Contributor: David Alan White
This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions that I get when talking to people. They will usually ask me that question after they have heard me talking about the importance of knowing why you are and how fulfilling your life will become when you find your purpose and begin to pursue it. Who am I? Why am I here? These questions have been asked for centuries. This question can be found in the birth of exploration, it was the spark of many wars and conquest and it has birthed countless philosophies and religions.
How do I find My Purpose? Can You See It?
AL Hollingsworth taught me a very important lesson; if you can’t see it, it’s very hard to do it. That isn’t verbatim but, the concept stays true. It looks something like this: if I asked you to hand me a pooku shmooku, what would you hand me? Exactly! But if I told you that a pooku shmooku was like a pencil, then when I asked you to hand me a pooku shmooku, what would you hand me? Exactly! You would hand me a pencil.
You had to first see what it was before you could take some action. This is very important when you are in the planning/vision part of your process. It amazes me how a potter can take a lump of clay and see the finished product in that lump of clay and begin to pull it out of the lump of clay so to speak; they see it first, and then they begin the process of bringing it into existence. This may appear to be a very simplistic outlook but, it is very applicable. When I said that you have to see it before you can do it could start out as a simple thought or idea.
Any successful endeavor requires the ability to see what it should and will look like; there may be some minor or even major adjustments that take place after the work begins but, there must be a vision first. What do you see? There is one thing that I think is very important to remind yourself as you navigate through this process and that is the fact that it can take some time before you truly find out what your purpose is. Many times the answer is directly in front of you but most people tend to overlook it or ignore it because it is so obvious. From the time I was in the fifth grade you would find me helping out people especially if they were being bullied or the perceived underdog.
Well, I have always been that type of person; even if I felt helpless to do anything about helping someone. Injustice would drive me crazy and I lived a life in my early years as a quiet rebel. I would have so many plans to help people, adults and kids alike; I can remember wanting to stop teachers from being so mean to some of the kids in my classes that seemed to take the brunt of the teacher’s wrath. I would often sit in a quiet anger, stewing and steaming as I witnessed injustice happen right in front of me.
I’m sure that many of you who are reading this and nodding your head as you remember whatever it is that was your hot button. If you were to take an objective look at your past, I’m sure you will begin to see certain patterns that may give you a clue as to why you are. I’m sure that there are some people that are reading this blog post and have a pretty good idea of what your purpose is but, you may have never thought of it as your purpose, it’s just something that you do naturally.
For me, vision is tied to direction; how can anyone reach their destination, their goal without knowing how to get there? I always say that it’s a lot like loading up the SUV and hitting the open road to go somewhere you’ve never been and you don’t have some sort of GPS system or roadmap. You can take a chance on asking some random person on the street and hope they know what they’re talking about or you can hope for the best as you head out in the direction that feels right to you, you just know that this is the right way to go. Hmm, that’s a little sketch for me.
How do I find My Purpose? Are You Strong Enough?
Okay, so here’s the part where I hopefully don’t lose some people; this is the part where I use that dreaded four letter word – work! Many people desire to be a change agent; they want to be that person of significance. So, here comes the heavy lifting so to speak; it is extremely difficult to have a vision for your future when you are struggling with your present and if we’re going to go there, some of you are stuck in your past. Think about it; here you (your emotions, memories and identity) are stuck in the past as you are trying to get to the future as you flounder in the present.
There are so many times when you tried so hard to move forward but will often find yourself back where you started and you can’t figure it out; “why does this keep happening?” The heavy lifting that I was referring to is this; if you want to become unstuck in areas of your life, if you know exactly what your purpose or goals are but you just can’t see it, if you are desperate for things to change then there is something that I would like for you to consider. I was told this not too long ago; we construct our life story and our life story could be working against us.
Based on the things that were spoken to us and into us, we begin to develop how life is, due to the things that we witnessed at an early age, because of some of the things that happened to us and how we experienced life as a whole; we then begin to embark on a life that will confirm what we have previously concluded how our life will be. Many people are oblivious to how they tend to repeat the same activities; they tend to have the same thought processes, the same relationship patterns and continue to repeat the same types of behaviors. Why is this? Because this type of living doesn’t require any type of change and because there is zero requirements to change the cycle, this “rinse and repeat” cycle has become a safe place to stay.
The interesting thing about this “life cycle” that we’re living in can be easily justified; we work hard to defend the things that happen to us and then blame those things on why we remain stuck. So, the question is this; what are you willing to do to allow change to take place in your life?
How do I find My Purpose? Edit Your Story
So much of the story that we constructed about how our life will be is lived in the past. People tend to stay here because it is easier to prove and confirm what we what we predicted our life to be. If we are living in the past, how can we see what’s in the future? Because of this vicious cycle many people resign themselves to a fruitless pursuit of trying but, never accomplishing their goal of purpose. We have become so bogged down with settling for compromise that we become satisfied with counterfeits. I gotta tell ya, this is not a fun place to be in and I know from personal experience!
Here’s something that I want you to think about, you can break this current “life cycle” if you want to! I’m gonna run this up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it; would it surprise you to know that you can actually move from living in the past to living in the present? When we choose to live in the now, the present, we find that there are endless possibilities present and available to us because we are present. If we are present in our daily lives, then we have the opportunity to face things that are presently happening to us and around us head on without being afraid of being wrong or failing. When we remain present we see things clearer, we can look at all of the possibilities that at our disposal.
When you are present, you become responsible for your life and the awesome thing about that truth is this; once you start becoming responsible for your live and learn how to operate without those previous restrictions from your past, you can see something really good. You can see that you can start to rewrite our live story, yep! You can create a new life story and begin to live out your life in a way that proves and confirms what you predict your new life will be! I teach many people how to reconstruct their life story and then I get to see them accomplish things that they never thought they would be able to do. Once you are able to see clearer, you are able to get a better understanding of why you are and not what your past told you.
Once you are able to see clearer, you become aware of those things that lay hidden in that life of the past; when you are able to see all of the possibilities that are available you, you become aware of all those things that have been speaking to the question that used to elude you time and time again. And that question is “why am I here?” “What am I supposed to be doing?” You find your purpose when you stop living in the past as you try to get to a future that you always wanted but could never see. When you choose to stay in the present and take responsibility for your life, you are able to become that change agent that we so desperately need. It takes some determined editing on your part but you can do it.
Disappointment, discouragement and distractions can cause us to feel stuck in life and we often lose sight of our hopes, dreams, purpose and goals. It is never too late to make a course correction in your life. For more information, please visit http://dreamagainrestorativeprograms.org/
Restoring Lives, Recreating Our Story, Renewing Dreams, Imagine the Possibilities!