One question that most people ask at some point in their life is "what is my purpose?" It may be asked in a number of different ways; “why am I here?” “What should I do with my life?”, but these questions come from someone who is just trying to work to why they are here.
You'll notice that what all of these questions have in common is a focus on self. But it is through focusing on ourselves that we will never realise our purpose in life. Your purpose is far greater than your own personal fulfilment, success, and happiness. In fact, it's not about you. Creator of Nike, Phil Knight, said this about the dreams that he had for his life;
"I had an aching sense that our time is short, shorter than we ever know, short as a morning run, and I wanted mine to be meaningful. And purposeful. And creative. And important. Above all... different. I wanted to leave a mark on the world. I wanted to win."
How will you leave a mark on the world? If you recognise that life is not about you, then you will soon realise that it's no longer a fight to the top, no longer do you have to strive for success, but life becomes a journey on which you have the ability to impact the lives of people in a positive way, and leave a mark on the world.
We live in a world with loads of other people, billions of them in fact. In a world that can feel so full, a world where we are surrounded with news and stories about the lives of other people, it can be easy to start to feel insignificant.
You might begin to ask yourself, "why am I here?” “What purpose do I have in this world?" But it is when you start asking yourself these questions that you have gotten caught up focusing on what others are doing, and lost sight of your own unique journey of life.
Comparison is one of the biggest barriers to finding your purpose in life. It either leaves us feeling better than others, or feeling worse than others, neither of which are good.
"The quickest way to kill something great is to compare it with something else.”
On one hand, we become full of pride, arrogant about our own ability. On the other hand, we begin to feel doubt and inadequacy.
The key to overcoming comparison is to focus on your own personal journey, knowing that the future ahead for you is completely different to the future that anyone else is about to step into - exciting right?!
Never feel that you are insignificant or unqualified to step into the challenges and opportunities that come your way. Wherever you find yourself, whatever you come up against, don’t hesitate or ask, "why me?" but instead be bold and tell yourself, "why not me!"
Whatever you are going through right now; the highs and the lows, the good and the bad, the wins and the losses, know that the best is yet to come.
“RUN TO WIN”. Jesus won the greatest victory of all: he defeated death. He died so we could live in freedom from comparison, insecurity, and he rose from the dead so that we could run the course of our lives sharing this victory.
As Christians we find that God designed us with a unique purpose in mind. Setting our eyes above the comparison we begin to understand that we can achieve more, working with each other rather than against each other.
So success is not something to be avoided. We can glorify God with it, like a form of worship. How awesome is it that God actually called us to walk in purpose and lead great lives?! Our end goal is not the prize, it is finding Jesus mid-track and the very act of running it with him.
1 // WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?
2 // HAVE YOU EVER COMPARED YOURSELF WITH SOMEONE ELSE?
3 // HOW CAN WE BECOME LESS “WHY ME” AND MORE “WHY NOT ME”?
Ever been on a long road trip? Maybe a family holiday, a school trip, a traffic jam in the city... What you'll notice is that most roads aren't straight, and most roads aren't smooth. From speed bumps to potholes, uphill battles to downhill struggles, tights turns and sharp corners, a journey will always come with some discomfort.
Wouldn't life be real easy if we could just follow one straight path, one smooth road to the greatest life we could possibly live. However, this is real life, and we know that it's not quite so easy as that. Sometimes we might have to take what appears to be a step back, or a diverted route, in order to continue on the path to our purpose.
There will be sudden obstacles, there will be unexpected challenges, but each time we come up against something that makes us want to turn around and go in the opposite direction, refusing to back down could be what enables us to step into the more that is ahead for us. The easiest thing to do is to always choose the path of least resistance; to
always take the option that requires the least of us. But when we do this, we stop ourselves from growing into our potential, from becoming stronger, and from becoming the person we were made to be.
"The moment you feel like stepping back, step forward.”
Whenever you feel like you’re too weak to go forward, go forward harder.
Whatever you are going through, you are not alone. There are people who can help you; maybe they went through something similar in the past, maybe they have seen someone facing the same challenges that you are facing right now, and have seen them come out of the other side stronger.
"People can be the wind beneath our wings, or the anchor in our boat."
Have good people around you; people that lift you up and don’t pull you down, because speaking to the right people can help shift your perspective on your current circumstances. We too have to be these kind of people to others; proactively and intentionally lifting others up.
1 // DOES LIFE FEEL LIKE A STRAIGHTFORWARD JOURNEY?
2 // HOW CAN WE CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD IN TIMES THAT WE WANT TO STEP BACK?
3 // WHAT IMPACT DOES HAVING GOOD PEOPLE AROUND US HAVE ON OUR LIVES?
Who do you want to become?
We all have ambitions in life; things we want to do, success we want to experience. But as well as the big dreams and aspirations we have for our future, our purpose has significance in the every day details, the things that appear too small and perhaps insignificant.
"What you do today will set you up for tomorrow.”
Your purpose here on earth is not just about what you want to do in the future, but also who you want to be today. We can focus on who we are each and every day whilst at the same time fulfilling our life-long dreams and ambitions.
lf we're not careful in life, every time we stretch out our hand to someone we can expect to receive something rather than having something to give.
"Meet the need in order to succeed.”
Most successful companies in the world today are successful because they have been able to meet the needs of people. Whatever your dreams, aspirations, ambitions in life, are they to meet your needs, or to meet the needs of others?
Who you are in the every-day of life will begin to paint a picture of who you will be in the future. It can be so easy to say, "when I have money, then I'll be generous," or "when I reach university, then I'll take time to study." But it is the lifestyle we live and habits we develop today that will have a huge impact on the person we become tomorrow and beyond.
Nelson Mandela was the kind of leader who was willing to jump on a grenade in order to set up the next generation to win. We look at great leaders that have gone before us, and what made them great was their relentless drive and willingness to help others.
ZECHARIAH 4:10 [NLT]
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.
Here, God showed prophet Zechariah through a dream that Zerubbabel would rebuild the temple from scratch (Plumb lines are tools used to build and measure)
Like for the prophet, God starts this work inside of us simply as a thought... a dream. We never know how it will end but God does, and he’s still excited about it! He “rejoices” in the midst of our mistakes, detentions and quiet walks home. It shows us that it was all needed for us to learn about ourselves in the process.
How patient are you? Do you easily get frustrated when things don’t go your way and give up? Don’t despise the smallness of your thinking, of your age, of your circle of friends which you wish was bigger. Keep going, knowing that God is found in it and in your ‘today’.
1 // HOW CAN THE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY IMPACT WHO YOU WILL BE IN THE FUTURE?
2 // HOW CAN YOU LEAD PEOPLE FROM WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
3 // WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?