Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Anytime anyone asks me what either my purpose or my passion is, the singular experience that sets in for me is brain freeze. Except, it’s not short lived like when you gulp down a freezing cold slushie…this brain freeze morphs into brain fog and it has this unnerving habit of lingering inside of me for hours at a time even though I may be getting on with business.
I bet you’re not too different. I bet that you struggle with this purpose and passion stuff just as much, and that you fear that you may have missed the bus completely, feeling stranded and lost.
Well, I’ve had an epiphany and it may just help you. It’s simply this: “You don’t have a Purpose.”
Let me explain. Inanimate things may have a purpose.
A towel soaks up water. A watch lets you know what time it is. A chair is for sitting on. A toothbrush is for cleaning your teeth and a wallet is for keeping your money in.
These are inanimate objects. There was a problem and they were created to solve the problem. Purpose established.
You on the other hand are human being. A person. Created because there was once a twinkle in two people’s eyes and they wanted that twinkle to be You. Created because biology met divinity. Created because your soul wanted to experience oxygen, gravity and humanity.
Even in their simplicity, inanimate objects can have more than one purpose. They can meet as many needs as they are suited to. If your imagination will subject them to that purpose. A towel can simply be decorative. A watch can be about your status and your physical performance. A chair can be used to reach something high up and your toothbrush can be used to clean your shoes. My wallet double as a filing system for slips and cards and bucks and toothpicks.
You are way more complex than any object. WAY. MORE. COMPLEX.
I have come to the enormous, soul-soothing conclusion that when you put the pressure on yourself to define your Purpose, you give yourself a virtually impossible task that is a disservice to the immensity that is you.
You reduce your You-ness. Your many different beauties. Your virtues. Those skills that pop up and saves the moment, if not the day. Your countless generosities. Your fears; the real ones and the silly ones that you laugh at. Your heartaches and your hurts; the scars of your disappointments; and your ability to burst with rage or with joy at the slightest things.
Inevitably, your pursuit of purpose sets you on a path of comparison and the moment you set foot on that path, you run the risk of distilling and losing the essence that is You; and experiencing Purposefulness will forever elude you.
You don’t have to find your Purpose. There…I said it again. Enough already right?
You can experience a sense of purpose and you will in all likelihood find that it is tucked away inside of your human experiences. Those experiences that you are deeply present to. All those experiences that culminate in your Being-ness has an uncanny way of revealing to you what matters, what catches and holds your attention, what makes you hold your breath and what makes you persevere far past your physical body’s capacity. It is in those moments that you find your experience of purposefulness. And it is only in being present to your experience of purposefulness that you experience passion.
Another massive reprieve is that your sense of purpose is in the ways in which you make a difference. It is not and never has to be about how you earn a living. It can be, but it does not have to be.
You will be so relieved to know that it does not have to be one thing. It rarely ever is. As you journey through your experiences, you will stumble into or trip over many different themes that keeps you engaged and sometimes even captivated. And… as you journey though life’s experiences you will lose interest in many things that once had you begging for more.
So, you don’t have to have a Purpose; simply because you are not a thing. You can experience a deep sense of purposefulness in various aspects of your life. And as you tune into those experiences of purposefulness, you have the option to pursue and create more of it; and the more you pursue those experiences the more purposeful you will feel.
So, I’m wondering… If you were not distracted, looking for your purpose, what could your focus and energy be directed to instead?