am working on an interesting project. I conceived this idea more than seven years ago. When I approached a friend then who had the technical know-how on bringing the idea to fruition, I learnt two things. First, he told me that the idea was grand. He was only building me up to let me down. He then told me then that I needed an estimated USD. 20’000 to bring that idea to reality.
I literally “closed shop” on that idea and never thought of pursuing it to its logical conclusion as has been my advice to people about ideas of late. My friend also mentioned that there was a possibility that someone was running with that idea somewhere in the world. At that time, I had not written this post about the importance of people in the pursuit of purpose.
Today, nearly everything that you gravitate towards, nearly every product, service, event or even sport that you consume is largely attributed to something called clout. Clout has to do with notoriety that in the end brings you massive influence. So here is the thing: clout is never developed overnight. You cannot start something today and expect the whole world to beat the roads to you. There are people out there who are legit in what they offer. We have already shared the story of TD Jakes earlier on. By the time people were “discovering” TD Jakes, it had been decades down the line of giving value consistently to a small group of people in Charleston Virginia.
And yet, there are quite a number of phooey things that people come up with that feed the greed and fear that people hold. If for example I come up with something that promises people a quick financial windfall (and most especially promising them no hard work), very many people would want to come to me for that service. Is it any wonder that many people would want to succeed by way of spirituality? For the record, spirituality is not the bona fide method through which God intended for people to succeed. That is why He made work first. Work is mentioned even before prayer, fasting, altars, demons, angels and so on…but I digress.
By the time they were ‘discovering’ TD Jakes, he had built so much clout while in obscurity. There are two currencies that fly your purpose while you are in obscurity. The first currency is passionate pursuit of what matters to you with excellence. At this point in time, very few people believe in what you are doing. You would be very wrong to bank on people’s opinions about your purpose. At this point of obscurity, you have to trust your instincts and be ready to listen to the cry of your heart. The heart is one of the most beautiful parts of a human. I am not talking about the organ that pumps blood; but I am talking about the seat of emotions. Each heart I believe, has a cry, deep seated that needs to be served. Not a single person has a heart without a cry.
The greatest omission in life however is the cold shoulder that we give the cry of our hearts. We look at the cry as if it is a ‘woowoo’ thing. All we want to do is to make money so that we can live comfortable lives. But the heart does not keep quiet. It keeps reminding us that we are better than this. I cannot speak for yours, but mine gets tired with the mundane day to day pursuits of paying bills and putting food on the table. It keeps telling me, “Lawrence, there has gotta be more to life than this”. And I try as much as possible to respond. My vision is “To inspire hope and enrich lives world-wide”, and all I can do at the moment is what I can. So the best you can do is to listen to the heart, the Spirit and be daring enough to passionately pursue the purpose of your life.
The second currency that flies your purpose in obscurity, where nobody but you believes in the vision is the currency of Consistency. I can write a whole book about this. In fact, I have written articles upon articles about consistency and I know that I won’t stop. When your hands have found something worthwhile to pursue, the greatest fight that you will ever wage this side of heaven is to remain consistent, faithful, persistent and incessant with it. “But where is the reward in that”? Someone might be asking. Well, if you ever pursue your purpose for the sake of a reward, you are on the wrong footing.
The greatest reward of the pursuit of purpose is not what you get, but what impact is created on earth by what you give. As a Coach, there is a statement that I normally ask people to rate their employment on. This is the statement: “If I could, I would still do my job without pay”. If you can score 5 out of 5 on that statement, you probably have found your purpose in life.
However, we are talking about consistently pursuing your purpose to that level that the “rewards” that Jesus talked about start showing up in your life. I believe that as much as rewards are not the reason why we do purpose, all of purpose in life brings with it rewards that reverberate through the generations to come. Some people today are enjoying the rewards of their fore fathers’ pursuit of purpose. Some children are enjoying the rewards of their parents’ pursuit as we speak and so on.
It follows then that your pursuit of purpose will necessarily take quite some time before it come become a reality in a massive scale. It also follows that it will take some time before that purpose starts rewarding you and opening the world and its resources to you. Therefore, we have to be extremely patient and enduring with our purpose. I believe that your purpose will metamorphose in the following ways.
This is where it is dropped in your spirit or heart and you can’t just let it go. It comes subtly in terms of ideas that are connected to your two emotions: Anger and Compassion. I have talked about that here.
As you start pursuing your dream, purpose, passion or vision, you will face an internal critic. Personally, the doubt that I faced earlier on was in form of a question: “But Lawrence, how will you reach these individuals that are purpose-less with your message?” Another question was: “Where is the money going to come from when you strengthen the hopeless and the weary?”
Such questions can easily paralyze you. This is where we need mentors and other people to help us. It is a precarious state that we need to overcome. Believe me, you would rather do this vision than ‘take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that neither knows victory nor defeat’
This could be the longest phase of obscurity with what matters to you. Once you have known that this is what to do, you put your hands to the plough and you do not look back. This is the time for learning, growing, gathering content, researching, sweat, tears and blood. It is the season of planting, not the season of reaping. This is where you have to be as consistent as possible. I believe this is the season that I am in at the moment. This is the make or break season. People give up because they see no rewards. You have to learn that this phase is not the phase for rewards yet. So hang in there, water your plants, weed your grounds. Stay ready at all times, but keep your hands on the plough.
This is where people start recognizing your value ostensibly because of your consistency. You have not given up. It has been three years down the line and they can still identify you with that passion, that urgency, that consistency and that value. When you encounter your “audience”, those that you feel “called” to serve and you have served them with excellence and finesse, they start “mouthing” and telling others about you. They start singing your praises on how you helped them, and how you are the best there ever was. Before you know it, you are in demand and time is now limited for you. You start charging people for your time. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Relating to your mighty vision, you start attracting the necessary “helpers” that will bring the vision to fruition.
This is where you use the goodwill and resources that your pursuit of purpose has attracted to build up some project that impacts the world. For the most part, this is what was closest to your heart in the first place. It might have taken you some decades to get there but that is OK. I believe that is how life is structured. Therefore, true ‘retirement’ for me is not really the time to fade out of life in a whimper….it is time to pass on the baton to those who are coming after us, that they will run with what we have initiated. We have done our part, it’s not time for them to do theirs. If we were faithful, they were inspired enough to be faithful too.