Keys To Discovering Your Personal Mission
by: Karin Syren
Purpose is what you’re created for. Mission is what you’re meant to do about it.
Do I Have A Purpose?
You’re not alone if you’re facing the question of why you are here and what you are supposed to do about it. In order to begin the process of unwrapping yourself and realizing some answers, you must begin with the assumption that you are here for a purpose, that you are not a result of happenstance.
If you are concerned about stepping out on the uncertainty of an assumption, I invite you to try an exercise. For the next 24 hours, take note of all the assumptions you act upon each day – without certain knowledge or proof that they are dependable.
For instance, you assume the alarm will go off just because you set it and it went off yesterday and the day before – assumption. You assume the train will arrive on the platform at the same time today as yesterday, though you surely have experienced interruptions in the schedule. Yet you plan your morning around the assumption.
These assumptions and many more like them are at the base of countless plans you make each day. So just suppose that you’re not here for a purpose and you’re not part of a greater plan, but you have based your actions toward others and your plans for the future on your belief that there was a plan. How fruitful and fulfilling would your life have become, based on this assumption, true or not? How much value would you have added to the lives of those around you, having lived your life based on this assumption?
Millions, perhaps billions of people struggle through life with no thought what to do with themselves, no design. Decisions concerning education, career, vocation, marriage, and family are a source of constant stress and confusion – and all because they have never been able to perceive of themselves as part of a plan, as a gift to their world.
Though definitely not immune, people of faith have less trouble with the basics in this area. But you needn’t wait for all the answers; you can begin to be a gift to those who occupy your corner of the world right now – today. Assuming that the sheer number of earth’s inhabitants is a clue to your purpose, make a conscious decision to focus less on yourself and your questions, your uncertainties, your desires and begin to notice those around you in a way unrelated to you and your perceived needs. Begin to interact with them on the basis of their needs, not your own.
The word mission comes from the Latin mittere, to send, and it is the beginning of the adventure. Once we have accepted that we have a purpose, that we are not an accident, then we can begin the process of discovering what we’re to do about it. If that’s a daunting exercise, let’s begin with a few questions:
What are Your Gifts and Talents?
Everyone is born with talent. You may be unaware of your unique talents, simply because talents are so much a part of us that they often seem hardly worth mentioning. Begin the process by asking yourself what you have always been able to do with little effort? What do friends and family continually ask you to do over everyone else? What activities are you consistently drawn to? Write these down and begin to actively pursue opportunities to exercise them. Just as you were born with muscle, but you need to work each muscle for it to reach maximum efficiency, so it is with talents.
Gifts on the other hand can be viewed as equipment, often not appearing until later in life as our direction begins to unfold. For this reason, we are generally very aware of our gifts. Once identified, begin to think of these as tools. Look at each area in which you are gifted and see how you can combine your gifts with your talents.
What Fascinates You?
What do you never tire of discussing? Your ears perk up when someone across the room begins to discuss it; you stop your channel surfing when you come across it on television. You may have a shelf full of books on the subject. Whether you have ever actively pursued it or not, the subject is of perennial interest.
What’s Your Passion?
Finally, each person has a fire burning in them, though for some the fires have been allowed only to smolder. What is it that would flare up and burn brightly if you gave it the slightest opportunity? Is it a cause, a vocation, or perhaps there’s a book or a painting, just waiting for you to give it some time to appear. Whatever it is that you find yourself daydreaming about, consider giving it an opportunity to come to front of your life.
Begin by keeping a journal, because as soon as you begin to ask yourself these questions, the answers will start to emerge – be prepared to record them. Answering these questions, putting the pieces together as they appear is the beginning of the process of uncovering your personal mission, what you’re here to do – your destiny.
So make the decision to move away from the familiar and into your adventure as only you were equipped to.