With the world on pause for the last eight months and everyone spending most of their days at home, it can almost feel like you’re stuck. Especially in an ever-busy world that says to succeed, we need to figure out our purpose. For many, this period of lockdown raises those questions even more – What is my purpose? And what can I do now to take steps in the right direction?
Personally, I never thought the world would still be on pause for this long. When the second national lockdown was announced in the UK, it almost felt like we were going back to the beginning. I’ve definitely had moments where I felt stuck, and maybe you’ve felt the same way. It’s as if you’ve hit a wall and you don’t know how to move forward.
I then began to think about some of the great world changers of history. People such as Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi to name a few. Each of them stood out and made a mark on the world. They knew their purpose and they knew what they needed to do to fulfill it. So I asked myself; how did they know what their purpose was? And how did they know what to do once they knew their purpose? I’m sure they all had their own journey of figuring this out, but there were a few key things I learnt from them.
1. You need a dream
To find your purpose, you firstly need a dream. Martin Luther King Jr had a dream to see unity among people. Mahatma Gandhi had a dream to bring peace. By figuring out what their dream was, it helped them to focus on what was really important in life and what they desired to see change in the world.
Have a think about what your dream is. A few helpful questions to ask yourself would be:
- What are you passionate about?
- What makes you righteously angry?
- What life experiences have shaped you?
As you write down your answers to these three questions, start connecting the dots to help clarify your dream.
2. Be disciplined
Once you’ve figured out what your dream is, the next step is figuring out what you’ll do about it. A dream is a great start to figuring out your purpose, but it cannot end with just simply an idea or a wish to see a change in the world. It requires hard work, effort and discipline to bring your dream into a reality.
Think about your dream – what are some key habits that you can begin to put in place to work towards seeing your dream becoming a reality? It may involve waking up earlier, or removing some distractions to help you keep focused, but it will help in the long run.
3. Focus on building character
In a world that focuses on activity and doing, which is important, the act of becoming can be lost. Who you are is the core essence to fulfilling your purpose. And what you bring to the table and your perspective is what will give life to your dream.
Again, looking at influential leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, his characteristics of integrity and respect for others was the key to bringing life to his dream of people living in unity. As a result, his community followed him, not only for his dream but because they believed in the person behind the dream.
Building character is a more organic process of maturity and growth, but if you’re unsure of where to start, a good place would be to reach out to close friends and people who know you well and ask them to identify your strengths and weaknesses. As you become aware of which areas of your character need growth, you can begin making practical steps. Also, keep yourself accountable to these people so they can support you in the journey.
Ultimately when you feel stuck, especially in regards to your purpose, the key to experiencing a breakthrough is to keep making steps to seek God in finding your dream, cultivating good character and taking practical steps in being disciplined in bringing your dream into a reality.