Help! I Do Not Know My Purpose. Should I stop Living?

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Help! I Do Not Know My Purpose. Should I stop Living?

“The average man does not know his purpose”

“Can you believe that someone has all the highest academic qualifications but does not know their purpose?”


hose are some of the condescending statements you will hear uttered by “motivational speakers” and thought leaders. Frankly, I have been guilty of that. Sometimes we portend a self righteous stance on this matter as if we were born knowing our Purpose already.

It is true; very many people do not have an idea as to why they were born. However, I contend that large extents of these are not necessarily clue-less of what it is. I have a feeling that quite a number of people are already gravitating towards their God-given purpose albeit with no intentional knowledge about it. In fact, there are some people who can quote excitedly their purpose in life and yet they have absolutely nothing to show for it. And of course, there are those who will not tell you in terms of clarity what their purpose in life is, but they sure do have some results of something that they are doing.

Stop The Traffic or Learn “On the job?”

We have to be careful not to discourage people to stop living “until they discover” their purpose in life. It was not so for the majority of us. I know I am going ahead of myself but let me say this emphatically:

[ictt-tweet-inline]Purpose is ‘discovered’ while in motion.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

It is not “Out There”

Therefore, if you have encountered motivational speakers or coaches breathing fire about purpose and you are feeling guilty about not having one, chances are that you might be alright anyway…it might not be as bad as they paint it. My encouragement is that you should not suspend your life and go to “the Far East” in search of your purpose. Your purpose is not hidden in some spiritual location somewhere. Neither is it a reserve of some spiritual guru to unearth it for you. Do not even think of visiting one “Prophet” after another seeking to find out what your purpose is. I must commend you for your quest, it is beautiful, but just like the story of “Acres of Diamonds”, your purpose is intimately within your reach.

Dr. Myles Munroe, my perpetual mentor says:

“God hid your purpose where He knows you couldn’t miss it. Your purpose is within you”

Two Facets of Life

Like I said earlier, chances are that you are living snippets of what that purpose is at the moment. There are two major things that we need to consider in life:

  • Dreams: This is what we desire to have, to do and to become. Nobody on the face of the earth lacks dreams and desires. God Himself talks about how He can honor the desires of our hearts. Do you know why that is? It is because I believe, it is Him who put them there in the first place. You might encounter someone who is so passionate about something and they literally bombard the gates of heaven for the fruition of their “desire”. You will soon find out that it is God Himself who made that man that passionate. The same applies to you. However, this part of life is often dulled by the second thing that we face
  • Reality: We have to put clothes on our backs, food on our tables and a roof above us. At times this focus becomes so huge in our sight that we lose sight of our dreams and desires. However, an intriguing thing is that in the pursuit of navigating the realities of our lives, we tend to at times intersect with our life purpose. That’s why you have seen passionate teachers, passionate preachers, gifted innovators and so on. At times, these people might be living in the realm of “working” to put food on the table and yet unbeknownst to the, they were actually meant to be teachers, or preaches, or innovators. They might not even have a mission or vision or purpose statement but they are churning in the “results” from their “work”

Which Way To Go?

However, when Mr. Motivational speaker shows up at your school, or work place or at a seminar and starts admonishing your to live your purpose, what do you do? When you realize that you do not have a purpose statement and probably you have not lived your life as intentionally as you ought to have…what do you do? Do you stop what you were doing altogether and go to the wilderness to “seek God”, until He tells you why you were born? Do you quit your job? Do you abandon your family? Do you leave your project because it is “vanity”?

IN a previous post, we insisted how important every aspect of our life is. I believe that nothing we go through on earth is useless. Everything is either directly or indirectly connected to our purpose. God Himself is more than a Genius because He has this incredible ways to connect even the remotest of events, or things to form a masterpiece of purpose.

Therefore, my admonitions to you if you do not know your purpose in a nutshell would be, go ahead with what you are doing. Do not quit, do not stop. However, consider doing the following things:

1. Excellence

Pour your soul and your heart in the things that are at your disposal at the moment. Learn to do things with such finesses that it would leave your signature of excellence behind. If you cannot do it with excellence, please quit and find something that you can apply your heart and soul to. If you cannot fully deploy your passion, gifting, talent, skill and time to it, chances are that you are not supposed to be there before. You are supposed to move on. That is what happened to me in my first ever job. I was so excited about it the first few months. Thereafter, after studying everything there was to study, the work became mundane, repetitive and boring. I started cursing it but stayed on it because I had no alternative. I was not growing, neither was I helping the organization grow. I could not put a spirit of excellence in my work because of my attitude that had gone south. The spirit of excellence is the litmus test to your passion and your care and love for your work. If it lacks, you cannot be helped. You can only help yourself by finding something that you can put your heart and soul to it 100%. So move on. The earlier, the better.

2. Enquiry

Now that Mr. Motivational speaker is bashing you that you have a degree but no purpose in life, listen to him but do not feel intimidated. Remember, nothing you have now is useless as not to connect you to your purpose. Keep doing what you are doing, that is if you can do it excellently. However, start seeking. Start asking questions. Start seeking to clarity what your purpose in life is. Probably it is where you are in one facet or another. What just needs to be done is to put some words onto it. Be a relentless asker. R. Covey told us that we should not climb the ladder only to reach at the top and find that it was leaning on the wrong wall. So when you have been pricked by a thought about being incongruent with your purpose, start the enquiry, and do not stop until it is clarified. This is where Life Coaches come in handy.

3. Excavating

One thing that each human being has in this world is a flow of ideas. Did you realize that your ideation process is uniquely attached to what matters to you? And did you know that what matters to you is uniquely connected to your purpose in life. So the clearest shortcut that you can use to reconnect to your purpose is your ideas. Curiously, you might also need to excavate two of your greatest emotions that indicate your purpose. The first is Compassion and the second is Anger. All great visionaries have a heavy dose of each of these two powerful virtues. You are compassionate about people and their rights and that makes you angry about apartheid. You are a Mandela. Same can be said of MLK and so on. Take some time to excavate those ideas that are attached to those two emotions and virtues. See how you can link up what you are doing now to those ideas. You will be amazed.

4. Extending

It is all about your growth: Spiritually, Mentally, Career/Business as well as Financially. I thing the greatest indicator that anything living has outlived its usefulness is stunted or retarding growth. Curiously, any growth that you will undertake will somehow connect you to what really matters to you. This will in turn connect you to your purpose in life. You realize that you are wiser, more experienced than when you begun. You also have a booster in the name of “urgency” in your life. You realize that you might not have as much time as you did when you were dreaming as a kid to be a lawyer or a pilot or an engineer. So you will not be taking courses arbitrarily. Let the courses that you take be connected to your growth of purpose and vision. Let them be even connected to the ideas that you have.

5. Expending

Perhaps the greatest advice I can give people is to expend their energies on something. Like I have shared earlier no one discovered their purpose while doing something. When you are action oriented, that is where ideas come from to help you connect to your purpose. Action on these ideas will gravitate you towards your God-given purpose. Kindly note that you will not get there in a day. It is a process and we must activate it by being massive action takers. I have controversially said previously that I would rather someone who is taking action on something that is not their purpose than that person who is doing nothing other than waiting for clarity of purpose.


In closing, if you do not know your purpose, good. Now you know that you do not know. So seek it but by all means, keep on moving!