A-not-so-fun fact: 75% of people say they can't articulate their purpose in life. That means only one of every four of us out there are waking up and charging forward with a sense of purpose. The rest of us? Well, we're walking forward, but without a direction, a path, or an answer in mind.
Here's the good news: It doesn't have to be that way. Walking in your purpose isn't something reserved only for 25% of the people. Whether you are the CEO of the company confusing your purpose with your job description, the student overwhelmed with the continual question of what you're going to do with your life, the frontline employee working the register at a big-box retail store, the guy who just got laid off, the new mom struggling to balance your new routine, the fresh-out- of-college employee starting your first job, the person closing in on decades in a career you hate, the individual anticipating the retired life and what it will look like, the person with a strong sense of purpose that doesn't seem to line up with your job, anyone, anywhere struggling to know their purpose and live it in the season they're in.
My hope is to help you come to know your own unique purpose and guide you toward living it in all kinds of stages, phases, and circumstances in your life.
First, we have to work to know it. We have to understand cognitively this big question in life: What is purpose? Or, more specifically, what is my purpose? This is the first step, and friends, it may be the hardest. It requires some real, honest self-reflection, and that's difficult. I'm not going to pretend it's not going to be uncomfortable at times. For so many of us, the clues toward our purpose are there; they have likely been there since we were young. Our gifts, our passions, our aspirations, our capabilities—they all point to purpose.
Sometimes, they're called out in us early in life. They're fertilized, nurtured, and allowed to grow and flourish as we grow and flourish. But other times, they're not. They're ignored, dismissed, or rejected. In the past when we've tried to articulate our purpose in our words, our hopes, and our dreams, it's been squashed. Those tiny seedlings of purpose remain in us, but to get to them, we must do the hard work of cracking through the concrete surface that now covers them. Knowing our purpose is that hard work, but it's also a good work. One with life changing potential. It's the work of wrestling with ourselves, asking the hard questions, and being honest about the answers to get back to a real sense of purpose.
Once you know your purpose, we have to figure out what it means to live it. This goes beyond the job you're in, the stage of life you're living, the circumstances you find yourself in. Will your purpose change over time? Does it evolve right along with us? These are deep questions we have to explore. While we may have differing opinions on some elements, we can agree there is meaning in the moments of every season when we move through those moments with purpose.
Ready to reduce stress and live out of intention? Get your copy of The Strength of Purpose: A Guide to Knowing and Living Your Reason for Being and the accompanying Handbook: The Strength of Purpose Handbook: A Guide for Crafting Purpose, Journaling Progress and Setting Goals To Live Your Reason for Being.