As you take time to discover your life purpose (see part 1), here are a few ideas to help in your exploration:
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What do you get excited about?
- What energises you?
- What makes you angry? What annoys you? For instance, if you get irritated by disorganisation maybe your gift to the world is to help create a little more order. If you get ticked by the boring and the predictable maybe you are the one to bring some creative freshness and innovation to our world. If you are upset by injustice, maybe you are one of those called to champion a more just society.
- What do you desire?
- Who are your heroes and the people you admire? Maybe they are mirrors of the kind of person you are to be.
Abilities are the natural talents or skills you were born with or acquired through education or life experience.
- What are your strengths?
- What are you good at?
- What is your best contribution?
- Where are you most effective?
- Are you musical, creative, planning, building, organising, team building or good with finances?
Your personality is the way you are wired.
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or maybe you are an ambivert?
- Do you enjoy working with people or things?
- Are you more of a leader, a manager, or a team member?
- Are you a more of a pioneer or more of a settler?
- Are you a linear thinker or a more random thinker? For example, in the downtown city of Melbourne, which is structured on a square grid pattern of streets, I always know where I am yet my wife, Nicole, gets lost very easily. Yet in the Dandenongs, the beautiful hilly areas east of our city, Nicole always know where she is while I get lost with all the continual winding and curvy roads! We are just different, and that’s okay.
Your Life Experience
Your life experience refers to those parts of your past, both positive and negative. Everything you have been through contributes to who you are and what you could potentially contribute. Nothing in life is wasted – even our mistakes, our failures and the pain we go through.
How are you SHAPED?
Consider the ice cream scoop, a beloved member of every well fitted out kitchen. A few decades ago, after who knows how many thousands of spoons had been bent around the globe due to people trying to scoop out hard ice cream, some brilliant person made all of our lives better by inventing the ice cream scoop. It doesn’t bend!
Now there are many things you could do with an ice cream scoop, such as hammer a nail in, dig a weed out in your garden, or even hold down some papers on your desk … but it functions best when it is used for that which it’s designer intended it for.
In the same way, there are a lot of things you could do with your life, but you will be most effective and most joyful when you do things for which you are most suited or shaped to do.
Don’t spend your time and energy doing things you were never designed to do. When your gifts don’t fit the role you play in life, you feel like a square peg in a round hole. This is frustrating, both to you and to others. Not only does it produce limited results, but it is also an enormous waste of your talents time and energy.
If only each person on the planet could discover (1) what they are good at and (2) what they deeply care about and then apply themselves to (3) the needs of our world, what a difference that would make – for everyone.
So, what about YOU? Have you discovered your life purpose? If you have, well done. Continue to use your gifts to contribute to making our world a better place. For others, maybe you know what you’d love to do but an ideal opportunity hasn’t come your way yet or maybe you’re in a time of transition or maybe you’re a bit burnt out from running too hard in a recent season in your life. That’s okay. Lean into the season you are in right now. Others of you may still be on the journey of discovery, still figuring out how you are wired and where you can best fit. Wherever you are at in your journey, I encourage you to keep moving forward. You do have a purpose and I pray that you discover it and live it out to the full.
P.S. To watch a message I gave recently at Bayside Church on this topic, see this You Tube link.