I will never forget the day I took a leadership course that was being offered by a Church in Kampala. Central to that course was a thorough study of Steven R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the habits dealt with purpose, in “Begin with the end in mind”.
A certain lady also took the course but she was absolutely out of sorts when it came to purpose. You see, she was over 60 years of age and at that time, I think she got so discouraged about not living a life of purpose that she just dropped out of the course altogether.
There will come a moment in life where we will question the purpose of our existence especially with the work or vocation that we are doing. Even those who are smack in the middle of purpose deployment do question it. For instance, a friend of mine spent quite a bit on a project he considers part of his purpose.
After a while though, he felt as if there was nothing he was doing because the results were not immediately apparent. Such is one major characteristic of purpose pursuit. So if a person who is pursuing purpose will at times feel purposeless, how about the one that realizes that they are not pursuing it at all?
If you came to the realization that your life lacks purpose, the temptation is to stop living that life and start looking for purpose. I am not so sure that would be a good idea, but in some few cases, it has worked for people. What I tend to think is that you can inject purpose into your present life even as you navigate into your calling itself.
It is the original intention for the existence of something. I do believe that every human being does have a unique purpose. This differs from one person to another and it is over and above the normal routine of life of survival, paying our bills and our dues and passing the baton to the next generation.
So when we are doing life, we tend to balance between those two things—living a life of purpose and paying bills. Ideally, this should be one and the same thing but you realize that it doesn’t happen like that at once. No one is born and the next day they are smack in the middle of their purpose.
There is a process in purpose discovery. We need to understand that. As such, as I have written elsewhere, nothing you do outside of purpose is useless. Everything does have its place in life. The question that we need to grapple with is: what do we do with the discovery that we are not living a life of purpose in the current vocation?
As already advised, do not quit your vocation just yet. Given that purpose discovery and deployment is a process, it is only prudent to start off by injecting purpose into your current vocation. I think you can use the following ways to get it done.
First, understand that the organization you are working for has purpose and vision. Therefore, change the reason for working for them. It should be a perspective of pushing their vision and not just working to get paid at the end of the month.
This is such a refreshing view of things that will change your thinking and your application. Please do not do this wanting to be paid for your extra efforts. Do not even think that your efforts of injecting purpose into your vocation should be recognized commensurate to what you have done.
Just do this for your own good. It is good for your mental, spiritual and emotional health. Believe me, the payoff will be much later and you might not even have to ask for it.
If you are employed and working as a receptionist and you realize that you are good in boosting team morale in the organization, start looking for instances where this strength can be manifested. It might be in meetings, team building activities or anything that makes your strength come to the fore.
In my second job, I worked as a data analyst but quickly realized that I was gifted in working with people. I started asking for responsibilities related to those strengths. I made everyone that mattered know that leadership was what I preferred. I started dressing like one and soon enough, I was being addressed as one.
To inject purpose into your current vocation, start gravitating towards what you are good at and seek for opportunities to serve there. Do not look back until it is done.
Purpose is a heart issue. At times, our hearts are not in things that we are not passionate about. Studies upon studies show that employees are disengaged world-wide. If you wanted to inject purpose in your vocation, put all your heart into it even if you hate it. The passion will bandwagon on you later.
As you do this, realize that perhaps you are not going to do this forever. People hold back showing excellence because they are under the illusion that in so doing, they will be cementing their fate in a vocation or job that they hate.People hold back showing excellence because they are under the illusion that in so doing, they will be cementing their fate in a vocation or job that they hate. Click To Tweet
Actually, doing your job without excellence and passion is much more detrimental to your career and purpose in life than when you do it with excellence. I would even challenge you to get so committed as if you are the owner of the business. Inject purpose into your job by starting to think like the owner.
It is happy day when you know that what you are doing at the moment is not your purpose. Why? Because you now have the opportunity to start preparing yourself for your purpose. People who are seekers of purpose tend to inject some semblance of that purpose in the present vocation that they do have.
I have seen organizations that know that they have a gem in their hands and that gem would not last—in other words, they do not have the capacity to hold them. Therefore, become purposeful by starting to seek and preparing yourself for your purpose while still in the current assignment.