Seems everywhere you read these days, people are talking about purpose and passion. Why you need to find it, where to look for it, how to recognize it, when to follow it.
It is all a bunch of bunk. Yes, you read that right. So let me say it again so we’re clear: Discovering your purpose is a waste of time.
Because purpose is not something to be found. It is not an iron-bound chest buried in the sand. There’s no map to its location. And “X” certainly does not mark the spot.
You create your purpose. You make a choice, a decision. You pick a direction, any direction, and move forward. And you experiment over and over. You collect data, input, and feedback and then make course corrections as you go.
But too many of us do it all backwards. We say, “Once I discover my purpose I will take action.”
As if the universe will whisper into your ear, “Lisa, you must become an accountant for inner-city, single-mother entrepreneurs.” If you actually are this type of accountant, I mean no offense.
It doesn’t work that way. If you think it does, you’ll be waiting a long, long time.
No, the way it works is by choosing a direction and acting upon it. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say I am interested in writing, basket weaving, yoga, home theater electronics, and flying kites. But I also want to serve the greater good and my fellow man. What to do? How do I start?
I write them all down on a list and choose the one that interests me the most, lets say yoga, and see where it leads. I sign up for classes and buy a mat at Target. I go to the classes and pour myself into the experience. And maybe this sparks something in me and I take it to the next level. Maybe I get certified. Maybe I offer classes at my local church or community center. Maybe I open a business. The possibilities are endless.
Or maybe I don’t. Maybe yoga isn’t for me. I then choose to trust my inner wisdom and leave yoga on the side or behind altogether. And I say, “What interests me now? What would I like to do today? What would I like to make my life about today?”
Then I go and do that. Maybe I strike gold on my next choice. Or maybe I repeat the process a few more times. Maybe I move through writing and basket weaving and home theater electronics. Then I choose kite flying.
Turns out I love flying kites. Turns out I have a deep love for kites I never knew existed. I pour myself into the world of kite flying. My momentum builds and I grow more and more passionate. I become involved in the kite-lovers community and find connection and create new friendships. And perhaps in time I become known as The Kite Guy and people from all over the globe come to me for insight and instruction. And I serve them through my love of kites.
All because I did not waste time trying to discover my purpose.
I created it by choosing.