As far as humanity and a purpose-filled life goes, there are in my opinion only one of two roads you can take:
A – either you believe that we just happened to land here by some fluke of science or a big bang or some random atoms that just collided and by magic you came into existence. Apart from being a believer, I struggle to understand this as life would be, kind-of, useless. No end goal, no life after death, no purpose. Just…poof one day you are here and then poof, one day your bubble pops and you disappear as if none of this ever happened. That makes me sad.
B – you believe that:
1. We are all created by God;
2. God has a purpose and plan for each one of us;
3. That plan is never to hurt us or harm us, but to prosper us, give us a hope and a future (Jer 29:11)
For the sake of this post, let’s go on the premise that we all pick the second road.
Vision vs purpose
One of the most magical things about being a child, is the ability to dream about the future without any prejudice or hurt or doubt or fear. Little girls who dream of their wedding day, little boys who dream of being a hero and driving a fast car. When we are little, having a vision is easy. Also, as a child our path to our purpose is clear cut and if we didn’t have the “noise” of the world to interfere, living that purpose-filled life would be a breeze.
When we grow up, however, we find that people will hurt us, things won’t work out the way that it was intended, the dream we had is not what we actually wanted. Our expectations change and our dreams and vision is shaped by a new reality. But we don’t stop dreaming! We dream of things we want to accomplish and become. We start businesses or new venture and then we run out of steam.
So we create vision boards and read up 10 Tips to be highly successful in business or Habits of effective people, etc. We toil and sweat and cry and struggle to force that dream into reality. Only to fall again and start all over again.
However, when we are on a path that supports that purpose, things go our way and God and the universe conspires to make things work in our favor. I’ve seen this countless times! I’ll say it again, when you are a path that supports your purpose, things will go your way. You won’t have to fight or battle or argue or stress about it, it will just happen.
So what is the difference between vision and purpose? A vision without purpose is self-serving.
I don’t think any of us were created to just exist for our own enrichment. When we live a self-serving life the needs of others become obsolete and we are driven by a need to up our stake in the world, increase our earnings, become more popular, and grow our “universe”. Our greed for being more and having more overrules who we were born to be as we struggle to fill the void of what our spirit is searching for. I further believe that it is the reason why we have so many addictions in the world from OTC to digital to alcoholics to mainlining heroin, to name but a few. There are all just varied responses to the same base issue: trying to fill the void and answer the call of that little boy or girl who had a clear cut path to purpose.
Purpose, on the other hand requires no immediate vision. That’s right: purpose requires no immediate vision. We are all born with a purpose. Our only responsibility is to surrender to that purpose and live our lives in a way that support that purpose. When we align ourselves with our purpose, the vision will automatically come. We won’t necessary have the immediate means to make it happen. Neither will have the immediate confidence that this is what we are meant to do. For me, my purpose was “too big” and I wasted years while being in denial about you. Since I’ve surrendered to this purpose and aligned myself with that purpose, the vision just keeps getting bigger. Purpose is also never self-serving. It is self-enriching and requires healing and growth on your part, but it will always be for the greater good.
Here are a two examples:
When I decided to start studying (vision based), it was met with obstacle upon obstacle. I took this as challenges from the universe to test my resolve. I struggled and fought and took out a loan, but I studied. Now, 2 years in with only 5 subjects and a dissertation to go, we’ve been told that the qualification is being scrapped by the qualifications authority. However, I recently decided to take a course that is in line with my purpose. The price was slashed due to lockdown, I received a further discount, people contributed, a random person sponsored and now, in 3 weeks time I start with this course!
When I stopped working last year, it took me a good 3 weeks to build a website for the new business (vision based), When I surrendered to my purpose, I built a website in a matter of hours (purpose based).
Vision = self-serving
Purpose = for the greater good
Not my purpose
So I am here on this planet, created by God in His image and He has a predestined plan and purpose for my life. So how can it be my purpose? That, my friend, is the beauty of purpose
It is not yours. It is not up to you to make it happen or to make a success of it.
It is God’s purpose for your life! It is part of His plan and if you just surrender to it, He will make it happen. Your only responsibility to accept that purpose, to be guided and live a life that supports that purpose – to learn, to heal, to grow and then, finally, to live a purpose-filled life and give to those who are still seeking.
Don’t worry about whether you can do it – you have the strength and wisdom already
Don’t worry about how you can make it happen – things will fall in place
Don’t worry about how you will earn an income – purpose will always elevate you
Don’t worry about how and where and to who you will give your message – your vibe attracts your tribe. Those who need to hear and learn will be attracted to you
When we commit to do whatever it takes to a purpose-filled life, God will provide the means and the return will be so much bigger than anything you could ever have imagined.
In my next post, we’ll look at what to do once we’ve discovered our purpose and some great people who are living a purpose-filled life.