When I Discovered My Purpose, I Did Collide With My Destiny
(Editor's note: With permission from the contributor, I'm posting a letter from a reader.)
"Since I first read this quote, it seemed to remain in my mind. At some point I think about the words every day. "When you walk in purpose, you collide with destiny." It has repeated over and over in my thoughts.
I'm not sure how I actually landed on your web site. I know that I was entering subjects in the search bar, as I do quite often. The subject is always the same, although the specific words change.
On this evening, your page about "My purpose in life" showed up. And within that page were two questions. 'What are your talents and what are you passionate about?' As I read through some other postings I came across your blog about purpose and found that quote.
I have what most would consider to be a 'good job.' I believe I am fairly compensated. I am given more than enough responsibility. I manage a group of several employees in this retail-type business that is quite successful.
But every day I feel that something is missing. At the end of each work day, I look back and feel as though I've wasted a day on something that does not inspire me. Because of the work ethic that was impressed upon since my teenage years-years that passed decades ago-I've always believed in giving everything I have for each hour in which I'm paid.
I don't want this to sound like one of those 'good old days' stories, but it does seem like in too many instances, work ethic and accountability levels have been greatly reduced in this current workforce. The best employee that I oversee is actually over 65 years old. He is retired from his job of over 30 years. He works for us on a part-time basis and runs circles around our much younger full-time employees.
As I work to instill the same work ethic in the rest of the group, I find myself mentally exhausted at the end of the day. And I wonder if this is really making the best use of my time.
There must be more out there. There must be something important that I'm called to do. After reading that page about 'My purpose in life' and then your follow up containing purpose quotes, I began to look a little deeper.
You listed a quote from T.D. Jakes that said, 'If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose' So I did spend a lot of time thinking about it. What is my passion? What energizes me? What is it that I look forward to, so much so that everyday nuisances and irritations become trivial matters that I let slide by, with barely a passing notice?
It came to me that what has always driven me is volunteering. It could be charity-related or city cleanup. I've worked on ball fields that are used by area youth teams all summer. I never get tired. When things don't go quite on schedule, it doesn't matter. We just work around it and get the job done.
My own passion has nothing to do with income levels. It has nothing to do with personal recognition. It has everything to do with my feeling of satisfaction that I am making a positive difference.
That doesn't make it right for everyone. In your purpose page, you wrote about a man whose passion was making money. He realized that the more he made, the more he gave away. I would suggest that giving to others is really his passion and that his skill at creating income is the vehicle to drive that real passion.
My realization of my true passion and purpose in life has had some residual effects as well. I now realize that there is only so much I can do on my job. Some work ethics are ingrained from years ago. I can set the bar at the level I want our team to reach, but not all will hit that bar.
That doesn't mean that I've failed. As long as I am providing an example of quality work ethic and offering to help all who seek that level, then I have done what I'm capable of doing. And at the end of the day, I now let it go and head home to do what really drives me.
I have a responsibility to my family to bring in income to help support us. I have a responsibility to the business owner who trusted me to run things for him. Both responsibilities will get my highest efforts.
And then I will work on my purpose in life. Every day that I'm fortunate enough to wake up means that I have another chance to make that positive difference which is truly my purpose and passion.
For any of you reading this, who may be exactly where I was, remember that 'If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose."
(Editor's second note: Just below are links to the two pages referenced in this letter.)
My Purpose In Life