(Last Updated On: February 17, 2018)
What is my purpose in life? What was I born to do? I am fairly sure that you have asked yourself these questions several times. Well, what was your answer? Are you now doing what you believe you were born to do? If you are, that’s great! However, some of us allowed life to happen and ignored the blueprint that was present in us all along…or maybe Dad and Mom wanted us to be someone else because it warranted a more secure future… so we stifled our passion and talents to some degree.
Maybe, you have been tossed around by the storms of life in uncertainty, like one who washes up ashore after a shipwreck to find yourself in someone else’s “backyard.” I know several people who are very successful but do not believe that they are doing what they were called to do. Are they right, or is it just matter of managing ourselves by properly utilizing any “extra” time we may get? No matter the case, let’s understand this, living a purpose-filled life is still possible wherever you may find yourself right now. Your “physical” talents and gifts may not always be manifested in your current environment but more importantly, your “spiritual” talents, namely your beliefs and integrity are always with you. Let’s read on to see how we can address this very common scenario.
Answering my call to purpose
Ever since childhood, there were some things that our parents (and others close to us) would have noticed about us as we were growing up. In my case, my musical tendencies were quite evident from a very early age. According to my Dad, I was a master “DJ” at just two years old, knowing fully how to operate the radiogram (yes, I am not a young man anymore) at that time. It wasn’t long before I discovered my passion for instruments as a young boy and there my journey began. At school, lunchtime would find a few other enthusiasts and I darting towards the music room rather than going to eat lunch. My knack for computers came a bit later just after leaving secondary school. Lastly, my love affair with writing began as a songwriter in my early adult years.
I said all of that to say, that what I am doing now (a combination of all), is clearly the result of my passions evident way back then. Let’s suppose I had totally disregarded that and forced myself to do something else. There is the possibility that I could have been wealthier today but I am fairly sure, not happier. Walking in purpose or being obedient to my life’s calling was agreeing with God’s design for my life. I don’t have any regrets concerning my gifts and abilities. Does it mean that I never had jobs that I didn’t enjoy? No, because our purpose is bigger than the job that we do. Whatever occupation you have is just the vehicle or stage for you to live out your purpose. Your purpose is mainly the message you carry and is wrapped up in everything that concerns you.
The rat race may be necessary to get me to my goals
You may have found yourself all caught up in the rat race of working in a demanding, competitive job that pays well but leaves no time for anything else. Yet, you may want to practice your instrument, sew, bake or have a side hustle. At the end of the day, you are stressed and unfulfilled. If this proves one thing, is that money doesn’t determine success and satisfaction. You long for that childhood passion to be fulfilled but your current situation doesn’t allow for you to pursue your passion. What do you do?
Once you know what your ultimate goals are, you
- write them down
- discuss with someone who you can count on, to encourage you
- make plans to achieve them despite any current challenges
- save money to fuel your goals
- work the plan
- Live your dream
I know it is not as straightforward as that, but it can be. One of the biggest challenges in life for most is setting goals and sticking to the plan. In most cases, it is the difference between success and failure. Jim Rohn once talked about people who didn’t want to do the easy things he did to succeed…six years later they were still complaining about the economy and blaming others for their problems, while he had become a millionaire doing the things they didn’t want to do. Remember, the things that are easy to do are also not easy to do – (Jim Rohn ). This is may seem like a funny oxymoron, but it is very powerful indeed. The main lesson of here is having the correct attitude and mindset to succeed.
My talents, abilities, thoughts, decisions make me who I am
First of all, let’s be clear on this; you are unique!! There is no one else on earth or that has ever lived, that is exactly like you!! Be conscious of all that value in you right now! No one can do anything “better” than you because no one can do it in your own unique way. Think about this for a moment and let it steep (like a good cup of tea, crumpets anyone?:)). So change your mindset or better yet, “change your thoughts, change your life!” –Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.
Some of us are called to do things that may appear nobler than what others do but it doesn’t matter. You may be surprised how many of those who are doing “nobler” things, wished they could do what they really wanted, or in some cases, do what you do. I know someone who left a great position in management, to pursue making furniture, and novelties out of wood. It is the very reason many pursue their passions when they retire. We are not to look at others, we just need to be who we are and build on our talents and abilities. In so doing, we can better serve those impacted by our lives and fulfill our purpose. Our gifts are not only for ourselves, they are to be used for others.
Our talents and abilities are not to be buried: They are to be used
It also doesn’t matter how many talents/gifts or abilities you may have. Many of us are familiar with the parable of the Talents in the Bible in Matthew 25:14-30. In a nutshell, the servant who received one talent misjudged his “master,” calling him hard/unfair. He wasn’t productive and didn’t multiply what he was given like the other two recipients did. As a result, he was labeled as wicked and lazy by his master. Now, this story can get much deeper, but I just want to highlight some characteristics we must possess in order to live a purpose-filled life. We are to
- have the right attitude
- be productive with our talents and abilities
- be contented and use whatever we have been given, despite how we may perceive it
Once we focus on multiplying whatever talents and abilities we have, we will automatically be productive, and successful in fulfilling our purpose. We also get to empower others while we are busy producing.
Life is easy for those who take the time to master themselves
As I have said in a previous post A Purpose-filled life, we cannot manage time, so we must manage or master our selves. We have to do this in the midst of whatever variable life throws full force at us. We must persevere in order to succeed.
Some of us live as though we are to be consistently searching for our purpose. Some may refer to it as “finding myself,” but by simply paying attention to our impact on others, talents, abilities and being faithful in our current activities, we can find ourselves right away. Here are a few things to consider.
- Purpose is why we were born and the reason we live. It is utilizing our potential, i.e. our maturity, integrity, talents and abilities to fulfill the quickest path to our success.
- Destiny is agreeing with that understanding of our purpose and the living out of that “predetermined” path
- Success is the process of effectively managing all the activities and roles in our lives, by setting and accomplishing goals. This is demonstrated by our ability to;
- learn, change and grow
- influence others
- accomplish the above in a timely manner
Things we can do to pursue our passion:
I will conclude with this example but I will expand on this in another post. Sign up to receive notification of this below:
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Challenge: You are working in a job you don’t like too much
Solution: While understanding that you are still operating in purpose, devise a plan to make money passively from a side hustle featuring your passion. Use methods such as affiliate marketing, writing a book, teaching a skill/course online. People make tens of thousands (and millions) per year doing these things.
Objective: When you consistently begin to make money equal to (or more than) what your current job provides, pursue it fulltime. You will do even better since you now have more time to dedicate to your business and possibly impact more people.
Remarks: Make money from using your talents and abilities. For me as a musician, I play for weddings and functions. This is easy because I am doing something that I love and am good at, to make extra money. Yes! Talents and abilities make things easier because they are your specialties!
Challenge: You get very upset by people who make excessive noise, or use dangerous chemicals around their houses in the neighborhood
Solution: Devise a plan to start a neighborhood group (you don’t have to lead it) and meet in the community center for occasional seminars on various topics (Don’t start with that topic though. The group will disband in a hurry.
Objectives: Through the bond of community fellowship and the imparting of seminars on various topics, such as, you know what, you will overcome these challenges in time. Give it a little time!
Remarks: You may discover that part of your life’s purpose is to be an organizer or problem solver. You may even be an inventor and provide a solution to your annoyances. Turn your passion whether negative or positive, into purpose.
Remember, your purpose happens no matter where you are (or what job you do). It’s a duty and a calling. However, your acquired skills can land you in several occupational roles in your lifetime.
Another way to fulfill your purpose is to volunteer in the community or serve others through a charity. You will find that most of the emphasis and value of why we were born, exists in serving others. Love your neighbor as yourself!‘
Tip: Hire people to do some portions of your side hustle and build a team. Work “smart!”
Do it now!