Purposeful living is the beginning of self-actualization. Defining your purpose that’s aligned with a burning desire is the key to success. Now, what does success mean to you? How you define success determines your eagerness to find your purpose. Since college, my first major life decision was determining a major. I think this was extremely difficult largely because of the confusion surrounding my purpose.
Spiritually - growing up in church we were accustomed to hearing countless sermons concerning purpose almost weekly, but it is though no one stopped to fully explain purpose.
Naturally – we were taught young, how society classified success. We were taught that successful people were not afraid to take action and when they were faced with setbacks, they got up and tried again. Successful people were not quitters.
About 3 years ago, moving to Dallas, was when I really began to learn about defining purpose. Yes, at first the idea seemed extraneous. Many questions began to plague my mind – Does God really have something specific for me to do in this life? What is it that I am called to do? What in my natural life will also support my spiritual calling? Have I become accustomed to serving in the ministry? Am I serving in the right area of ministry? What if everything that I have become so accustomed to in life, been all wrong? I became anxious about knowing what my purpose truly was.
I battled an internal feeling that maybe I wasn’t intelligent enough to pursue my purpose. Maybe I wasn’t intelligent enough to succeed. I often downplayed my brainpower while overestimating the brainpower of those around me. I made excuses. Those excuses looked like this: I am too old to start something new; I do not have enough education; I am not qualified; I have bad luck; or even used my family background as an excuse.
Honestly, naturally - most of this anxiety came from the comparison that I consumed myself with. Comparison to family and comparison to peers. Spiritually – God has allowed me to understand that the anxiety curtailed from not being dependent upon Him. Though I know that He is our Maker, Author and Finisher of our Faith, and Shepherd, there were times that I often forgot and attempted to make decisions in my own strength. Confusion, was definitely always the result of this thinking. One day I remember having a heart to heart with my husband. I held nothing back and told him all of my doubts, fears, and question marks.
“What if I don’t have a purpose?” I asked. I knew this went against what God says in Jeremiah 29:11,“‘For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” – But I had allowed myself to entertain the lie and trick of the enemy and therefore began to believe it. Through my husband, God spoke to me about my purpose. My husband told me that I could not be afraid of failure so much that I would not even give God a chance to prove himself strong and mighty in battle for me.
In the NATURAL we think purpose is tied to a major and career and SPIRITUALLY we think purpose is tied to a title. But I’m here to tell you that a major does not always equal career, and career does not equal purpose. Yes something to truly think about, I know. Well let’s dive deeper, you see I am reminded that Peter was a fisherman, Matthew was a tax collector, and Jesus was a carpenter. Purpose goes beyond our title and occupation – purpose is about advancing God’s Kingdom and about spreading the good news of Jesus to as many people as we can.
Three years later, and I’m no longer uncertain about the career path or spiritual path that I have chosen. I have a peace that transcends all understanding. I know that God uses ALL things to work together for my good and for His glory (Romans 8:28). I developed the POWER OF BELIEF on the inside of me. This allowed me to muster the strength to tell myself that I can overcome any and every limitation that I placed upon myself. I have the POWER TO BE SUCCESSFUL. Know this: Nothing happens by accident, and no one ever became successful by making excuses on why they cannot be successful.
Tips to Effectively Pursue Your Purpose
1. Treat and cure yourself of the “EXCUSE” disease.
2. Give yourself a mental cleanse
3. Do not focus on how much knowledge you have, but make your focus how you will put that knowledge to use.
4. Consider and understand what you are enthusiastic about and what interest you