Your purpose is your purpose. You were born for a reason. Until you know your purpose; until you can articulate it in an easy sentence it is not useful in helping focus your efforts and direction. Your life purpose defines you. It helps you know who you truly are. A purpose is what drives you to move on.
For most of us there is a gap between the life we are leading and who we truly are. We experience this gap as stress. The bigger the gap, the greater the stress. Once we know our purpose we can release the tensions holding us back. We can make adjustments that close the gap between who we are and what we do. We can find fulfilment and peace.
QUESTIONS TO KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
To articulate your life purpose answer these questions about your life.
WHO AM I? It’s up to you how you defne yourself but I can’t emphasise enough that if you haven’t thought this through properly, you can’t possibly begin to realise your purpose. I’m not talking about who you wish you could be if you had a ‘do-over’, I’m talking about the person you already are. Flawed and imperfect, yes, but also made by no accident, immeasurably valuable and capable of doing incredible things. A good way to start is to make the following three lists of important people in your life, important things in your life and important places for you. Set your priorities straight.
What angers you? Is it about the way your society operates? What would you like to see change? Think about the things that get you shouting at the TV or thumping the table after a couple of glasses of wine.
WHAT ARE MY STRENGTHS, VALUES AND DREAMS?
What are you passionate about? What do you love to experience, that you would miss if you were unable to? What are you talented at, what are your gifts? One rule – modesty is completely banned – it is dishonest. Think about things that just come easily to you, the kind of things that your friends ask you to help them with.
WHAT DRIVES YOUR LIFE?
Everyone’s life is driven by something. Most dictionaries define the verb drive as “to guide, to control, or to direct.” Whether you are driving a car, a nail, or a golf ball, you are guiding, controlling, and directing it at that moment. What is the driving force in your life? Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline. You may be driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief.
There are hundreds of circumstances, values, and emotions that can drive your life. Here are five of the most common ones: Many people are driven by guilt. They spend their entire lives running from regrets and hiding their shame. Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success. We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.
Many people are driven by resentment and anger. They hold on to hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger, while others “blow up” and explode it onto others. Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful.
Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past. Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment. Your past is past! Nothing will change it. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. For your own sake, learn from it, and then let it go.
Many people are driven by fear.
Their fears may be a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high-control home, or even genetic predisposition. Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out. Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo. Your purpose in life can’t be actualized by playing it safe. You have to let go of your fears in order to achieve your purpose.
Many people are driven by the need for approval. They allow the expectations of parents or spouses or children or teachers or friends to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.
I don’t know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone. You can only actualise your purpose when you realize that man can’t be pleased or satisfied. Hence, this gives your purpose a edge overall.
Many people are driven by materialism.
Their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make me more happy, more important, and more secure, but all three ideas are untrue. Possessions only provide temporary happiness. Because things do not change, we eventually become bored with them and then want newer, bigger, better versions. Hence all you have to do is just incline your purpose with God’s purpose for you.
THE BENEFITS OF LIVING YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE
There are five great benefits of living a purpose-driven life:
Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life.
We were made to have meaning. This is why people try methods, like astrology or psychics, to discover it. When life has meaning, you can bear almost anything; without it, nothing is bearable.
Imagine waking up in the morning. You yawn, stretch, and then check how you’re feeling. And you notice that you feel really well. You feel excited about the day ahead of you. You feel a deep sense of motivation, and energy. Then you go through your day, with a clear sense of purpose. You know what you’re doing with your life. You go to sleep happy and content, feeling a deep sense of satisfaction – you know you’re doing something worthwhile to make the world a better place. That is what it means to have found your life purpose.
When you feel a deep sense of satisfaction about what you’re doing with your life, you have found your life purpose. It takes no more, and no less.
Knowing your purpose simplifies your life.
It defines what you do and what you don’t do. Your purpose becomes the standard you use to evaluate which activities are essential and which aren’t. Without a clear purpose you have no foundation on which you base decisions, allocate your time, and use your resources. You will tend to make choices based on circumstances, pressures, and your mood at that moment. People who don’t know their purpose try to do too much and that causes stress, fatigue, and conflict. Purpose-driven living leads to a simpler lifestyle and a saner schedule.
Knowing your purpose focuses your life.
It concentrates your effort and energy on what’s important. You become effective by being selective. It’s human nature to get distracted by minor issues. We play Trivial Pursuit with our lives. Henry David Thoreau observed that people live lives of “quiet desperation,” but today a better description is aimless distraction.
Many people are like gyroscopes, spinning around at a frantic pace but never going anywhere. Without a clear purpose, you will keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches, or other externals — hoping each change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in your heart. You think, Maybe this time it will be different, but it doesn’t solve your real problem — a lack of focus and purpose. If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity. You can be busy without a purpose, but what’s the point?
Knowing your purpose motivates your life.
Purpose always produces passion. Nothing energizes like a clear purpose. On the other hand, passion dissipates when you lack a purpose. Just getting out of bed becomes a major chore. It is usually meaningless work, not overwork, that wears us down, saps our strength, and robs our joy. When you live your dreams, your purpose, you just feel your life been motivated at all times.
Knowing your purpose gives you a dynasty mindset.
Dynasty in life is measured by how purposeful your life is. A purpose driven life enjoys dynasty overall at all times. There are examples of great figures who had achieved dynasty and are still achieving because of how they started their early age with purpose and determination.
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