With a website named Thriving on Purpose, there is one subject I cannot ignore in my blog.
And by the way, Thriving on Purpose has a dual meaning…
1- It means to thrive… on purpose – as in, not by accident.
2- It also means to thrive on (or with) purpose – to thrive on your purpose.
Which means to have found you purpose and thrive as a result of it.
So, by popular demand, this blog is about how to find your purpose, your calling, your life’s mission, your God-given assignment, your ONE BIG THING.
Many, many entrepreneurs, even many of whom are very successful often ask this question…
How do I find my purpose?
Sometimes, it shocks me. Why? Because the question may come from those who seem to have it all together. I don’t usually hear this question from the aimless and jobless, but rather from those who are already very successful in one lane or another.
There are four simple questions you can ask yourself to get a pretty good grasp on what you are here for. These questions (or steps if you prefer) have been talked about, written about, even philosophized about. The greatest thought-leaders have addressed how to find your purpose time and again and these four questions are pretty spot on, time-tested, and true. They are at the center of how to find your purpose.
And guess what… Only YOU can answer those questions.
No one else is qualified. So, finding your purpose is something that you will accomplish by asking yourself and answering the right questions.
So, no, I will not reinvent the wheel with this article. However, I will give you the most potent, realistic, and actionable steps to help guide you in the right direction.
But before I do that, I would like to address how you WILL NOT find your purpose. Or just talk about what your purpose ISN’T. In other words, some debunking is needed here.
1- Your purpose isn’t to go to school, get a good job, and pay bills for the rest of your life.
Now, can your job or career be related to your purpose – absolutely! And, if you’re lucky, you might have figured out at a young age in what field you should study and devote yourself to make it happen.
But, if you’re like most people, chances are you didn’t go to school in the field that is connected with your purpose.
Most people find their purpose in their thirties or forties… and not in their teens. And especially not at their job.
All this to say that if you are still at a J.O.B. (Just Obeying Bosses) – you are most probably contributing to the purpose of someone else, and not your own. In other words, at your job, you are most likely contributing to the purpose of the founder of the company you work for.
2- Becoming a believer was only the first half of finding your purpose.
Sooo many believers think that becoming a christian is what they were put on earth to do.
For sure, believing in the work of Jesus-Christ and becoming born again through regeneration is the most important thing for a human being while on earth.
So no, I am not dissing it.
But this is only half your story. It doesn’t stop there!
Your conversion was only the beginning of your answering the call of God on your life.
God created the specifics of YOU with a very specific work in mind. And this specific work is your purpose.
That’s what you need to figure out.
3- As a Christian, your purpose is NOT to spread the gospel.
Now you might be going: “WHAT!!!”
I know this one comes as a shocker, but unless God has issued a clear call on your life to be an evangelist, God did not make you and put you here for this task alone.
Now, I must clarify here unless I am misunderstood…
God does require us (the Church) to spread the gospel individually and collectively. This is part of our mandate of obedience as believers, and as His Church.
But did He create you, with all your talents, gifts, and personality, and put you here to spread the Gospel?
I have said it before, God could have created angelic drones to spread the gospel if He wanted. So, while God expects us to be obedient as believers and talk about what Jesus has done for us, this is not the reason He created you. So, the holy task of spreading the gospel is not your purpose.
4- Your purpose is NOT what your parents think you should do.
In my youth, I made the mistake of equating what my entourage (especially my mom) thought I should do with my life with my calling. Everyone kept oohing and aahing my artistic talent – especially drawing. As a result, I enrolled in graphic arts in college, thinking it was a no-brainer. Boy was I wrong! Not only did I hate it, but I wasn’t particularly gifted at it, especially the more technical part of the trade. In short, it made me lose at least three years of my life and just confused me concerning my future.
So, your purpose is not what others think you should do – although it should be considered in the equation. More on that later.
So now that we’ve looked at what your purpose isn’t, let’s now look at what it is.
First, let’s get back to the basic definition.
1- the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
As such, asking about your purpose is one of the most powerful questions anybody can ever ask.
And, in line with this question are others such as…
- Why am I here?
- What am I supposed to do with this life God has given me?
- What work am I supposed to accomplish?
And if you are asking yourself these questions, you make yourself already more valuable than the masses by sheer force of intentionality.
Which brings us to our first question in finding your purpose:
1- Who am I?
I know it sounds pretty basic to put this as the first step, and yet, this is where most people trip up.
You see, most people do not even know themselves well enough, much less their purpose.
What is your personality like?
Are you introverted or extroverted?
What constitutes your strengths?
What constitutes your weaknesses?
What is your temperament?
What is your love language?
What are your hot buttons?
What makes you angry?
If you know yourself well enough, you will know what you really LOVE, right?
Which brings us to the second point…
2- What is my passion?
Chances are your purpose is closely linked to what you love to do above all.
Of course, you may have more than one thing you are passionate about. So, a careful inventory of what you love to do must be taken and prioritized.
There is probably one thing you love more than all the others, right?
You’ve probably heard the saying “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life”, right?
Well, it’s true.
When we do what we love, work becomes play. It makes us want to sing and it puts a huge grin on our faces.
And, as an added bonus… it pisses other people off.
I’m just joking here.
Another very important point in speaking of passion is this:
Sometimes it is not as clear cut as what you love. It can also be linked to what you hate.
Let me explain…
What makes you angry can be what you are passionate about. You can be passionately angry about certain things. And this too, can be a clue as to what your purpose is.
For example, you may not find you have any one dominating passion. However, you may be someone who gets very fired up at any kind of injustice, or human suffering, or the like. So, conversely, this would make you passionate about… justice. So your purpose might be linked to a field where you could make justice happen somehow. Catch my drift?
So, the thing you are passionate about gives you a pretty good clue as to what your purpose may be… but for validation of your purpose, it has to be coupled with point number three, which is…
3- What is my giftedness?
You see, if you love to do something, but you are really bad at it… there is a good chance it’s not your purpose.
God doesn’t gift people in vain. He doesn’t distribute talents just for the heck of it.
Your giftedness is the most potent clue as to what your purpose may be.
And when I say giftedness, I don’t just mean something you are good at. No.
I mean something you are VERY good at and that comes almost effortlessly. Not a skill, but a strength.
The difference between a skill and a strength is how much mental energy you have after you exercised it.
A skill, after being used, will still leave you weary, tired, or even exhausted.
A strength, on the other hand, is something that usually doesn’t take the same toll on you as it would someone else – and in many cases, it may even energize you when you do it, all the while bringing extraordinary results.
In other words, a strength is something you do that you are very gifted at and that comes easily to you.
Now, for the believer, there are two categories of strengths…
1- Your natural talents and abilities (those you were born with)
2- Your spiritual gifts (those you were born again with)
God may want to use both for your purpose and His glory.
Many have said that your purpose is found within your Sweet Spot. But what is your sweet spot?
Your sweet spot is simply found at the intersection of point number 2: your greatest passion and point number 3: your giftedness.
Those who find their sweet spot are well on their way to grasp the fullness of their calling.
4- What do others praise me for?
Yes, God uses others to lead us into our purpose.
Have you ever watched the American Idol auditions?
If so, you probably witnessed a ton of people who didn’t have the faintest clue about their lack of singing talent. Chances are, they were self-deluded into thinking themselves good… or they were lied to by their peers about being good.
Either way, Simon Cowell, like him or hate him, is pretty quick to sign these poor deluded fools a much needed reality check.
You see, when you really do have a strength zone – people confirm it.
When you are gifted, people…
1- Say it
2- Ask for it
3- Pay for it
The praise and requests of others is one of the most potent ways to confirm one’s potential calling or purpose.
It is implied, of course, that this confirmation from people will come from the people to whom your gift is aimed for. Now this is very important. Put your gift into action towards people whom it will serve. This will get you some positive feedback, and it will confirm if you are on the right path. With the internet, we are now able to share our gift and make it known through social media, which can be a great way to build your audience.
You may be the king of Hot-Dogs. You make the best hot-dogs in the country. Now, you will never get confirmation of this if you present your hot-dogs at a vegan convention.
You may have built the finest automobile ever to grace the roads of any country, but if you try to sell it to Amish people, they will not see it as a gift. Because, as most of you know, the Amish are very much against owning any kind of modern technology. This goes without saying and is only logical.
Finally dear listeners… if after taking careful inventory of these four questions you are still struggling to find your purpose, you must resort to one last and most crucial thing…
God wants nothing more for you than to discover and embrace your calling. After all… there is no calling without a caller. And He is the Caller!
I actually wrote another blog with this very title, you can check it out:
Your purpose as a believer is aligned with His purpose in making you, saving you, and sanctifying you.
So yes, it is mightily important. Definitely important enough for you to ask, seek, and knock persistently in prayer.
Rest assured God will delightfully answer such a plea… in His own timing of course.
And here is why…
When a believer walks in the fullness of his purpose and calling – it glorifies Him.
When God’s children walk in the fullness of their purpose – it glorifies God’s name.
So, let’s recap the four questions that will lead you into your purpose:
1- Who am I?
2- What is my passion?
3- What is my giftedness?
4- What do others praise me for?
As I conclude this article on How to Find Your Purpose, I’d like to share with you a cool little clip where John C. Maxwell talks about finding your purpose:
So, dear reader, I sincerely hope and pray that this has helped you to clarify your purpose or to walk closer to finding it, because at Thriving on Purpose, we believe this is the foundation and cornerstone of true success in life.
If you know anybody who might be struggling with finding their purpose, make sure you share this article with them.
May God bless you on your purposeful journey!
Here is a podcast I did and dive deeper into Finding Your Purpose:
You can also listen to a series I did on "God's Kingdom Purpose for Man"
PODCAST " God's Kingdom Purpose for Man":