With this question I am not asking what you do for a living, nor am I wondering if you’re a mother, father, husband, wife, or a great friend. These are merely roles you play. We all play several roles in the course of a day, but none of these things define who you are.
You may be thinking, “Okay, so what defines who I am?” Simple. Your Life’s Purpose! You’ll see this phrase often, especially if you read much in the area of self-improvement, but what does it mean? What does living one’s “life purpose” mean? You may find varying definitions for this but here is the essence of it’s meaning: Every human being possesses certain gifts, skills, and talents that they can use to better the world, and the people in it. Every human being will use these gifts, skills and talents in ways that no one else can. This is why each person’s contribution is vitally important!
“It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
~ Leo Buscaglia
What Is Your Life Purpose?
Think of “Life’s Purpose” as meaning the particular set of skills, gifts and talents that you possess. If you want to discover what your purpose is, you have to look beyond the roles (father, maid, scientist, truck driver, employee etc) you play each day. The best way I know to explain this is to share from personal experience.
In my life I have played many roles. I have been a construction worker, mechanic, musician, salesman and I am a father. These are things I have done, or became at one point or another, but none of these define who Keith is as a human being. They do not define how I think, feel, treat other people or view life. Nor were any of them the motivating force behind my actions. Many other people, much different than me, have played these same roles, but in very different ways. What defined Keith was the way in which I helped, or influenced, those I came into contact with.
What helped me to “discover my purpose” is that, over time, I began to recognize certain things about each “role” that really got me excited and made me feel like I was making a difference. I began to see that I experienced the greatest sense of purpose and fulfillment when I was supporting another in some way. One of my strongest gifts is that of encouragement. Another is the ability to take a life principle and apply it to situations quickly. Still another is reconciliation. In these ways I have been able to help many people. This is my “life purpose”, or the particular set of gifts, skills and talents that enable me to support, encourage or guide those who need it. In this way I change the world around me.
My “life purpose” I take into every situation and I do it without even thinking about it. The role may change, and it may change often, but my mission remains constant. The many roles I play are simply a medium that I use to express my purpose. For example: A guitar is a medium of expression. I can use a guitar to express the music that is inside of me and so can you. The music that I play will likely differ greatly from yours. The difference isn’t the guitar; it’s just a tool. The difference is the person playing it!
Many people, of whom I was one, live their lives every day without a thought as to what they can do to better the world around them. It’s so easy to get caught up in daily habits, such as a job, and never use our unique gifts. When you are intimately aware of the gifts, skills, and talents that you possess, everything changes. Every day becomes important and so will every person you meet. Every day becomes a joy and is filled with meaning. It will permeate every area of your life and it won’t matter what role you’re playing. When your role changes you’ll find another way to use your gifts. You can live them out in a million different ways! The medium you use to express them isn’t all that important; it’s what you express that matters.
What is your “life’s purpose”? In what ways are you living it?