Sunday Manifest: Finding Your Purpose

Image: Hello Africa

Here’s the truth: Your purpose can find you, if you’re digging for it. Some of the work required in finding a purpose, your purpose, is leaning into the heart space and listening to what it tells you. Too kooky and new age-y maybe, but the idea is to trust in what you’re journeying is trying to tell you. Our purpose, while different for all of us, is a profound sort of calling; the thing that drives us throughout the day to strive and push for more. In an ideal world, our purpose is rooted in something bigger than us, that also compels others to take action and move forward in their own purpose.

Sometimes, our purpose starts as a small spark. I’ve heard it said that our passions come with the practice of something we have become exceptionally good at. Suffice to say that our purpose is also tied to that thing we have dedicated not just physical time to, but also spirit and heart energy towards. And what that means is we have an invested interest that lives beyond just the tangible work that everyone else gets to see as you walk your path. The purpose is the thing that fuels the work, that creates the grounding for all other work to flourish. A purpose adds value to our work, a broader way of viewing how we attack the world.

The words we use to talk about our purpose have so much use; the power they yield to shape and shift narratives is an extraordinary feat in and of itself. How we choose to speak to what our purpose is, can also set the tone for how we move and live in said purpose. And that purpose can be in the ways we raise our children; how we speak to colleagues and family and friends; how we pursue potential partners and new opportunities. At its core, our purpose helps us identify our value system or rather, helps us distinguish the rules we govern our lives with. In that same breath, with a purpose that aligns with a value system centered on how we view our world, we’re also allowing ourselves the room for empathy for the purpose of others, and respect for the ways in which others journey.

With purpose, we are inviting imagination—the idea that we can create a vision for ourselves that extends beyond the surface day-to-day lives we have curated for ourselves. Some don’t know what their purpose is and they are still searching for the language and the ways in which to tap into the guiding force. Some find it at twenty-five, others at fifty-five. Patience is indeed a virtue when it comes to the marathon that is this purpose-driven living we’ve subscribed to. The real magic lies in not getting caught up in the timing of the finding, but to focus on the work in seeking out the things that speak to us in a way that gives clarity to our purpose.

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We all journey differently, each of us following our own calling, walking to the beat of our own triumphant drum. And, it’s easy to get caught up in the “who did it first?” or “who did it better?” race as we determine what motivates us to do our work or simply get out of bed. For some of us, getting out of bed in the morning is the work, but that’s not the purpose. Essentially, we are the purpose—how we live our lives determines what the purpose may be for each of us. Take your time, enjoy the journey. Your purpose will find you, if you’re looking.

Joél Leon is a father, dreamer and storyteller. Follow him @joelleon.

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