“I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” –Maria Gibbs
Purpose could be such an allusive and mysterious term. What is it, and, perhaps more importantly, how do we find it? Finding our purpose is very important because it helps guide our steps and direction in life. Not having purpose is like attempting to sail across the sea without a map or a navigation system. We may get somewhere…maybe.
The plainest definition of purpose is, “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” In my book I write, “Purpose gives our lives a clear and unwavering direction to follow. We know what we want, where we want to go, and what we were placed on this earth for.”
Purpose is our reason for being. And when we don’t have a clear sense of our purpose, it can lead to frustration; it ends up killing us inside. The good news is this: You were created for a purpose! All you have to do is find it, align yourself to it, and live it out.
Here’s a few words on how to do that:
- Ask, listen and obey your inner voice: Your inner spirit, your consciousness already knows what it was placed on this earth for. Take time to sit in silence without any interruptions and listen to that voice. Take a blank notebook and write down everything that comes to heart about your purpose. I have done this exercise many times, at times wanting to hear something differently, but in some way, shape or form, it always comes back the same. Ask, listen and obey.
- Listen to your history: There’s a good chance that your life has had a certain pattern to it. There are repeating themes that you can see over and over again. We can even learn from those negative events in our lives. When you carefully look back at your life, you can see that there’s been a constant theme in your life. Chances are that has been your purpose guiding you.
- Listen to the unasked confirmations: What I mean by this is sometimes people will confirm and affirm things for you even though you never asked for their opinion. On countless occasions, and throughout my life, I have had people come to me and say, “You’re such a good teacher.” Or, “You are such a persuasive communicator.” In seminary, I earned the highest honor in preaching class, even though I did everything almost opposite to what my professor was teaching the class. That was an “unasked confirmation” to say the least.
But how do we know if that purpose is good or not? The Dali Lama once said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Everyone’s purpose is to help create a better world for everyone else. If what your inner voice tells you helps you and people around you, you’re on the right track.
I have a feeling we will visit this topic again in the near future!