“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.”
In my line of work I so often hear people wondering about what is their purpose in life.
”What is my purpose?” “How do I find my purpose?” “Why am I here?”
Before I give you an answer let me ask you a question. If you were God and you really loved humanity and you really wanted people to find the reason they were here so they could live rich, fulfilling lives, where would you put their purpose and feel sure they would find it?
Here’s a hint: If you have kids (or spouses) and you want to leave them a message somewhere where they’re sure to see it when they come home where do you put it? I don’t know about you, but I was never motivated to put it on their desk where they should be doing their homework, or over a sink full of dirty dishes. I usually left it on the refrigerator, the television, or the computer. Places I knew they went for fun, enjoyment or satisfaction.
Now most of us look for a job, or a career, or a purpose in lots of other places. We figure this is serious business and we don’t trust ourselves to figure it out. So we look where our parents think we should go, where the high pay is, good benefits, early retirement. We look where we think we can fit in, get by, what we were educated for. We look to what books, ministers, teachers and the Washington Post says, but we seldom look in the most obvious place.
When I was learning to teach Montessori we learned to set up a ‘prepared environment.’ An orderly, beautiful place where the children would have all the tools they needed to learn. The belief was that if we set up a proper environment and allowed children to make their own choices they would make choices that were right for them, choices that supported their natural style and pace of learning, choices that would allow them to learn because it was natural for them. It worked.
There was a study done of children who were given a buffet of food choices, including healthy and unhealthy ones. It was found that after the first few days of binging on the forbidden sugars the children chose a balanced, healthy diet naturally.
I find God thinks a lot like us (guess that has something to do with being made in the image and likeness). Most often when I work with someone to find their purpose we find it in what they love. In what they’d do if they didn’t have to make a living, get ahead, or worry about what people would say. What they’d do for the joy of it, for love, for growth, for fun.
How about you? Where is your love? Your passion? Your joy?
Do you practice finding and living your purpose by doing what fills you up, what makes you feel alive and joyful? Try it. You’ll find God chose a much better place to leave a message than the refrigerator.