If you know you are here for a reason but you’re not sure what that reason is, welcome to the majority of the human race. It can be at least a little comforting to know you’re not the only one. All kinds of research tells us that over 80% of thinking people believe they are here for a reason…and almost as many have little confidence they know what it is. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can get on the Path to your personal Purpose.
Purpose comes in Stages
There are some very famous teachers who hold seminars helping people come up with a one-sentence purpose or mission statement. It is great if you can do that but in my work with people this process becomes more of a burden than a blessing.
It is really, really hard to sum up the whole focus of your entire life in one sentence. Your life is much more complex than one sentence. Trying to come up with the exact right words has proven to put undo pressure on most people, creating a form of paralysis rather than productivity. And, the assumption behind this “life statement” is that you only have one purpose.
I would suggest to you that it is better to have a series of statements or a paragraph because:
- Purpose changes. You do not have the same specific purposes at every phase of your life. Yes, God has the same pillar purposes for each person, but we’re talking about your specific purposes. We are talking about why YOU are here and what YOU should be doing with your time, talent, and treasure.
I think it is much better to have purpose statements that are for a season of life rather than a lifetime. Your purposes will vary depending on if you are in high school, college, starting a career, starting a family, etc.
2. You have more than one purpose. Most people think of their work or contribution when they think of purpose, but that is just one of several. I agree with Rick Warren (of Purpose-Driven Life fame), that there are five main God-given purposes. To live a meaningful and full life we need to manage all five. Here they are:
- Great God Connection
- Great Personal Condition
- Great Relational Commandment
- Great Vocational Calling
- Great Legacy-leaving Commission
Where to Start in discovering your purpose? Write down these five big purposes and start setting short-term goals on each one. Don’t make it real hard. Prayerfully consider, “what should I be focusing on in each of these areas right now?” Write it down, make a simple plan, and start taking action.
If you do that you will be ahead of over 80% of the population in living a life of purpose, significance, and meaning.
The only way to know your unique God-given purposes are to connect with the One who created you on purpose (purpose #1). To connect with Him, prayer is essential. If you want a FREE short-book on how to pray even when life is really busy go here now: