his series has been most instructive for me. We learn a new thing each day. Purpose pursuit is not a straight forward thing. It is the same thing as success pursuit. Even when all your ducks are lined up, life always throws you an unexpected curve ball that literally messes up your plans. That is why it would be important for us to keep learning from experience. Those people that have gone ahead of us in purpose pursuit would tell us so much that will help us to save time and resources in re-learning what they can easily share due to their experience.
So far, we have looked at 6 mistakes that you can make in your purpose pursuit. Here they are:
Youth comes without experience and so as you can imagine, there are so many mistakes that we are prone to make as young people. At times these mistakes are self-afflicted. This means that we knew exactly what we were doing when we were messing up. Quite a number of our messes fall into this category.
We have issues regarding our morality
We have issues regarding our work ethic
We have issues regarding our finances
We have issues regarding our relationships
All these issues can easily cause you to give up on your imperfection as a young man or woman, especially when it comes to purpose pursuit. That would be a wrong thing to do. There are countless people in life who had messed up lives as young people. They however dusted themselves up and went on and built exemplary lives of purpose. My dad is a perfect example. Please do not tell him I shared his story. Growing up, he made some mistakes. I remember his days of drinking, although he was one of those quite sober drunkards. When he lost his job, he stayed out in the cold for a decade.
After some years of reflection (and I know he knew that he was better than what life had given him), he changed his life. He went to Bible school at the age of 40. He became a respected member of the church and society. Last year he organized an event for over 2000 young people in Kenya of which I was a speaker. I looked at his dedication and commitment to what he was doing. I looked at the excellence through which he did his work and I marveled. He turned his years of imperfection as a youth and made a better life for himself, most definitely.
You have probably heard this saying: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter!” Well, when it comes to the pursuit of purpose, the younger you are the better to be on that path. With the nature of purpose discovery being a process, it is perhaps easier to imagine older people having more clarity on their journey then younger people.
In reality though, it is not necessarily true. Age can count in purpose pursuit, but that is dictated by three or four things.
First, how hungry are you? A 17 year old boy who is hungry for the revelation of his purpose stands a greater chance to receive its clarity than a 45 year old family man who is drifting through life without a care. In the movie “Chasing Mavericks”, a young boy catches a dream to surf the biggest waves as compared to his compatriots. He happened to sneak in on his neighbor who was doing this in secret. In the end, he ended up joining the big league of surfers. His hunger was unprecedented. The movie is based on a true life story. The boy ultimately died in the waters but after accomplishing part of his heart’s desire. That movie gives me gooseflesh and brings tears to my eyes EVERYTIME I watch it.
The second aspect of your age over your purpose has to deal with your awareness. A younger person who is aware and has resources to pursue his purpose stands a better chance of fulfilling it than an older person who is unaware of the need. In any case, an older person who is made aware of his purpose even at an older age can do exploits in the second half of his year than a young man would ever do in all his life without purpose. Awareness and clarity of the need for purpose helps people to be hungrier for it.
Well, when push comes to shove, purpose will not just evolve “organically” on its own. There has to be some level of urgency. There also has to be some level of intentionality. That being said, one who is on a purpose pursuit will get there faster with consistency as compared to one who is faltering. Momentum is a great key in purpose discovery. Age can be shrunk into a year of consistent purpose pursuit. Inconsistency will make you “get late” on your purpose pursuit. We all know that you would rather have age on your side than not when it comes to your purpose pursuit.
Consistency can best be supported by focus. One of the greatest purpose busters is distraction. If you wanted someone to fail in anything, if you wanted to destabilize your enemy, all you have to do is to break their focus. It is a high tactic in war but also applies to life. A person who is focused on the aspect of their purpose gets it clarified and deployed faster than a person with broken focus. This morning I had to turn down an assignment for a “motivational speaker”. A call went out and my name was mooted. Naturally, I got interested. However, when I got the brief of what they needed, it did not fall in any one of these three areas of my focus: Purpose, Productivity or Resilience. So I let it go.
All in all, you cannot let your imperfections of the past be the final nail that you drive in the coffin of your mediocrity in life. You can rise up and change your life from this moment on. Someone aptly stated that you cannot go back and have a better start, but you can start now and have a much better finish than what your reality is saying now. So shall we?