What did you come here to do? How could you do more of it?
A Late Bloomer
I am a late bloomer. I did not follow a straight path to success or happiness or fulfillment; as a matter of fact, I am still walking that path. But over the years I have gotten closer to what those things mean for me.
My journey has been a circuitous one. I went about life for many years not really concerned about what my “purpose” was, or even if I had one. Like many people, I kept busy with work, helping to raise a family, being a husband and father, dealing with aging parents — all the every day stuff that can fill our lives.
I didn’t take much time to contemplate the larger questions: What did I come here to accomplish? What is my Job (with a capital “J”)?
“Why I Get Up In The Morning”
I have come to believe that you and I come to this Life to do something unique and important. Unique in that only you can do your Job. And by important, I don’t mean some grand achievement . . . a small role can have far-reaching impact, a pebble can start an avalanche. But something that the world needs, which you and I can give.
In Okinawa, they call it ikigai (pronounced “icky guy”) and it has been identified by the Blue Zones Project as one reason that people live longer. Loosely translated, it means “why I get up in the morning”. Or “my purpose”.
Purpose Leads To Accomplishment
In addition to giving meaning and a reason to hop out of bed every morning, a sense of purpose enables you to accomplish more. And to achieve more meaningful accomplishments.
A sense of purpose gives you a direction. Your purpose guides your work and your actions. You have a focal point on which to concentrate your efforts.
Knowing your purpose gives you an impetus for doing your work. You sense it matters and that feeling motivates you. Understanding how your activities connect with your purpose energizes you and keeps you going when you encounter difficulty and set backs.
Purpose brings clarity and clarity lets you see what you can do. Your choices become easier. You see more clearly the activities that bring fulfillment and meaning for you.
Discover Your Purpose
You don’t choose your purpose, you discover it. It’s been there all along but you may not have realized it yet. If you’re not sure what your purpose is, here are some exercises to help you articulate it. Choose the one that appeals to you and try it out.
Usually a purpose sounds like this: “I am a cheerful giver.” “I am an enthusiastic learner.” “I am a devoted friend.” “I am a grateful teacher.” “I am a lover of life.” [McWilliams]
Keeping your purpose in mind helps you to set meaningful goals for yourself. Hold your goal up against your purpose. If your goal helps fulfill your purpose, go for it.
Life On Purpose
Purpose leads to accomplishment. Looking back, I see that my life has been guided by my purpose, even when I didn’t consciously understand what my purpose was. I suspect you’ll find that too.
However, think of how much more effective your actions can be, how much you can accomplish when you are living on purpose. Knowing your purpose is the first step. Acting on it becomes your life’s work. That is embracing the Excelerated Life™!
Excelerated accomplishment — achieving meaningful objectives — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™ , a life of flourishing, of well-being, meaning, and purpose.
McWilliams, Peter. Life 101: Everything We Wish We Had Learned About Life In School – But Didn’t. Allen Park, MI: Mary Books / Prelude Press, 1994