You are probably listing off several things; own a home, pay off debt, have a great job, bench press 400 lbs, have the most amazing sex with beautiful women. Those are decent goals, but none are your purpose. So what IS your purpose, and how do you discover it?
Think of purpose as a general arc for your life, a culmination of your experiences and the decisions you have made as a result of those experiences. You will probably have many directions your life will go, and they will change as you grow and experience new things.
There are four very broad categories that we look at when diving down to find your purpose.
- What I excel at
- What I can buy
- What I love
- What the world needs from me
Let’s break down each one of those starting with the easiest…
What I Excel At
We naturally gravitate toward things we are good at, that isn’t a surprise. However, when was the last time you tried out something new? Something out of your comfort zone? Probably one of the last times you really gave that a go was in college. And, no, I’m not talking about that crazy weekend frat party, or the random hookups. I’m talking about the reason you went to college, the education, the classes, the learnin’. You probably were introduced to something you’ve never had exposure to before and realized you were good at it. Which in a roundabout way led you to your profession.
Which brings us to our next category..
What I Can Buy
If you really boil it down, most chosen professions are bought. Whether it be from mommy and daddy or student loans, you purchase your degrees. And don’t get me wrong, a degree is a very valuable thing, but that’s a topic for another day. A profession is something you do to make a living, it’s a means to an end. Probably what you are suppose to be doing while you are reading this. A vocation is more of a calling, still a way to make money, however it has a much more profound meaning to you than just a paycheck. If you have ever spoken with a member of the clergy about their profession? They will explain it much differently than say for example a cashier at your local supermarket. There is a subtle difference, however the vocation is more of a calling, and something the world needs.
On to the next category…
What The World Needs From Me
What the world needs is drastically different depending on where your “world” is. For many in the 3rd world the mere fact that you can grow crops and literally put food on the table is the need. For others philosophy is a noble and worthy pursuit. 40 years ago the idea of making a living sitting behind a computer would have been far-fetched, now it’s a common reality. What the world needs will vary widely depending on where you are. It’s hard to miss news articles talking about the demand for this profession, or that profession is very strong due to some sort of shortage. I also make it a point to donate blood or parts of blood regularly. This is a minor inconvenience for me however something that the world needs. Religious missions as well as humanitarian work are other examples of what the world needs.
…and our last category is…
That Which You Love
Mission work is absolutely a work of love and of service. But typically it’s on the opposite end of making money. However we develop interests tangentially out of what we love. For those of you who have attended education post high school, you get to pick your classes. This is very empowering if you have never picked your classes before. You get to explore your interests and are encouraged to do so. More than just an education, you need to find your passion, that which you would do no matter the pay. It’s usually not much of a jump from finding something you love to finding a passion. That passion blends into what I excel at.
Honing In On Your Purpose
Your purpose is the happy nougaty center of all four categories. There needs to be a balance of all four to be your purpose. As I stated at the beginning, finding your purpose is like hitting a moving target as all four categories are fluid and ever-changing. With that being said, your purpose will change, and part of being a superior man is understanding that fact and rolling with the punches to forever move forward.
“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”
A Superior Man will always seek to better himself, this is a lifelong pursuit that is ever-changing, ever-growing, ever-moving. Don’t look to others to solve your problems, instead learn from other superior men, take their experiences and lessons and apply them in a deliberate and purposeful manner to your life.
Live with purpose!