he more I read about the subject matter, the more I am convinced that one of my predictions is coming to pass. Some years back on this blog, I predicted that the next impactful dispensation will be the purpose revolution. This is huge because it touches not just on individuals, but also on entities, governments and other organizations.
It's Coming Alive
More and more people are either becoming aware of the fact that fulfillment is not an entitlement. It is not a function of what we have amassed in life. It is not the result of being esteemed by other people while cameras are rolling and fans are cheering. More than ever, this generation is coming to see the stark reality of
- Emptiness in the midst of opulence.
- Dissatisfaction in the midst of acquisitions.
- Discomfort in the midst of access to exotic comfort.
- Lack of fulfillment in the midst of great ownership of things.
In fact, it is reported that the Millennials as well as their children are now more purpose oriented than any other generation that ever existed.
The Example Of Jesus
Believe it or not, purpose has its true measure. I will give you two stories. First, there is a story about Jesus Christ talking to a woman around a well. His disciples come back with food probably excited about it, but he wasn’t that interested. When they asked him about food….not the woman, he said,
“I have food to eat you know nothing about”. Stop and think about that.
- If someone offered you something else besides what you are pursuing at the moment, would you be able to tell them “off” the same way Jesus did?
My Wife and Her Song
The other story is about my wife. She came back home one day from a studio armed with a demo track and raw data of a song she was working on. She just couldn’t put it down. She was totally distracted by it and was not interested in other chores in the house…those could wait. She couldn’t put her phone down even though she was hungry. Food was not a need at that moment in time.
Those two scenarios are a measure of what purpose and passion could be. One of the things about it is that purpose is absolutely personal. In other words, what you feel about your purpose is not necessarily the same thing as what another person might feel. For the disciples, at that moment in time, food was the thing to focus on. For Jesus, it was to illuminate the life of someone else.
One More Story
Now, before we can go any further, let me share with you one more story. The other day I felt so tired, exhausted even and knew that I needed to go back home and rest. So I called my wife and after sharing some niceties, I informed her that I would be coming back home early to rest. Shortly after I hung up the call, I turned to work on a project that is so close to my heart. Before you know it, the tiredness had thawed and I was absolutely immersed in my work. I had unintentionally lied to my wife that I would be home knew. I ended up getting there late because of the re-surging strength that came from working on my area of purpose and passion
What Got us There?
What got the three of us there? What got us to that element of being in the flow so much so that we bothered less of the needs of the moment? I will tell you why, and this is perhaps one of the biggest revelations of my life. We all were in action, doing something. That is when that feeling or moment of flow came. That is where the clarity came from. Jesus was able to say what he did after he had helped a woman. My wife was able to be focused after she had had the recording of her song done. I was able to be in the flow after I had had some work done. Action is absolutely critical in the purpose discovery equation.
Big Purpose Mistake
One of the biggest mistakes I made in my purpose pursuit was to pray, sit and wait until it is clarified before I moved. I was absolutely off with that. Now I know only better. If you want to have a hint of what your purpose is, do stuff. Make things. Take some kind of action. When you do, the following tings are likely to identify what you have done as your purpose or your passion. When they are all true, probably you ought to focus on what you just discovered more and for a lifetime.
1. People do not understand
How could it be that you are so passionate about something but people do not get it? How could it be that people do not see it the same way you do? One of the greatest mistakes we make about our purpose is to seek it to fit into peoples’ perceptions and cultures of how our lives should be. On the same token, one of the greatest determinants of your purpose is the degree to which people do not understand you. The disciples could not really “get” Jesus; they thought he should be eating. In fact, the misunderstanding can even be an outright opposition. The more you are misunderstood and the more you are actively opposed, the greater the chance there is that it is your purpose. Weird, isn’t it?
2. You cannot but..
Can you imagine yourself not doing what you are passionate about? I confess. This is a question you only ask to the people who are already doing something, taking action towards something. If you have this feeling that you cannot see yourself doing any other thing save from what you are doing forever; even if the fortunes changed elsewhere…that is a true measure of purpose. Purpose is not moved by what’s greener on the other side, but it is anchored in the essence of solving a need that if not solved, you will never have peace. It is like a woman that is pregnant. She cannot but bring the baby full term. It’s like an aeroplane that is speeding the runway ready to take off. It cannot stop. It has to take off. If you cannot imagine yourself doing another thing, chances are that you have honed in to your purpose.
3. You are absolutely consumed
Imagine Mother Teresa running for political office and abandoning those souls of Calcutta. Imagine Martin Luther King Jnr taking up a job as a CEO of a large multinational. Imagine Jesus Christ retreating to the life of an ordinary human being, not living to fulfill his purpose. The world will never be the same for people who know their purpose and not pursue it to the hilt. Purpose absolutely consumes you that nothing else will ever take its place; indeed nothing else will ever fulfill you. The very nature of purpose calls for you to be totally submitted to it and consumed by it. If you are easily distracted from it and move on to other things, probably that is not something you can call you purpose.
In a nutshell, if you wanted to personally measure to see what you are engaged with at the moment to be your purpose, you need to consider whether people misunderstand you, whether you are totally consumed by it or whether you cannot leave it to do other things. Over to you.