“Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.”
Your life purpose is an incredibly powerful force that will direct your life and determine your legacy. Find a successful person who is content and fulfilled, and you’ll likely find a life guided by an inspired purpose or mission, and a person who has applied his or her God-given talents to a worthy cause.
In fact, without a strong sense of life purpose, even the most successful accomplishments can seem empty.
Knowing your life purpose–what makes you tick, what motivates you, what you are alive on earth to do–is what ignites passion. Passion inspires initiative and creativity. It builds momentum and creates enthusiasm. It also sustains hope and perseverance in difficult times, and provides a reason (and enthusiasm!) for getting out of bed every morning.
Life purposes can be cause-driven (e.g., curing a disease, educating disadvantaged youth, sheltering the homeless, cleaning the planet, protecting our country) or skill-driven (e.g., athletes, artists, mathematicians, designers). They also can evolve throughout your lifetime.
How can you discover your life purpose? Here are some questions to consider:
- What causes (e.g., global or community needs, people, situations, organizations) am I most passionate about? What problems would I most like to solve? What needs or people tug at my heart?
- What inspires me the most?
- What brings me the greatest joy and fulfillment?
- Whose lives would I most like to emulate and why?
- What are my special gifts and talents?
- Where can my skills have the greatest potential impact?
Once you ponder these questions, see if a picture emerges. Then, as that picture solidifies into an identifiable sense of purpose, calling, and passion, start thinking about how you can live it out.
Whatever you do, don’t set your life purpose on a shelf and forget about it. You are a unique individual with gifts, talents, and perspective only YOU can give to the world. No amount of money, fame, or accomplishment can ever compete with that.
Someday, you’ll want to be able to look back on your life and say, “Mission accomplished!” What’s your mission? Are you living it out with purpose and passion?
If you’re a parent or teacher, find out what the young adults in your life think about their life purpose. Share your comments below; we’d love to hear from you!