“To the person with a firm purpose all men and things are servants.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Do you know your purpose? The word “know” probably doesn’t go far enough. Do you totally get your purpose, do you intuitively grok your purpose? (“Grok” is a great word. Check out its source and definition at Wikipedia.)
If you aren’t answering with a resounding “YES!”, then you likely fall into one of two camps: 1) you are mystified as to what your purpose could be; or 2) you wish X was your purpose but it just doesn’t feel genuine.
Is It Possible To Have No Purpose?
The short answer: No, that is not possible.
How do we know? Because the universe is perfectly efficient. If you exist, there is a purpose for your existence. It’s funny, people with low self-esteem will claim that they believe they have no purpose. Yet this is a tremendously pride-filled position to take. The universe is wasting precious resources allowing you to hang around with nothing to add to the whole? So you are in fact extra-universal, beyond the universe? It just doesn’t add up.
I Wanna Be A Rockstar/Power Broker/TV Hunk/Business Magnate
Steve Martin once riffed on Saturday Night Live, “My goal: right now, I want to be the all-being master of time, space and dimension. Then, I want to go to Europe – I think.”
We’ve talked about “want” before. When you achingly want something it is a pretty good indicator that it is not your purpose. Why? Because purpose flows, it is clear, it results in peacefulness.
That is not to say that what you are exhibiting right now is your ultimate purpose. There may be and likely is far more to come. But as far as your purpose goes, what you are right now is right on schedule and right on target.
There exist people who have the purpose of being world famous or fabulously rich or “successful” in some other worldly sense. But the fact is that many, many people who have sacrificed to attain such a status are wretchedly unfulfilled. The fame or the money or the accolades didn’t make them unhappy but neither could they fill them with the satisfaction and joy that can be realized only through the embracing of one’s true purpose. Sometimes we witness those who are really in their element in such roles: the Richard Branson’s, the Nelson Mandela’s, the Oprah’s. It makes no sense to try to force our way into these roles just as it would make no sense for the aforementioned to fight being who and what they are. If you are one of those few, go for it. If you are not, you need to look elsewhere.
Purpose Is Discovered, Not Chosen
This is what it all boils down to. You are not without a purpose and you don’t even choose your purpose. What you do is uncover your purpose. To those who are really aching to choose their purpose, I say this: when you see who and what you truly are, all your wants are going to seem small and short changing. You will wonder how you could have ever hoped for so little when the truth of your purpose is so glorious, so joyous and so perfect that you can’t imagine returning to your tawdry little expectations.
Your mind will not and cannot discover your purpose. It doesn’t have the “receptors” for it. Your spirit is far more wise than your mind, far more insightful, and far more dialed in. This discovery process requires that you shut up and listen. You have to do both. Your mind will make too much noise if you let it keep blathering on, even if you are listening. And if all you do is turn off the jabbering with the weak intention of waiting for your turn to talk again, you will miss it.
Don’t get dismayed that I call it a process as if that means it requires some long or rigorous actions on your part. Taking a breath is a process but it passes in seconds. Your purpose can begin to come to you that quickly and completely. For some, their recognition of their purpose will wash over them like a wave that just keeps coming and coming. For others, it will be an instantaneous knowingness so complete and so profound that it defies comparison to any other experience. For still others, it will be like a light that gets lighter and lighter until they reside in the full light of day.
“I just figured out what I’m doing here. Have you?” click to tweet
Part of your purpose is that there is the perfect time for you to arrive at the full awareness of your purpose. If that time has not yet arrived, you have made no mistakes. But the fact that a concern about knowing your purpose is in your present awareness tells you that this recognition is coming for you. Otherwise, you would have stopped reading this already, it would have been boring or sounded stupid to you. Keep your openness, guard your wonder. It’s all happening on purpose.
What have you discerned about your purpose? Tell us about it by commenting below.
Photo credit: godserv
6 thoughts on “You Have a Purpose and You Can Know It”
What if I don’t like my purpose? What if I don’t find it compelling or interesting?
You don’t have to worry about that happening because it won’t, it can’t. Your purpose is custom-made for you. It will sing to you. Right now because you cannot imagine what that purpose can be, you doubt the perfection of the match. When you will see it, all these doubts will fall away.
This is always an interesting topic; most people speak to a purpose in the same vein as a goal. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the differences. I usually use the word purpose because it allows you to have the freedom to adjust how you accomplish your purpose. Just like the purpose of one’s eye is to see, that purpose will never change but you can use corrective lenses to help achieve that purpose.
I like the distinction you make between a purpose and a goal. That may be an out for those who get hung up on choosing: choose all the goals you want. In fact, you are free to carry out your purpose any way you like. Regarding the difference between goals and purposes, that’s a whole other article. 🙂
I’m in a place right now where I NEED to know my purpose. I’m at the verge of qutting my job of 13 years and seeing how I can better use my skills and talents. I’ve always been somewhat of an entrepreneur, but always lacked direction. There are a few things I want to do but how can I know my true purpose?
Kenneth, you are at a moment in life that can be exhilarating and yet terrifying. Just because you have “lacked direction” in the past does not mean this is who you are. It is rather where you were. I will send you a direct message with something more.