Why do you exist? It is one of the most important questions you could ever ask yourself. So, let me ask you again…Why do you exist? The answer to that question is your life purpose.
And you have the potential to discover it. That’s especially important for you as a leader because your life purpose also affects the lives of the people you lead.
Before I discovered my life purpose, I had too many things leading me away from the most important question in my life.
My natural tendency is to be in a hurry. In fact, the word “rush” accurately characterized my daily routine for many years. I rushed to get out of bed – I have always been like a fireman. When my alarm goes off, I’m already going down the pole. I rushed to exercise (I usually exercise six mornings per week.). I rushed to clean up. I rushed to get to work. I rushed from one business appointment to next appointment, from one phone call to next phone call. I rushed to a meeting after hours or to one of our boys’ soccer games. Next, I rushed to dinner. Then finally, I rushed back to get in bed, so I could start the cycle all over when I awoke at 4:30 the next morning! But why?
I’m tired just writing about all of this frenetic, rushing around. It sounds like a gerbil just spinning in his cage. But weren’t all these things good to do?
“Good is the enemy of great.”
– Jim Collins
Are you too busy building a career or a business and trying to become financially secure? Is your work the center of your identity and life? Are you a stay-at-home mom rushing around without a life purpose?
Are you forever talking about the Promised Land, but you can’t bring yourself to leave the familiar territory – A known place that feels like home even though not a great one.
Do you hear that still, small voice telling you to move on to something better, only to push it aside? You know that voice is true, but you also know that to follow it would lead you into unfamiliar, uncharted territory.
Do you keep telling yourself…
- “It would better to wait until I’m finished with what I’m doing”
- Or “I’m too tired”,
- Or maybe, “someday” knowing that “someday” never seems to come?
King Solomon, who was the wisest, richest, most powerful man in his time, proclaimed everything worthless and meaningless.
He grew deflated, depressed, and disillusioned about life. He lost the air in his sails because he abandoned his original, true life purpose – Why he existed.
Solomon shared the following:¹
“What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.”
If you have been like me, rushing around “like a chicken with its head cut off,” then you aren’t ready to find Why you exist – your “one thing” – your life purpose.
However, once you pause, reflect, and evaluate, you can discover your life purpose (Why you exist) and start the process to go from success to significance.
Every person should discover their life purpose because of two key benefits that result from knowing Why you exist.
The first benefit of knowing your life purpose is passion. Passion gives you energy and credibility. When you love what you do and do what you love, others find it inspiring. Do you know anyone who became successful at something they hate?
“Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, wherever you are, however old or young and bounding out of bed because there’s something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you’re good at – something that’s bigger than you are, and you can hardly wait to get at it again today.”
– Whit Hobbs
That’s what passion does for a leader. Passion in a leader is compelling to others, and people want to follow passionate leaders. It makes them want to jump on board and join them.
The second benefit of knowing your life purpose is progress. Purpose gives you drive. It shows you a destination. It paints a picture of your future. It energizes you. And it makes obstacles and problems seem small in comparison to its importance.
“If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there’s no end to the amount of things you can accomplish.”
– Marian Anderson
So stop rushing around like I did. Pause, reflect, and evaluate so that you are ready to listen to that still, small voice as you discover Why you exist – your life purpose!
Do you know – Why you exist? Are you rushing around without a life purpose? Will you take time to pause, reflect and evaluate? Please share your thoughts <here> and share this blog post with family, friends, and co-workers.
- Ecclesiastes 1:3-11, New International Version