In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s easy to feel like you are falling behind. Whether it’s your career status, relationship status, or social status, it’s all too common to think people are farther ahead of you.
This especially rings true when we think everyone else has found their purpose in life.
There’s nothing worse than seeing a friend live out their life’s purpose and feeling a twinge of envy.
Why can’t I seem to find my purpose…
The problem with people in this situation is that they assume their purpose will find them. As if they can wave their arms and conjure it in thin air.
What they fail to realize is that purpose does not find you, you find your purpose through action, hard work, and patience. In other words, the more you pour yourself into your projects (more on this in a bit), the more you learn about yourself, and the clearer your purpose becomes.
Purpose is the common driver between your passions.
Finding your purpose isn't as hard as you think
I’m working on a lot of projects at the moment. I consider being a husband and father a project, starting a business a project, taking care of my mind, body, and soul another project.
I essentially call anything a project where I’m working toward an unclear set of goals simply for the love of it. Other people may call these their passions.
Whatever you call them, most likely you have a few in your life as well. And it’s in these projects where you can start to uncover your purpose.
I’ve learned that my purpose is helping people uncover the untapped potential within themselves. Some of my biggest projects over the past few years have this purpose woven in:
- Cooking in College — Helped students learn that cooking healthy and within budget isn’t that hard.
- Millennial Type — Focused on the positives Millennials have to offer this world.
- SHRPA — Giving others the community and accountability they need to go after their goals.
- Being a husband and father — Wanting to help the two most important people in my life become the best versions of themselves.
However, I didn’t uncover my purpose until I had already put in a lot of hard work into my projects. After a while, I realized every new project I started was a further extension of who I am.
How to know you’re working on the right projects
I know what some of you might be thinking, Declan, I don’t enjoy any of my “projects.” My kids are ungrateful, my job sucks, and I can’t think of anything I’m passionate about.
First off, I never said anything about joy.
Here’s where people get hung up on finding their purpose, they try to fill their lives with projects they will enjoy or projects that will bring social accolades.
They seek instant instead of delayed gratification.
I can promise you you’ll never find your purpose in a project that brings instant gratification. Because allowing a project to manifest your purpose takes time. It relies on you working through the hard times and learning about yourself through these experiences.
A musician may know her purpose of sharing her gift to the world, but playing at 2 am in front of 3 people on their phones really sucks.
A writer may know his purpose of inspiring others, but when no one buys his book, it becomes hard to keep writing.
A father may work 70 hours a week to support his family, but when his youngest complains that her second-hand clothing is embarrassing, it makes going to work less enjoyable.
You see these people may not have the right project to work on, but deep down they aren't seeking the instant gratification of doing something they love.
They are delaying gratification to do something they were meant to do.
To be honest, you’ll never know when you’re working on the right project, but that shouldn’t matter. Because your purpose doesn’t change by what you pour yourself into, it only becomes clearer.
Don’t wait around to discover your purpose
I don’t know you dear reader and can’t promise any blanket statements to guarantee you will find your purpose.
I can, however, say that no matter your life’s situation, you do have a purpose to be here.
It’s there. Waiting for you. Waiting for you to take action. Waiting for you to put in the sleepless nights, the difficult decisions, the setbacks, the heartaches, the failures.
Only through this journey will you finally look back and see what’s been there all along.