I recently was in a training session for work. The question was asked, “If you could speak with any kind of expert about anything in the world, what would you want to know?”
The group came up with a lot of good questions. Most of them were about money, health, career, family and more.
But one person responded, “How can I know my life’s purpose?”
The room got really quiet. The trainer just kind of laughed it off and moved on. It was obvious that he did not have an answer to that one.
For the rest of the day, this person’s response weighed in my mind.
Can you relate? I’ll bet each of us would admit that at some point, that question was at the top of our list to get the answer.
How can you know your life’s purpose?
Over the years, I remember desperately longing to know my purpose and wondering if I was somehow missing it.
For a long time, I couldn’t relax in my work (and otherwise) for fear that I was off course and somehow ruining my future.
But today, as I sat there thinking about the question, I came to this conclusion…
“What is my life’s purpose?” is one of the least helpful questions we’re all asking ourselves.
Yes… I said LEAST helpful.
Because here’s the thing – it’s unanswerable.
We’re obsessing over a question we don’t have the capacity to answer.
There’s a better question for us, one that will help focus our efforts today and lead us to where we need to be tomorrow.
That question is… “What is my purpose for today?”
Don’t you like the sound of that better?
Far too many times, I have been wondering about the future, making plans and waiting for it to come around. I thought that “someday” I would finally find out what my purpose in life really was.
Will I have a great moment in history? Probably not.
Will I do or say something someday that will change the world?
Again… probably not.
Truth is… my purpose is to do and be the person I am supposed to be today. If I take care of today… tomorrow takes care of itself.
This is the real stuff that makes a life. This is my purpose… now.
It may seem obvious, but look around. How many people in your life are waiting for some big revelation before they’ll start?
We have no promise of a tomorrow. Only today.
And as we do the things we know to do today, we will stumble into things we could never plan and in the process, we change the world in a thousand ways… that only we can.
How do you know what your next purpose is? I can’t say for sure, but it is not easy to find when you consider your fears and the lies swirling in your head that keep you from doing what you need to do today.
How about doing this…
How about we start by considering the needs of those who are directly in our life?
Seems like a worthy place to start to me.
So maybe it’s time to give up trying to solve the unsolvable,
To know what’s unknowable,
To see what’s unseeable.
Maybe it’s time to ditch the question, “What is the purpose of my life?”
And replace it with, “What is my purpose for today?”