My beliefs about purpose have broadened and deepened considerably in the past year.  As a result of much research, pondering and coaching on the topic I’m eager to share what I have learned and observed.  I’ve spent far too much time playing it safe when it comes to how I talk about purpose in fear that my own intensity about it may be overwhelming.. yet I know in my heart it’s time for me to go deep out loud.

This is what I believe to be true about your purpose…

  • It’s not about you. And it certainly is not for you.
  • It’s deeply rooted in serving.
  • It was determined before you were born, in fact it is why you were born.
  • It has been revealing itself to you all along.
  • You are the only thing in the way of it.

That’s a whole lot of kind truth to take in but it’s also freaking amazing when you really thing about it.  I don’t expect you to simply take that all in as truth because I said so, allow me to go deeper with each before you choose to dismiss any of the beliefs I just shared.

  1. It’s not about you.  And it certainly is not for you. You do not choose your calling nor is it random.  You were literally designed with a purpose.  Not a purpose your parents had in mind, it is much bigger than that.  It was the universe at work, or for some it would be described as God’s work, God’s design. Regardless of your chosen way to refer to the maker of all our glory that science has yet to explain, the take away is that you were born on purpose, with purpose.  Unfortunately it is as hard to give scientific evidence for purpose as it is to prove why we love.  But just as there is an abundance of evidence why we love and how we love, there is also an abundance of evidence for each and every one of us why we exist. We just need to learn to listen, which in our times is a lost art.  So in fact I am asking you to give a leap of faith and to be open to the possibility of this being truth.  It was in that leap of faith that I discovered this to be true.  And I have also witnessed this with so many I have had the privilege to coach.  If you truly surrender to the possibility your purpose will reveal itself.
  2. It’s deeply rooted in serving.  While we live in a “me” culture, if you take the time to observe those living on purpose it has nothing to do with themselves.  What awakens and feeds your spirit is discovering, and then living in such a way that your innate gifts are put to work.  In contrast if your focus is on fame or wealth then at best you will experience fleeting moments of temporary delight but that kind of fulfilment does not sustain.  Where as serving tastes, feels, and nurtures you much deeper in a way that fuels you. Ponder when you are truly lit up, ponder what your reward is when you are truly lit up, ponder what you value and believe in that moment.
  3. It was determined before you were born, in fact it is why you were born. This was essentially answered in the first point but it is so important that it is worth revisiting.  Today’s culture leads us to believe that we are the makers of our own destiny.  But what if that is not true? What if your purpose was predetermined and it is left up to you what to do with that gift?  If you put all our energy into trying to invent your purpose what is left over to live it?  You need to invest in listening and revealing your purpose and then put every bit of your being into living it.
  4. It has been revealing itself all along.  All those repetitious themes that show up… welcomed or not, they are yelling at you wanting, needing to be heard and understood.  It is your problems that reveal your purpose but you spend so much of your energy trying to avoid problems and defect ownership of them that you get stuck there.  Like a skip on a vinyl record it just plays itself over and over again until you do something about it.
  5. You are the only thing in the way of it.  This one can be hard to own, we are so busy looking for rational outside of ourselves that we are not fluent in how to take ownership of what is in our way.  If you did, all of what I have spoken about would occur with much more grace, much more ease.  All that is needed to get out of your own way is courage and humility.  Two traits that evaluate how we see ourselves and how others experience us.  Regardless of your motive getting out of your own way is the only way.

It is also important to distinguish the difference between a job and purpose.  Not everyone gets paid for their purpose.  It’s fantastic when you do but by no means does it prohibit you from living on purpose if your job is not literally mapped to it.  Take for example Bob, his job is to stuart a busy fairy transporting thousands of business people back and forth everyday.  Bob says “Good Morning!” to each and every person with a big smile that could light up a room.  He asks how you are and wishes you a fantastic day as you leave.  This is not part of his job description, none of his peers do this, but each and every day he does this with such passion. I’ve noticed that no matter how grumpy or tired someone is they cannot help but smile and reciprocate Bob’s genuine way of being.  After a few months of observing Bob like this every time I used the fairy I finally acknowledged him for this gift and asked him why he did this.  He humbly accepted my acknowledgment and shared that it lights him up to give everyone a reason to smile.  Bob recognized his innate gift to spread joy and is serving it up in a big way.  So don’t let your “job” be an excuse not to live on purpose.

That’s a lot to take in.  And it is much more layered and complicated than I have attempted to share in a few sentences.  I would be beyond grateful if you share your point of view, my curiosity is aching to hear from you.