life and experience a high degree of personal freedom and prosperity (in many different ways; not all financial) because of it. 

So though I find it a bit disconcerting that people look to me for help in finding answers in these areas, it is true that because of my experience, I have a good amount of hands-on experience.

I often give fellow seekers this advice: 

Your Purpose is more encompassing than any career. A person’s Purpose, which some people know as your calling or God’s Plan for your life, is larger and more expansive than any job title or description, career category or code, business type or tag, or any other way of describing our participation in the world of work. Titles, job descriptions, career categories and so on -- these are all human constructs. Consequently, they are smaller than -- they are merely subsets of -- higher, spiritual concepts such as our spiritual Purpose. 

No wonder, then, that when we define who we are by what we do, we tend to feel lost, dissatisfied or even as though we are suffocating or trapped. Chances are great that anything we do with the primary goal of paying the bills only reflects a fraction of who we are. Your job title may be accountant or salesperson, for example, but you are also a parent, PTA member, SPCA volunteer and coach of the community baseball team, for example -- aspects of your existence that are real but that cannot necessarily be expressed at work. 

Your spiritual Purpose reflects higher Truths. Whereas job descriptions and career paths can block you in, your Purpose can provide you with a way out. Describe your Purpose broadly, in terms of Universal Truths. That will give you room to be yourself -- you are far more unique than a job description -- as well as space to grow and develop over time. 

Now, it is possible for your Purpose to involve performing a certain job or participating in a given career -- but your Purpose is not the job or the career itself; the job or career is a subset of your Purpose. I am a writer, which, because it is a somewhat unusual profession and, to some people, exotic, may seem very Purpose-like. But writing is merely a way of expressing my Purpose (which I’ll write more about soon). If you limit your search to identifying the right job title or career, you will certainly miss some of the amazing ways in which God works -- including methods of providing that transcend and defy job description. 

Here are some clues that can help you find and identify your Purpose:

You lose track of time. The days of counting the minutes until quitting time end; instead, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. (Even if you’re working a J.O.B., there are many ways your gig can help you get on Purpose, including by making you feel uncomfortable and, thereby, solidifying your resolve.) Though you may be tired -- I know that I sometimes am! -- you also feel excited, which invigorates you. The weariness you may experience when you’ve worked long and hard but are feeling inspired feels very different from the fatigue that occurs when the life is being sucked out of you.

You don’t need to check any aspect of yourself at the door.There’s no need to fake it, go along to get along or feel small. You begin to realize that everything about you is purposeful, including all of the so-called “good” and “bad” experiences that have brought you to this point. 

You get to use your God-given gifts and talents. Many times we overlook our innate abilities because they are things we can just do -- we figure that finding your Purpose must be hard. But we can find clues by examining our interests, items and activities that we have a natural affinity for, tasks that come easy to us and things we take for granted about ourselves but which others notice about us. The clues to finding your freedom are all around you. In fact, they are you (more on that later). 

You feel free. Free to be the large, expansive and authentic version of who you are; no longer bound, limited or small.

In faith,