Many of us have thought of this question at some point: “Why am I here?” This question has fueled many of us to go back to school, change jobs, identify our gifts and talents and find ways to use them often, and so on. Even as we do all of these things (which are all good), we need to seek our answer primarily from our Creator and Sustainer, God. Just like an auto manufacturer knows exactly what it takes to produce a car that runs the way it was designed, God has created each of us with a unique blend of personalities, talents and gifts which are coupled with life experiences, education and our family backgrounds. All of this can point us to who we are and to our purpose for being here. How do you walk into your God-ordained purpose? What does that involve? Here are a few steps we all can consider which can get us closer to our purpose.
1. Never allow your marital status to be a hindrance to moving towards your purpose. If you are single (like I am), this is the perfect time to take an inventory of your life and seek guidance on exactly where you should be and what you should be doing. This process can include dramatic life-changes (such as relocation or career changes) which are easier to manage when it’s just you vs. when these changes happen during a committed relationship. If you are already in a committed relationship, intimate discussions with your partner on purpose and life-goals are key to getting the support and encouragement you will need on your journey.
2. Do not allow age to hinder your progression towards your purpose. Some of us stumbled around in our 20’s and 30’s with dead-end jobs, or we were caught up with academic pursuits that seemed unending. We may be in our 40’s or even in our 50’s (or later) and may wonder if it is worth the time, energy and effort to go after what our heart longs for. It’s never too late. It’s better to go after what your heart loves and live a fulfilled life vs. getting to the end of life and wondering what it could have been like had you made the plunge.
3. Step away from the naysayers. Typically people are comfortable when you stay in the same space you’ve always stayed. In that way they know exactly what to expect from you. When your heart begins to long for what you were created to be, you will make some moves that people may not like, or may criticize. Do not allow their criticism to take you off-track. Close your ears to what they are saying and open your heart, mind and spirit to what God is saying regarding your life-purpose.
4. Step out and start. Sometimes we want everything to be perfect before we start. Marshawn Evans-Daniels, highly-sought-after motivational speaker and coach says “Start before you’re ready.” This means we cannot wait for everything to be perfect before we step out and begin to move towards our purpose. After we start, we must continue to work on or tweak our ideas over time.
5. Get a mentor or a coach. Because walking into our God-ordained purpose includes moving through unchartered territory, hiring a mentor or a coach is well-advised. Their purpose is to help you sort through the ideas and concepts you desire to fulfill and prioritize them so that they are optimized in every way. Coaches and mentors are typically experienced individuals who can help you avoid pitfalls and guide you towards your destination. They also help you develop your potential so you reap the best results from your hard work and dedication towards your purpose.
These are only five of many aspects to pursuing purpose. As you determine what you were created to do, consider this: Are you ready to live the first day of the rest of your life?
BMWK: What other aspects should you consider as you prepare to pursue your life-purpose?