Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my purpose?” And how would I know if I found it? Many people spend time, thought, and resources trying to figure out their direction, focus, and meaning. Sometimes people feel like they’re just drifting, going through the motions, allowing external circumstances to direct their lives. Similar to being on a raft in the middle of the ocean without a rudder, compass, or any way to guide the path. The waves, wind, rain move the raft, but the person feels helpless and powerless to decisively take charge. In life we may go through seasons of feeling rudderless while other times we have a clear path and understanding of where we are going and are actively engaged in the journey.
Discovering our purpose takes time, effort, patience, and trust. First, we need to find out what we love to do, which is our passion. Next, we need to figure out what we are good at (our strengths or talents) and if we can get paid for doing it (our profession). And lastly, we need to find out how we can help others by what we do; this is our mission. The intersection between those four areas will be where our purpose lies. For example, I love to teach and counsel people so that they can experience a more fulfilling and joyful life. In the process, I also feel called to help others in their efforts to help themselves. My faith motivates me to give back and use my God-given gifts to help others find their strengths and use their abilities to overcome adversity.
We all have gifts, talents, and purpose, but some of us have a difficult time discerning what they are or how to implement them into our lives. All of our personal and professional experiences help to shape our purpose, and it seems the negative ones tend to mold us the most. We grow, mature, and learn the most during difficult times such that none of our experiences are wasted. One way to discern your purpose is to be still, meditate, and maybe journal as a means of figuring out your goals, desires, and talents. Asking trusted family and close friends for feedback on your talents can provide good insight. Also taking action and trying different things can work to figure out the best focus. Lastly, evaluate your emotional state and the significance that you’re having on others because this will surely help in finding your purpose. Personally, it helps me to remember this: who you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.