By definition, purpose is the reason for which something is done or created. I believe every single creature on Earth has a purpose. Every life matters.
Our lives have a 2-fold purpose:
1. The reason for which we were created
2. Our intent in doing things
God will call us to do various things throughout our lives. He will direct us and equip us to complete certain tasks he wants us to do and we ought to complete those tasks through obedience in love; but we were created to love and to be loved. Period. Plain and simple. That’s our God-given purpose.
However, the motive that drives us to action is a choice completely up to us. We get to determine what we work for. When the motives of our hearts are right, our untamed passion is lit aflame and there is nothing about us that doesn’t become consumed. Our purpose is more than a cause, for a cause is simply a fleeting interest; purpose is a burning desire in our soul.
My husband goes to work every single day and does a phenomenal job. He works hard, he stays focused, and he goes above and beyond the call, driven by his interest in engineering. He cares about his company, his employees, and his customers because he loves people and honestly wants to see everyone doing well. Even deeper than that, he does it because he cares about our family and wants to be an amazing provider. If you keep digging, though, what you will find at the root of his behavior is his true purpose: his love for Jesus Christ and a desire to please him and bring him honor through everything he does.
A lot of people miss the passion boat because they’re waiting for their purpose to fall from the sky and hit them in the head. As I said earlier, the purpose we were created for is love, but the purpose for our behavior is up to us. It’s what we’re ultimately going to be judged on.
Two people doing the exact same thing can have a completely different outcome based on their level of passion. For example, a person who goes into nursing because they crave job security will be a much different type of nurse than one who wants to help people. A person who teaches because they want their summers off will do a much different job than a teacher who cares about children, our future. A designer who works to build a name for him or herself will do things very differently than a designer who wants to create products people will enjoy.
Our passion will be unleashed when our purpose is legit. I often get called out for over thinking things but to me staying on the shallow surface breeds apathy. I can trace most of the seasons of discontent throughout my life to times when I wasn’t working for the right purpose. I’m learning there is a better way. There’s nothing wrong with working for a paycheck, but I guarantee you will have more fun and do a better job if you focus on a deeper reason for your work. Heck, you may even become so passionate you get promoted to the position you actually want (which you probably wouldn’t get otherwise).
One of the things I constantly say to myself is: “If you’re going to do it you might as well do it well.” If I don’t want to do something, I just don’t. I would rather not do something than to put in a half-hearted effort because I really don’t want to do it. I either make myself have a good attitude or I just don’t even take it on. To me, It’s better to walk away than to do something with a bad attitude.
Passion is powerful. It can make a difference in how you feel and how you perform. Passion makes you confident through the clarity of what really matters. It girds you against failure. Even though you will fail, like all successful people, passion helps you bounce back up, dust off, and carry on. Passion shields us from discouragement. You’ve heard “Love is blind,” well, I believe passion is blind too because it sees no obstacles. When you are passionate you just make it work. Passion doesn’t give up; it figures out a way.
Passion isn’t always bouncing off the walls. There are times when passion is a quiet resolve cemented in our minds. At times passion is a still small voice whispering, “it would be easier to quit, but don’t give in; you want this!” When we reflect on our beliefs, define our values and through the lens of our values choose our purpose, our passion has no boundaries.
The next and last post in this series will be about success. When you are passionate about your values-based purpose, success is inevitable. I’m going to share my personal definition of success and I’ve asked a few friends to share their views as well. It’s going to be amazing!