This week we share a guest post from blogger Suzie de Jonge. Enjoy :)
Purpose: “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.”1
What do you think or feel when you hear the phrase “finding your purpose”? I have noticed that this seems to be a common theme for many of us when we get to a certain point in our lives. We start to ask questions of ourselves; questions like “Why am I here?” and “What is it all about?” This can then lead down a path of exploration and the search for answers.
For me, it was exactly like this. I was never one of those kids who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. You know the ones, who from an early age had a burning desire to be perhaps a teacher or a nurse and then actually followed through with it. I was so envious of people like that even then. Different ideas would come to me from time to time and I would try them on for size, but they never became anything more than ideas. For instance, I clearly remember before the age of 10 wanting to be an architect, or an interior designer and totally out of left field even a psychiatrist!
Being very independent, I left home at a young age and took the quickest option at the time to earn an income, which for me was in administration, and I ending up working in this field for some years.
Even though I did my job well and received positive feedback, it was just never enough – there was always a yearning inside of me for something more. Not even just a yearning, I KNEW there was something more planned for me.
Such began the long search of trying to discover my “purpose”. Initially at the time, I didn’t realize I was looking for my purpose, but more trying to find my place in the world and where I fit in. I have to be honest, it wasn’t always a journey of joy; this constant searching and feeling like I was on the outside looking in for much of the time caused me a lot of internal pain and angst. None more so than after starting up my own business, running it for a number of years and waking up in the morning dreading going to “work”.
That’s when I realized the conflict that was going on inside of me. Not doing something which brought me joy was actually affecting my emotional and physical well-being. I felt ungrateful and beat myself up - how can I not be happy with my lot in life when others are struggling and would give anything to be in my shoes? What was my purpose for being here on the planet at this point in time?
I had always thought that “living your purpose” meant serving or giving to others in a charitable and selfless sense, which brought up visions of missionaries, charity workers, health professionals; people who dedicated their lives to a cause and/or others. Unfortunately, this internal battle along with an unrealistic workload spiraled into what I can only term as a breakdown.
It’s funny how sometimes the thing that brings you to your knees can actually be a turning point in life. It might not have seemed it at the time, but for me, that experience brought me the clarity I needed as I took time to rest, heal and reflect. Because in that space came the answer to the question that had haunted me most of my life, as if someone had flicked a light switch.
YOUR PURPOSE IS TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO and then share it with the world.
I didn’t have to go volunteer in Africa, work as a doctor or nurse or charity worker – I could do what I love and share it. I could have worked baking cakes and my purpose would be seeing the joy on people’s faces as they enjoyed eating them. I could have been the lollypop lady at my local school and my purpose would be to share my greetings and smiles with the parents and children. It didn’t matter WHAT I was doing, it was WHO I was being while I was doing it that was the key.
So here I am, a few years down the track doing what I love, being a coach/mentor and supporting other women who are experiencing exactly what I did and now I wake up every day full of joy in living my purpose.
So, my question to you is, what is it that you LOVE to do? What brings you joy? Very likely this is also your special key to unlock the magical door marked “Purpose”.
Suzie de Jonge is a Transformational Coach and the founder of Beautifully Selfish. She supports women who are ready to rebuild their lives, their careers and sense of self. To learn more, click here.