Just yesterday night, I arrived home well after nine. I had a visitor who had come to see me, to discuss with me, and to get counsel. I was really tired, but I value people too much to make that a reason, so I waited to talk. It was about crossing from Medicine to HR. He had spent 6-7years studying Medicine, only to discover that his interests were somewhere in HR. He wanted to understand the full spectrum of what was available and what HR involves, so that he could know exactly in which area he could channel his strengths.
There was one question I asked him, and what I say to one, I say to all. What is your life purpose? What is your mission? Why are you here? These questions may look banal to you, but until you settle down to answer them, life lacks real meaning. Purpose is the inner compass that guides our daily decision on where to move. It’s the inner core that assists us to make critical direction related decisions. It’s also a very theoretical concept and one might tend to talk about it, rather than sit down and come to terms with it. Every human being is unique, has specific combination of skills and of course genes that make them useful for different things. Everybody has a unique purpose, and it’s not yours to invent, it’s yours to discover.
Why do I need to answer this quesion?
1. The winds blow in favour of the most able Navigators. No wind blows in the favour of a ship without direction. The wind blows as it likes, what the Captain of the ship does, is to use the sails to block the unfavourable winds such that the winds will aid movement in a particular direction. You setting your sail is what makes the winds blow in your favour. The same is true for life. Many people claim not to be lucky, favoured or opportuned. Tell me will the wind blow in your favour if you don’t know the end you want to pursue? Will any friend bring to your notice what he/she is unaware you are looking for? I believe the answer is no!
2. Someone said that when purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable. What we make of life without a clear direction is a mess! We’ll dable into many and any things just for lack of a precise purpose. It leads to a waste of time, a waste of efforts. Experience they say is a costly teacher, but a fool will learn by no other! For a life to be without purpose is not good. ‘A useless life is an early death’ -Goethe
3. It improves the quality of life. It adds years to your life and life to your years. ‘ Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes; lesser ones exist on wishes and inclinations.’ -Keneth Hidebrand. Imagine a life spent doing what comes naturally to you, imagine a life spent doing what you consider truely enjoyable. Imagine a life spent on a course greater than the one spending it. All these are characteristics of a life with purpose. It’s convinient to live life one day at a time without alignment to an overall purpose, but it’s very much like running a race without any intention of finishing it. Who would you rather watch, a young fellow straying around the feild or another fellow poised to touch the finish line? That’s what purpose does to you, it adds vitality and quality to your expressions. There is a place called there, wether others see it or not. James Turber said-‘All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.’
4. ‘It is not “history” which uses men as a means of achieving — as if it were an individual person — its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends.’ -Karl Marx. Having a purpose to life makes you feel and be more in charge of your life. It makes you know that you have a part to play in the drama of your life. History no longer occupies the drivers seat of your craft, you do!
Ok, good stuff, how do I get to know my purpose?
There are many approaches that have been recommended over time, I’ll share mine with you and that of a friend. Mine first:).
1. When was the last time you watched a movie that moved you to tears? Can you try to remember? The interesting thing is that we all have different things that move us to tears. You’ll be surprised if you find out what moves some people to tears. Well, I’m something of an emotional macho 🙂 so tears ain’t exactly my thing. Yeah! That was why it has shocked me to my marrow the two times it had happened to me. I was actually not only shedding tears, I was visibly shaking! Once I was alone the other time, I was with other people so I tried so hard to conceal it, but I knew, I must have been wailing. On both occassions, I took time to critically analyse what made me moved to crying (been dodging that word). Believe me, the two occassions were two entirely different films, but the concept was similar. The message was the same! It confirmed it to me what my purpose was. You’ll be surprised, it’s helped me to make some decisions quickly. To believe that we exist first on earth is an error, that we were not made is a falacy. We each have within us the coding that will reveal our purpose. You only need to look back and think. Whatever has the capacity to make you cry, has in it the DNA that will reveal your purpose, pay attention to it.
2. The other approach, I read from a person I call my mentor online…(a friend sent his link my way). His name is Steve .He holds the the veiw (and I agree as well) that you can discover your purpose in 20 minutes. That all that you need to do is get an exercise book and a pen, and write down your present idea of what your mission statement is. Then as you reflect on it, continue to refine and write it down. Line after line, keep writing. You’ll get to times when you feel like stopping, some things will almost distract you, don’t stop. You’ll feel like giving up every now and then, but take courage, some people didn’t stop until well after 100. Sometime early of if you really don’t believe in purpose, a little over 100, you’ll get to a line which you’ll write and burst into tears. For some people it actually shakes them badly. That line, Steve says is your mission statement. It’s worked for him and many others as well. It can work for you. Not if you read it…if you do it! You can also balance it with mine, you should get similar results.
I wish you well on your journey to purpose…Don’t stop! Luck is the portion of those whose purpose is so clear, their enemy can give them referrals. Make it plain, write it down, then get ready to run.
If this really helped you…tell a friend.