Its June 1st 2021 and we’re all having a blast, not so?! Anyone win the bet with your friends that assumed we would still be arguing about when this pandemic would end, 15 months on? I certainly didn’t. These monthly newsletters have now been going on for a full year since I started penning ideas in June 2020, while still working for AHS. With that horribly dull introduction may I start this month’s newsletter by saying that I write these only because many of you have said how they have helped you through the hard times of the past year. Thank you for those kind words.
What’s on my mind this month! Today I want to talk about purpose and its importance to all of us.
As I sat listening to a pastor recently, where he challenged his listeners to consider what their purpose in life was, it dawned on me that so many I meet are unable to answer this question confidently. It then became an interesting game for me to listen for words like..”purpose in life”, “motivation”, mission, etc. When I ask around, I am amazed at how many people are talking about purpose and motivation, yet are unable to put in words what this means to them.
So why talk about this? Without a clear sense of what gives us purpose, its quite likely we will be aimless. Being aimless is a weird state to be in. Its like we know the generalities of living (eating, drinking, exercising, working, and being sociable) but we aren’t driven to do anything specific. This encapsulates the lives of so many of the people I meet. Purpose can be better defined as the thing that brings meaning to your life. I know that some religious people will argue that its bigger than this and that our purpose is to bring glory to God. Although I agree with the general elements of this statement, it seems to me that God has given all of us unique talents that He expects us to use to bring glory to him. Its these things that can become our purpose.
How do you find what gives your life meaning? I usually start by asking people to look at their past to see what has shaped them. In those experiences are negative and positive elements, and the positive experiences (if they occur frequently) usually are connected to purpose. For example, when I looked at my past I found experiences that related to my joy of training and mentoring; I also found joy in family and in relating to God. So I came away feeling confident that purpose was centred on these three things for me.
Let me end by asking you a few questions: What gets you up in the morning? Is it the sense that you have skills that can make a difference, or that you are responding to your passions? If so you will probably already know what gives you purpose. If you are simply getting up to do the work that gets you a paycheck, or doing something that you hate, then eventually this will wear you down. We can only change towards something more fulfilling if we know what that is in our lives.
I challenge you to find purpose in your life. If you do this it will change how you feel and how you think about your future.
Best of luck, and have a great summer!