Are you frustrated or anxious, or have a nagging feeling that you are out of sync? Chances are you are unsure of what is your purpose in life.
Other people are searching for: finding purpose in life, what is my purpose, what is my life purpose, what is your purpose in life
Question: I`m confused and lost on what is my purpose and passion on this earth. Even though I believe in JESUS CHRIST. And yet I don’t know my purpose and passion in life. So sad, right? Questions:
1. What should I do in order to know what is my purpose in my life?
2. I want to live my life meaningfully and fruitfully. What should I do and how should I do?
3. Can you help me? I m a Christian. ~ Priscilla
First, let me tell you that you aren´t alone in your questioning. Many people – Christians and non-Christians alike – are experiencing discontent and anxiety, as well as confusion as to what is their purpose in life. I am able to say this based from the enormous number of google searches for the longtail keyword, “what is my purpose” in life.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.! ~ Henry David Thoreau
I myself spent many years questioning what is my ultimate purpose. But it wasn´t until almost a decade in my teaching career when I felt that urgent nagging feeling that something was really out of sync in my life.
I knew that God led me into the teaching profession. It was my only way out of poverty! The scholarship fell on my lap when I had very little chance of getting into university due to financial reasons and I barely had options. Teaching also became my means to see the world, meet more people and learn new cultures. Most importantly, teaching became a crucial instrument for me in meeting the love of my life.
But while I did well in teaching, the longer I stayed in the profession the more discontented, anxious and uninspired I became. I knew I wanted to teach, but I didn´t want to be confined in the four walls of a classroom. I started resenting the piled-up paperwork and lesson plans. I became impatient with the better-than-thou attitude of many parents. In short, despite the money, I was unhappy.
So I set out to discover my life´s purpose. Thankfully, God provided me the tools and the means to so.
It took me another four years to find it. The road to finding my purpose in life was long and bumpy, full of more confusions and frustrations. But then when I finally found it, my next big challenge was (and is) to have faith that living my life´s purpose will actually work! Work in a way that I would able to make a living while doing what I love and what God has planed for me.
God has a plan for your life.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
God calls you to make a life. God has a plan for your service.
1. Discover Your Giftedness
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” ~ Jeremiah 1:5
We grew up in a culture where we´re taught to plan out our life. We go to school. Work hard in our studies and hopefully get into university, earn a degree and then get a job. Work hard in that job and climb the ladder. We plan and we execute it. Probably some changes and adjustments along the way but we plan anyway.
What we often neglect though is that God has a plan for us and our future. Due to many external factors, we´re unable to discover what is God´s unique plan for us.
But God has a plan for my life. He has a plan for your life. And He definitely has a plan for each one of us. He made us with certain traits and abilities – our giftedness – so that we might fulfill a certain role or purpose.
In creating who you are, God simultaneously built into your life what you are to do. ~ Tom Paterson
When we discover His intent and fully embrace His plan, we are then able to live the life we are destined to live.
How do you discover your giftedness? By discovering what you can do well!
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. ~ Psalm 139:15-16
Your potential for excellence lies within what you can do well. It´s that something you really like and love to do. It´s that something that gives you joy when you do it. It´s something that God fully equipped you to do.
These factors identify your giftedness: liking what you do, being gifted at what you do, and succeeding to a point of excellence at what you do.
You can harness and develop your gift, but doing it comes naturally to you.
So set out to discover fully what you can do well. Remember, your giftedness is present from your beginning. Often, your giftedness is something that you already displayed at a young age.
2. Gain a New Perspective
This process is about getting a bird´s eye view of your life. This is when you step at a mountain top to gain a clear perspective of your life.
In this process, your goal is to intentionally discover the truth in your life, to confront all the issues from your past and present (because unless you deal with your past and present, you can´t plan the future), and “to view your whole life with an intent of discovering what God has done to bring you to the point where you are now.”
This process will bring you face to face with the truth.
It is daunting to do this process on your own, and it`s confusing to come up with your own method of doing this process either. But you can do one of these two – 1) you hire a well-trained facilitator of Life Planning, preferably one who´s trained by Tom Paterson himself, the creator of LifePlanning Process, or 2) you get a copy of his book, Living the Life You Were Meant to Live, which will guide you thoroughly in the process of discovering your purpose in life.
(Disclosure: Buying the book through my link will earn me a small commission which will help finance the maintenance of this site.)
There are four helpful questions that will help you gain perspective about where you are in your life right now. These questions are attributed to Peter Drucker:
1. What is right about your life?
2. What is wrong about your life?
3. What is confused in your life?
4. What is missing from your life?
Examine each domain in your life by asking these four questions: Personal, Family, Church/Faith, Vocation, Community
Table: The Four Helpful Lists Matrix by Tom Paterson
3. Seek the Guidance of the Holy Spirit
“Your goal is to discover your higher, divine plan, so it´s important that you invite the Holy Spirit, again and again, to guide you as you venture into discovering your life´s purpose.
Carve out a space and time for stillness, or go out to nature where you can quietly do the exercises … this will allow you to hear clearly the voice of the Holy Spirit.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” ~ Luke 4:18-19
4. Have Faith in God´s Plan for You
As you do the exercises in the book, you get to know yourself a lot better. Well before you reach the end of self-discovery, your life´s purpose will just naturally map up for itself.
What I found more challenging, however, is having faith in God´s plan for us. It requires a complete transformation of ourselves. It requires us to focus on making a life instead of making a living. It urges us to concentrate on using our giftedness in serving God and not focusing on monetary rewards.
But the enemy uses “worry”to sidetrack us … “Will I be able to pay the mortgage if I follow God´s calling?”, “Will I be able to succeed if I live the life I am meant to live?”, “Will I be able to provide for my family?” “Will people admire/respect me?” … are just some of the questions/doubts that we will encounter.
Yet Tom Paterson puts it well, “God´s definition of success is that a person finds God´s plan and live it out. Having the most toys and feeling good about yourself are ultimately irrelevant. Doing what God has created you to do is what will count, not only now but for all eternity.”
As you fulfill what you are to be and do, you experience personal satisfaction, peace and joy. You have a certainty in your spirit that you are fulfilling God´s plan and purpose for your life.