I’ve been festering on the idea of purpose lately. Many people call it a quarter and (or) mid-life crisis, but really all it is, is the simple truth that makes us humans, each of us was created to do more and live a life with purpose.
It’s the age-old question, what is my purpose in life? I have been thinking about this tired question a lot because I’ve been leading a group with a friend of mine. It’s primarily a networking group for women who want to be entrepreneurs, or more creative, or simply want to focus the direction of their lives and it’s going great in case you were wondering. But I spoke about branding last week, both in the sense of branding for a business but also in the sense of branding yourself in life and I wanted to share it because I believe branding and purpose go hand in hand.
Branding: What Is It?
Branding in a traditional sense is how businesses market themselves creatively through a name, symbol or design, so that you as the consumer can identify their product. Also, branding in a personal sense is simply the thing that makes you unique. Did you know that God sees us as individuals? In God’s eyes, He sees only you, without any outside judgement or comparison to those around you. So why is it that we go our whole lives constantly comparing ourselves to others and validating ourselves based off that internal check list that we make?
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. – Psalm 139:14 (NLT)
When it comes to branding yourself one thing is to be remembered: you are already unique. No matter how much we try you and I will never be completely the same. Even if I were to change myself to do everything as you’ve done, I still would never quite be you and you would never quite be me. But that is our advantage, because you see it’s our individual nature that leads us to discover our passions, the same passions that God is calling us to put into use to live out our purpose. So, the question is how to discover said purpose?
The Pursuit of Purpose:
1. Specificity: narrowing down your desires.
Perhaps easier said than done right. Start with the basics. Make a list for yourself of everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Be specific, don’t say you want to travel, say I want to go to X Y Z… or don’t say I want to start a business, make it big like “I want to start a small start-up that allows people to contact each other anywhere in the world free of cost” etc. Then take your list of wants and offer it to God. Ask Him to show you how his purpose aligns with your desires and leave room for his response.
2. Action: the willingness to put in the work
Now that you have your list of wants and demands, the next step is all on you. If you want to discover your purpose it requires work. If you want a job that you’ll enjoy it starts with the action to pursue a new job. The moment you become complacent that’s the moment that you’ve forgotten the purpose you were chasing.
3. Direction: focusing your journey
With this there must come the question why? Why do any of this soul-searching, life pursuit, what do you gain out of it? A difficult question perhaps but this will be your key factor in what grounds you to your purpose. Make it a big ‘why’, not just an “oh just because I like it” because the bigger it is and the more it involves God the more likely you’ll be to see it come to pass.
4. Consistency: the willingness to keep going even when it’s difficult.
Two things must be consistent; you as in what you’re offering and the pursuit of your relationship with God and representation you’re throwing out, but also your consistency to chase it. No one tells you about the difficult journey. People only boast about their success, but the true test comes when you stay in it even when the road is narrow and no one is rooting for you. That’s when you need to keep going because eventually there is a victory.
I think we all want to see our lives and purpose fulfilled; but the path is hard, and the journey long, and the truth of the matter is not everyone has the endurance. But I believe it’s possible if you want it bad enough you can see what God has waiting for you.