What I’ve Learned About Purpose
When I was a little girl, I would watch with awe-struck eyes at the people before me who seemed to fit perfectly into the skin of their calling. I was told countless stories of these divine meetings where people were “told” what their purpose was in life and then how all the doors opened for them shortly after the call. While still young, I would wake up each day wondering if today my purpose would be defined. Would I hear a whisper? Would someone introduce me to exactly what my future would hold because they saw something in me I had never recognized?
I would feel anxious wondering if I had gone down the wrong path or if I missed my sign. Often I would feel left out wondering where my direct line to my purpose could be found. Singing was my hobby, and I loved Jesus, so I thought I was meant to be a worship leader! But then I also loved children, so I changed my mind into being a music teacher. Shortly after, I subtracted the “music” part because I didn’t like all the theory that played a major role in learning music. I just wanted to sit on my bed, butcher the guitar chords and sing at the top of my lungs!
I could keep going with all the crazy twists and turns involved in finding my purpose, but let’s get to the point. Jess Lively had it right when she said, “Purpose is not ‘the thing’ you do. It’s within you!”
Purpose is directly linked to your values. What are the things that make you come alive or that you would fight for? When you feel off, what parts of you are not being honored? To help, my values are the following: freedom, change, connection, authenticity, and fun. There are several more values that are important to me, but those listed above are most important. They are the ones I’m intentional about honoring; they are the gas that fills my soul tank.
Naming my values shifted my perspective on the meaning of purpose. The value pieces of my heart allow me to do soul work in whatever I do — not just one thing. When I interact with my family, and we are having fun and connecting, I am living my purpose. Each time I sit down to write to you all and share my authentic stories, I am living my purpose.
Not only in the positive parts of my life, but in the messy, broken parts, if I find ways to live true to who I am, I am living my purpose.
Going back to Jess Lively, she said beautifully:
“How could we possibly pin down the purpose of Benjamin Franklin?
Was his purpose simply to be a writer?
Could we pin only one of those roles to his chest and call it “his purpose?”
His purpose did not exist in the things he did.
It came from within himself, applied to whatever he happened to be doing to serve others in that moment.”
So, how do you want to redefine purpose? Stop waiting on the sidelines for the big flashing lights to clarify who you are meant to be. And start living who you are in the here and the now. Apply your purpose to every moment.