If you hear yourself saying something like “I wish there was…” or “someone needs to…”, perhaps those are places of purpose for you. Think back to when you were a child. What were some dreams you had? Often that childlike innocence held tons of purpose before the world messed it up by telling you what you should do. For me, the most important question to ask yourself is about the end of your days here. If you were standing in the back observing your funeral service, what would you hope people would say about you? This line of questioning can be a game-changer, helping us see how life is about more than a career or all the to-do lists we fill with tasks. It is about leaving an impact on those around us. When you think about your eulogy, the words spoken are about the person you became throughout your life and how you made people feel. So ask yourself, who do you want to become? Remove all the roadblocks, obstacles, and excuses, and let yourself dream. What are you good at in life? What fills your cup? What do you long to see in this world? These answers help you move toward clarity on what your purpose is.
Taking classes is a fantastic way to see how much interest you have in an area. If you have thought about doing something for a while but told yourself you lacked the skills, hit up Google and find a class you could take to dig a little deeper. There are so many free or inexpensive classes out right now! Or go old school and head to the library to read up on it!
Another activity that will help you find clarity is serving. Serving is also helpful if you are in a tough season or are unsure where or how to move. Serving others gets you out of your own way and will quickly teach you if you have any passion for this area of service. A few years back, a friend and I volunteered to deliver meals in downtown Atlanta for an organization. I thought for sure I would love it because I love people. But the reality was the majority of deliveries were made by sitting the food at doorways and never seeing the person receiving it. I learned that this wasn’t a fit for me because I crave face-to-face interaction. Serving teaches us how our passions plus our natural tendencies create a clear path to purpose.
In her book, The Wait of Success, author Valerie J. Lewis Coleman writes, “Passion without purpose leads to frustration. Purpose without passion leads to procrastination. Passion WITH purpose leads to success.” And I know we have all experienced these scenarios where one or the other was lacking, leaving us frustrated or avoiding the task like the plague! So, what next?
First, I want to reiterate the importance of searching within yourself for your passion and your purpose. Don’t allow these to be dictated by the laundry list of “should” you were handed or the expectations of others. If you are going to design a life based on your dreams, you must know you will not find your passion and purpose outside yourself. And because you need your passion to be deeply personal as it creates momentum, it has to be your own. For those of us with boundary issues (raising my hand here!), drawing on the needs and desires of others will eventually drain you, and you won’t have the momentum needed to keep pressing on when things get tough. And we know things will get hard! Life will happen. That is why you must hold the flame of passion and the ownership of your purpose inside yourself.
Now let me also remind you of this, Lovie: You are strong and capable and worthy and up to the task set before you. No matter what circumstances you have lived, you can become the person needed to live the life of your dreams and wring every ounce of passion and purpose from this life before you leave it.
To get you started, I created a freebie full of questions to help you begin to live your purpose. It is linked below. No strings attached, I promise. I simply want to help you live your best life. Spend some time digging in, dreaming dreams, and asking questions. Take a class or read up on something interesting. If you can, find an area of interest and serve there. The more you explore different avenues, the easier it is to find the path meant for you. To review, here are the steps to take this week:
- Download the free pdf.
- Answer the questions.
- Take small steps toward practicing your purpose and passion.
You deserve to live a life you flat adore. Living it on purpose with passion ensures you will. And remember, others are watching, and together we rise stronger, so let’s do this work for ourselves and those watching.
Until next week, remember I am in it WITH you, always,