Purpose matters in our lives.
- Simon Sinek calls it your "why".
- Joshua Freedman calls it your "noble goal".
- Mark Twain said, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why."
- Friedrich Nietzsche provided us with more than one thought on the topic:
- "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering."
- "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."
You can call it whatever you want but you have to define it for yourself and make it the center of your existence. The sense of urgency I possess about this is because when we surrender to our circumstances, we have good days and bad days. We are at the mercy of what happens to us. When we surrender to our cause or passion or purpose, we have only good days because we are no longer at the mercy of the others or circumstances. But only if we truly believe!
Now for the hard part. This is not about epiphanies or moments of clarity, it is about hard work and trying lots of different things (kissing lots of toads). It is about not being so focused on the one thing you think you want that you miss out on the one thing in the universe that was meant to be yours. What you think you want and what your passion might be are probably vastly different things and that is what is making your miserable. You have to stop convincing yourself that you know and open yourself to new experiences so you can actually find out.
About 15 year ago Po Bronson wrote an article in Fast Company magazine titled, "What should I do with my life?" In it he discusses his conversations with over 900 people on how they found their purpose and shares this insightful thought, "Most of us don’t get epiphanies. We only get a whisper — a faint urge. That’s it. That’s the call. It’s up to you to do the work of discovery, to connect it to an answer. Of course, there’s never a single right answer. At some point, it feels right enough that you choose, and the energy formerly spent casting about is now devoted to making your choice fruitful."
Are you willing to listen for the "whisper"?
Are you willing to do the "work of discovery"?
Are you willing to shut up & get on with it?
If you are, your purpose is out there waiting for you!