Last week we talked about the concept of finding your purpose and how it can bring direction and fulfillment to your life. We explained that your purpose is not just something that you do with your hands but that it's much deeper. It's who you are and what you are called to. What you do with your hands is just the tool that you use to help fulfill it. We then encouraged you to spend some time thinking about it and to write some ideas down on paper of what you think your purpose might be.
Today we want to share some easy tools that you can use to help find your purpose.
The first way is something that we learned from a very successful entrepreneur. We were sitting in one of his teaching seminars when he shared with us this surprisingly easy way to find our purpose. His instructions were simple but powerful. He encouraged us to keep track of what we complain about and what we get excited about when we talk to people for the next month. (When we talk about complaining we’re not talking about the weather, the driver on the road beside you, or how horrible the service was at the restaurant. We're talking about the larger things in life that you want fixed or the things that people do that you wish you could help them with.)
He suggested keeping track of it on your phone for one month. This way when you complain or get passionate about a topic you can whip out your phone and write a note on it. Then after a month look it over. As you read over what you wrote, you should begin to see a similar and consistent theme. Write down a few short sentences that describe the theme of your passions and complaints.
The second way is similar but with a twist and it goes like this. Ask 5 of your closest friends or family (the ones who know you best) to write down on a piece of paper or in a text message 5 things that they can see that you are passionate about. Again, these are not things that we just like to do with our time (like playing sports or painting) but things that we deeply care about. Even if we don’t notice it, our friends probably find us talking or complaining about them more often than they would like. So often we can’t see the things we are good at because they come so naturally that we don't think much of them (and because we are too busy comparing ourselves to other people).
Once you get these 5 notes of 5 things from those who know you best, place them beside each other. As you look over them you should be able to find a similar and consistent theme. Again write down what you see in a few short sentences. The results might be rather surprising at first (it always is when seeing yourself from another's perspective), but after some reflection they should resonate with you and confirm what you haven’t been able to pinpoint until now.
Take these few sentences and try to identify what your purpose is in this season of life. Don’t overthink it and don’t take too long to figure out what it is, just let it come up out of you naturally. Talk with people that you trust and who will give you honest feedback. Don't worry about getting it perfect the first time. You can refine it as you start living according to your purpose. And honestly, it will change and evolve as you grow in life.
Once you have a good idea of what your purpose is, write it down in one single sentence. In my experience anything longer than this is too complicated to keep and stick to. Place this purpose up somewhere where you can easily see it.
We hope this helps and that you are able to start the journey to living out of purpose.
It's much more fulfilling. Next week to finish off our three part series we'll share how you can use your purpose to stay on track in life.
Tim and Lisa