The desire and drive to find our individual purpose is something that plagues us all. There are books and books dedicated to the formula for how you can find your purpose. Well, I’ve searched high and low and I’ve invested A LOT into seeking out and finding what it is that is my particular purpose. I’ve found the answer.
Your purpose has approximately NOTHING to do with you.
[insert screeching vinyl]
Be Uniquely You
This sounds so elementary, yet somehow I feel like I need an advanced degree to comprehend it. As Americans, we oftentimes mix up our purpose for our vocation. There are books and podcasts and educational courses dedicated to helping people find their purpose (including yours truly), and trust me I’ve sought them all out. But I have come up empty every time.
Being a SAHM has given me some of the most purposeless feeling days I’ve ever known. Somehow, I’ve believed the lie that I needed to just find ‘my thing’, and then the magic would unfold. It’s elusive, this said ‘magic’. You most likely can find it in the same field with the unicorns and four leaf clovers. What it promises to bring is dang near everything. Happiness, contentment, joy, fulfillment in our days – all of the things that we all want and crave! No one wants to live a life of monotony, yet somehow, that’s what we all find ourselves doing.
I believe that our purpose has less to do with us, and more to do with who created us.
Finding purpose amongst your people
It starts with your people.
While I believe that our vocation can ultimately be the tool in which we find purpose, ultimately it is just that – it’s a tool. Our purpose begins with our people. The accomplishments will come and go, the praise and accolades will ebb and flow (I’m still waiting for them to flow…when is that Mother of the Year aware ceremony?!) but ultimately our purpose is going to start and end with our people. It is the not the THING that will bring you purpose, it is the WHO. Sure, you might use a THING to serve a WHO, but the WHO is the only thing that can give you the intangibles that will fill your bucket.
So yes, search for your thing, discover how you are uniquely wired and skilled. But know and remember, that that journey is not your end goal. Finding your thing will not give you what you desire. The contentment, the joy, the feelings of being useful and purposeful will only come when you use your thing to serve others. To enhance the lives of those around you.
That could be little people. It could be big people. It could be fancy desk people. Or it could be ailing old people. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, just know that if and when you are feeling like the WHAT will give you joy, it is a lie that will only keep you running on an endless treadmill. The who, your people, the people right in front of you, your neighbors, your kids, your co-workers, WHOMEVER IS BREATHING IN FRONT OF YOU, when you start by serving them the best that you know how, THAT is when your tank of purpose will begin to fill.