Your purpose is important. We’ve heard and read about it ad nauseam .
But is it anything more than some self-help guru’s shtick?
Some may advise that purpose is simply living the life that you desire — a life that brings you sustained joy and contentment. Others may say that it is the why of your existence, what gets you out of bed each morning, aside from that adenosine blocking cuppa joe!
While I think both of these approaches have value, they are missing the practical, and essential element that I find, makes all the difference.
I see purpose as the answer to the question, “if you had your druthers, what would your life look like,” combined with, each and every choice, activation, and decision you make over the course of your life.
You see, establishing that guiding star of “if I had my druthers…”, is transformative because it shepherds us forward and toward a destination. It often embodies our passion, and even gives us a little pressure to realize it.
But without action, your “druthers” are just a dream.
It’s each and every step that you take, whether it leads you toward or away from that vision, that really matters.
Those micro-choices, or micro-activations, are the most important ingredient in your purpose recipe.
Over time, those small choices form neuropathways and, as we do them consistently, become habits. As they do, they have the power to shift and mold our purpose.
The trap that many of us fall into is that we fail to assess whether the micro-activations we integrate into our daily existence are helping us grow nearer to our druthers.
So it goes both ways with the grand vision of our purpose inextricably intertwined with our daily decisions and actions.
When I think about pursuing my purpose, I imagine I’m nurturing a garden.
When we set out to plant a garden, we have a broad idea of how we’d like the end product to look and what we’d like it to produce. We might even draw out the plot of land and sketch in where we’d like to plant the tomatoes, cucumbers, and kale.
Yet, there are two things that may cause our garden to become less than what we’d imagined.
First is pure naïvetée. A lack of experience, knowledge, or foresight can often mar our good intentions and take us off course. Perhaps we failed to recognize that our dill plant grows wildly and needs room to roam, or that the lettuce should not be alongside the tomatoes.
Although it’s not fun, with a little patience, re-planting, and education, it’s easy enough to get things back on track.
The second is far more detrimental: inconsistency.
A vision and good intentions is not enough. Inconsistency in our activations leads to a garden run amok. The same is true with our purpose.
Just like our garden, our purpose can thrive, flower, and bear us great fruit, however, it requires daily TLC, patience, and attention to do so. We must keep a keen eye on where we would like to arrive, and take daily action to get there to ultimately experience the great joy our purpose promises.
Our daily actions act like a centripetal force, serving as the inertia, drawing us to our purpose, and keeping the plates spinning.
The best part of our purpose is that, much like our garden, we can change it if we choose. And it’s never too late to start planting.
So perhaps it’s time to give yours a look-see.
If you had your druthers, what would your life look like?