Purpose is not a Possession.
You can’t have the noun if you don’t do the verb. In modern times, purpose has almost become a possession. We’ve all heard people say, “I can’t find my purpose,” as if it’s a handbag they left in the bathroom of a roadside gas station. We feel a bit naked if we don’t have a purpose, as if we’re the only ones without the “big P.”
As a noun, purpose is something you possess—a valued asset in your grasp that you can show to others. But, as a verb, it’s a deliberate and conscious way of being: to be purposeful. In this approach, you don’t have to obtain or clutch your purpose as an object that might slip through your fingers. You show up being purposeful, and, magically, you become a magnet for the possibility that your purpose may come to you rather than having to track it down. It’s like happiness: always better when it arrives organically and on its own time, rather than as something being pursued. In fact, acting purposefully may be more important than discovering your purpose.
So, the next time you feel depressed that you haven’t found your purpose, ask yourself this instead, “How could I show up purposeful and optimistic today? Or how might I serve someone beyond myself?” Move into that action-minded, verb-focused approach to purpose, and you may soon find unexpected gifts coming your way.
In addition, our last day to take advantage of a 20% Early Bird Plus Discount for our upcoming “Designing Your Purposeful Path to Work” (an 8-week online course) is May 1. The course starts June 4 and runs through the end of July, and only requires about 3 hours per week of your attention.