It happens to all of us. In the midst of everyday activities—email, meetings, writing, creating, driving, family life—we lose touch with our real reason for existence. We become mired in the details and forget that we need to look up once in a while.
I don’t think you just sit down and write out your life purpose in five minutes. But over a period of time, as you create, serve and connect with other people, you begin to have a clearer sense about why you do what you do.
It took me quite a while to be able to articulate my life purpose. But here it is:
I help people unlock their God-given creative potential.
That probably doesn’t sound like much to you, but it means the world to me. It gives me direction, focus and energy. Just as important, it helps me say no to things that don’t align with my purpose.
If you haven’t given this much thought before, here are a few questions to spur your thinking:
· What do you feel passionate about? What is something that you cannot stop talking about?
· What are your creative gifts? Know that your creative gifts might come pretty naturally to you. So you might not even be the best judge of what your own creative gifts. It might be a good idea to get some feedback or input from others you trust who know you really well.
· What do you enjoy doing? Even if you are good at something, that doesn't mean you enjoy doing it, so please keep this in mind. When you enjoy doing something, the time feels different and flies by faster than if you're doing something else.
· If money were no object, what kind of job would you have? Be really honest here. It's okay if you're not sure. It takes time to find some clarity and the answers that you are looking for.
· What kind of books do you read? Taking inventory of your bookshelves is a very powerful exercise.
· What is your favorite movie? There could be something there. If you don't just have one favorite movie, list out several of your favorites and look for any patterns that you notice.
· What have been the most joyful times in your life? Those moments that you look back on fondly and stand out most to you. Just take some time to reflect and dream and wonder about why those moments are so important to you.
· What kinds of things do people compliment you about? Think about some of the times that other people have complimented you. What were you doing?
· What makes you cry? What makes you tear up? Maybe it's a movie or a memory or when you see something.
· What makes your heart sing? These are the things that really make you feel happy and content and satisfied.
· What are you known for? Or, in other words, how do other people view you? Just sending a simple email asking "What's something that comes to mind when you think of me?" could give you some very valuable insights.
These kinds of questions will help you get to the heart of who you really are, and what you were born to do.
Frederick Buechner describes a person’s calling like this: “We should go with our lives where we most need to go and where we are most needed.”
Where do you need to go? What are your talent, experience, personality, creative gifts, and others you trust telling you?
Where are you needed? Where can you make the biggest impact through your art and creativity? Take some time and think about this so you can help others with your gifts.