“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain
No matter your race or religion, social or economic status, every person on this earth has several things in common with his fellow man. I’m not talking about the basic physical needs of food, clothing or shelter even though those are common to us all. I’m looking a little higher.
We all share the need for loving relationships, to be in community with others, and to worship — someone or something. But I’m thinking of something higher, beyond just the relational and spiritual needs we share.
Each and every one of us has a deep-seated desire to live a life of purpose, a life of meaning, a life that justifies our existence. We cannot stand the thought of our lives being wasted. We all would want our family and friends to be able to easily say about us that the world is a better place because we were in it.
We cannot stand the thought of our lives being wasted.
So, given that purpose is so critical to us all, then it follows that there are two very important days to note in our lives, as Mark Twain said, the day we are born, and the day we know why. I’m not saying these are necessarily the most important days of our lives, but they are nonetheless very important to us, personally. Of course, the day we were born is important because that started it all! Everything in life has to have a beginning.
However, it’s the second day that can sometimes be more elusive; the day we finally realize why we were born. For those of you who have already experienced that second day, who know why you were born, who have a strong sense of your purpose, well done! It’s safe to say your life has undoubtedly been more meaningful since that day. Hopefully, you’ve been enjoying fulfilling your purpose and those around you have benefited from your efforts.
Those that haven’t yet experienced that second day are probably asking, “What is my purpose? How do I discover it?” You sincerely want to know but have been frustrated. How can anyone know their true purpose in life? There are as many answers to this question as there are people asking it. But, I have some thoughts that could help you find your purpose.
Thoughts On Finding Your Purpose
1. Be Honest With Yourself. This is the first and most obvious piece of advice I can give. Often you really do know your purpose, or at least have a strong indication of what it is, but don’t want to believe or accept it. Possibly the thought of it scares you since it seems so impossible. You don’t feel qualified or worthy so your self-talk shuts you down, and with it your purpose. Please be honest and share your true feelings with someone who cares about you. Listen to their feedback. Don’t limit yourself in finding your true purpose out of fear or unbelief. You might be depriving others the benefit of your true gift, and depriving yourself of your true purpose and the happiness and sense of fulfillment that goes with it.
2. What Do People Most Often Ask Of You? Are you the person everyone comes to see when they want advice on their finances, on their professional goals, on raising their children, or relationships, or even car repairs? Often the thing that everyone comes to you for is a strong piece of evidence concerning your purpose. I believe we are all gifted in some way where we excel at one or more things above others. Our giftings will usually compliment our purpose. Discover your giftings, find your purpose.
3. What Things Come Easily For You? Similar to the paragraph above, what sorts of things come easily for you that seems to be harder for others. That also can be evidence that will lead to the discovery of your purpose.
4. What Brings You Joy? Finally, the things that you love to do, that give you great satisfaction are another strong piece of evidence that could lead you to find your purpose. You might love to teach people things that improve their lives, while others would find this boring and unpleasant.
It may take some time to discover your purpose, but it’s worth the wait. Don’t get anxious about it. Take it a day at a time, in a steady fashion. It will come. You will know it when you see it. Your patience will be rewarded.
My Personal Experience
I wasn’t honest with myself. I clearly saw evidence of my giftings and talents, things I easily excelled in. But, I did not want to go where they led. I had fears and misgivings about them. I wanted something else — I thought. One day, a good and trusted friend persuaded me to explore the purpose I was avoiding. “What have you got to lose?” he asked. So, I went with my giftings. It changed my life for the better. My fears and misgivings were unfounded. I now feel I have a good sense of my purpose, and I’m so much happier than when I was avoiding it and not being honest with myself.
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