y purpose pursuit started when I was a young man. I do not remember being so hungry for anything like I have been for the discovery of my purpose in life. I know for sure that this bug bites all of us human beings, but I do not know the intensity with which it bites each individual. I guess it varies from one person to another.
Seeking My Purpose
What I know though is that for me, it hasn't been that straight forward. One of the most enduring things that I wanted about my purpose discovery was for the heavens to open up (metaphorically of course, but if they really did open up in reality, it would even be much better), and tell me clearly, "Lawrence, you have been called to do such and such". I used to promise myself that when that happens, I would "Put my hands on the plough and not look back". I promised myself that I would work on my revealed purpose like a "madman".
We Have an Idea
Of course that did not happen. I never really heard a clear voice detailing everything that I was called to do. For the most part when this happens, we only realize that we have been tuning in to the heavens but at the same time tuning the heavens out. The truth of the matter is that we have always had a hint of what our purpose in life could be. If you asked someone if they could be a doctor for example, if they are not disposed to it, they would out-rightly tell you , "No way!" That should tell you something.
Ignoring the Signals
What we fail to do with purpose pursuit is to trust the little information that is in seed form that we already do have. Our quest to have a spectacular revelation of our purpose blinds us from taking note on little things around us. Again there is also that aspect of familiarity breeding contempt. If someone is gifted naturally as a speaker, they tend not to take it seriously because it the speaking did not make them sweat and so "it might not be important".
The Purpose Pursuit Mistakes
In this mini series, we are discussing the 8 purpose pursuit mistakes that you ought to avoid making. What you and I need to understand is that purpose does not negate life. Pursuit of purpose paradoxically happens as life is happening too. This means that you cannot suspend living ostensibly to seek to know your purpose. You could do that and even after you have found an answer, there will need to be a transition from the kind of life you are living to the kind of life that you would love to lead.
In the previous article, we saw that the first mistake to make is being stuck in remorse over failure.
2. Anxiety Over Today's Problems
Something interesting about today is that it always be there. Each day is always called "today". My point is that you have a choice to either be anxious about the pitfalls of the day or to choose to pursue purpose regardless. You see, there is no immunity to setbacks in life. Life will at one point or another throw you a curve ball and at times in total surprise. That happens.
Life Without Purpose
The biggest mistake though that we make in life is to live it as if the sole purpose of our existence is either to fend off situations that will bring anxiety or to deal with the anxiety that is already existing around us. If you are not careful, you might be bogged down with "life" as it were all your life, and by the time you lift your head from the hustles and bustles of life, you will be 75 years of age. You will have absolutely nothing to show for all those 70 years and that is when a ton of regrets hits you irredeemably.
Handling Today's Anxieties
Certainly we need to face today's setbacks and anxieties. However, we ought not to allow them to draw us away from our purpose pursuit.You see, if you are not careful, the cares of life will drift you far away from your intended purpose of existence. You will find yourself fire fighting anxiety on a daily basis:
- What will I eat?
- What will I wear?
- What will my children eat?
- How will I pay that debt?
- Will I ever "make it in life"?
You notice how there is absolutely no time whatsoever to focus on purpose pursuit if these things are on your mind. In fact, the whole bandwidth of your mind is totally occupied with this worry and anxiety. This is what we ought to do.
1. Be Intentional About Purpose Pursuit
Know full well that you and I are not here on earth to pay bills and then die. This will give you a perspective that no matter what, you will at least get some moments in the day to reflect or even wish about a life of purpose.
2. Flip Your Situation
Could it be possible that you can project yourself being a deliverer of someone else who is in the same state that you are in today? At the end of the day, you will be a person most acquainted with the feelings of their situation because you are fully aware of it.
3. Acknowledge the Fleeting Moment
If I asked you what you were worried or were anxious about last year same time, you might not have an answer. My point is simple: Tough and painful situations do not come to stay. The nature of their discomfort though gives us an illusion that these situations have come to stay. One of the worst things is to believe and speak the illusion more than to speak the truth: You will come out one day.
4. Don't Be A Hermit, and Don't Be a Parasite
We are social animals. One of the most instant cures of anxiety is to seek counsel, help and comfort from another human being who cares. When you are having moments of anxiety, the worst thing you can do is to lock yourself up, thinking that you only need to be in people's presence when you are OK. A single conversation can open up your way like you have no idea.
However, on the same token, do not be a parasite. Do your part as you ask others to help you. Do not always be on the receiving end. Find someone that you can also give to.
All in all, anxiety has a way of messing up with your purpose pursuit. You must no let it do so. You must rise above it. We shall continue with these thoughts in the next article.