Finding Your Purpose – What is Your Why?

Finding Your Purpose: What is Your WhyI have an idea in my head of what life is supposed to be like. Some pieces of my life fit the idea perfectly. Other pieces look as though they belong to a completely different puzzle.

It feels like as soon as I figure out one part of the picture, some other part collapses completely, and I think to myself, “What is the purpose of all of this?” Even more, what is my purpose in all of this?

The more I begin to put together the puzzle, the less I understand about the overall picture. Yet, I am completely convinced that I am walking in the correct direction…I am quite certain that I am on the right path. (Or, at least, I am as certain as a person can be.)

This is not because I have my life together. Let us be very clear. My life is NOT together. My life is about as not together as a life can be. “How much can I procrastinate and still meet my deadline without losing any sleep?” is pretty much my life motto. I recognize that tomorrow is full of unexpected surprises both good and bad.

Yet, I digress.

***

Some of you may wonder how I am so certain. How can I be so sure that I am on the right path, walking in the right direction? Some of you are finding your own purpose. Some of you need reassurance that the purpose you have in mind is who you are truly created to be.

Some of you have taken personality tests and career aptitude tests. Some of you have gone to undergraduate school, graduate school, and doctoral programs. Some of you have titles and certifications. But, you are still uncertain. You are still missing something. You are still looking for something. You are trying to find the peace that comes in finding your purpose.

While I usually offer solutions derived from personal life experiences, today I will instead pose three significant questions.

1. Who are you when no one is watching?

When the spotlight is off, when the cameras are not rolling, what is it that you do? I like re-creating free printables to decorate my house. I enjoy a cup of coffee while watching my children play outside. I cuddle with my husband to indulge in our favorite tv shows. I like shopping and taking cute Pinterest perfect, Instagram worthy photos.

grandfather and son in Pinterest perfect photo

I like DIY flower vases and photo frames. I spray paint storage containers and pine cones. All of these are tied directly to my purpose. Being a mom is my purpose. Being a wife is my purpose. I need photos for my blog. I need projects to help share my story, a story specifically designed for me to tell. You have a story specifically designed for you to tell. That story takes place when no one is watching.

2. What did you want to be as a child?

Life tends to come around full circle. When I was young, I wanted to be an author, manage a day care, and run in the Olympics… I blog. I teach, and I coach track. In other words, I am actually living a modified version of the life I spoke into existence as a kid.

I did not always live this life. I majored in business, worked in business and then walked away from corporate America. My blog did not originate until 3 years ago. My only constant my entire life is track and field…

Sometimes you are intimately involved with your purpose from the beginning. Other times, you seek out other avenues. Either way works. You will find, however, that your interests do not drastically change as you grow older. The things that you were created to do, the things directly align to your “why” have generally intrigued you for as long as you can remember.

3. What is your assignment?

I know this question appears counterintuitive to finding your purpose. My first thought is, “If I knew my assignment then I would know my purpose.” That is not the assignment I speak of here. Here, I speak of the assignment which is the special set of circumstances delivered to you over which you have no control. For example, I am black woman married to the love of my life who happens to be a white man. We share currently living in a society that has never been more divided on racial issues. And my voice gets lost because apparently I am married to the “problem.” My sister is a statistic whose death is not even being investigated, and I am raising her black male son in my biracial household. We are trying to embrace differences while simultaneously finding what makes us the same. All the while, he is fighting a generational curse that God has entrusted my family to break…My ministry is to teach low performing math students with a curriculum that becomes more and more scripted as the days go by. My second ministry is to grow a blog in an over saturated market. I am being asked to slay giants with three small stones.

And so are you.

You have an assignment. That assignment is what brought you here. You want to know why. You want to find your purpose.

You are tired. Your enthusiasm has run out. Your energy is low, and you are wondering if somehow you fell off track.

You cannot figure out why life does not match the picture you formed in your mind.

You have no idea what you want to be when you grow up, and you could really just use a little bit, or maybe a lot, of peace.

So to use my teacher training, let me summarize by beginning with the end in mind. You have an assignment. You have bills to pay. You have kids to raise. You have generational curses to break. You have giants to slay, and you are wondering how to make sense of it all. You want to know how your ordinary can possibly tackle the extraordinary task at hand.

First, you go with what you know. Go with what you have always know. Listen to that little kid inside who you silenced because of a life filled with broken dreams and empty promises. Find her. Talk to her.

She will lead you to the real you, the you who only comes out when no one is watching. That you can be anyone. She can do anything. The sky is the limit. She is who she is without explanation.

When you find that girl, be that girl. She is your purpose.

***

What ways do you work to ensure you are finding your purpose?

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Finding Your Purpose - What is Your Why?

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26 thoughts on “Finding Your Purpose – What is Your Why?

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  1. Well that was extremely inspiring! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes it’s hard to find our purpose when we have so many outside influences telling us what our purpose ought to be. It’s hard to find it, especially when we have silenced our inner selves in order to meet others expectations. When I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina, chef, preschool teacher, artist, and a mother. Over the past several years I have come to realize I am actually all of those things, just not in the way I had imagined I would be. I do still seek my “purpose” but I think all I really need to do is readjust my view of what I thought I would be doing. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing “more”, but the more I pray about it, the more I feel like God is calling me to focus on what I am doing right now and the “more” will come when it is time. Wow, that was a rant ๐Ÿ™‚ But it is something that has been on my mind recently and your post helped me clarify a bit in my own mind. God Bless!

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  2. I believe that our purposes can change from moment to moment. One day, God will guide me to help a stranger. Another day, God will guide me to help my family or friends. In one moment, God may give me the gift of hospitality, in another moment, He may give me the gift of listening. I pray I will be open to share all gifts He provides. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Girl! I was so clueless when I graduated college. You always seem to have such a strong vision for your future. I have literally seen you grow up. I loved who you were as a girl and who you are now. May God watch over you and guide your decision making. LOVE YOU!! XOXO

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  3. My youngest self wanted to be an actress and marry Brad (yes Brad!) from Home Improvement!! These are great questions to ask and wrestle with. I see common themes in my life when I look back, and I am in the middle of asking myself once again What (or WHO) do I want to be when I grow up!

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  4. I wish I could be certain of my purpose. Everyone says I was meant to be a teacher, and I do get great satisfaction from my work, yet sometimes I feel as if teaching is the way I have found to serve and give to others, but doesn’t necessarily fullfil all there is in me personally, if that makes any sense. I miss writing, yet can’t find a way to do that in a meaningful way. I have my family and my dogs, but again, it seems those are more things I give myself to, yet what do I do for myself?

    I’m rambling, I know, but I hope you know that means this blog stuck a chord and had given me something to think about.

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    1. I never feel like my pieces fit together Alison. I am only sure at any snap shot of time. I have no idea how the pieces weave into and out of each other, nor when God up and changes direction mid step. Keep listening to the still, small voice. I know EXACTLY how you feel about teaching. I look at God almost daily, like, “Really? We’re still here? How long? I’m ready to go. This is a bit much.” Prayers for you as you still figure out this crazy journey.

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  5. Love this and your heart, Brittany! I’m so sorry you’ve lost your sister and that it sounds like there’s no investigation into her death. That must be so heartbreaking and frustrating! But I’m glad she has you to care for her child. What a fractured and broken world we live in! I wish it weren’t that way, but I appreciate your story and will lift you up in my prayers, my friend!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your life here on your blog! I, too, am sorry about the loss of your sister. What a blessing that you can care for her son. I think you are right about at least some of our dreams from childhood are the ones we should pursue. I loved writing when I was a child and it’s just been in the last 5 years I have jumped into it more. Thank you for your encouragement. May God give you peace and strength in these hard days. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at the #LMMLinkup.

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  7. I love the idea of looking at my dreams as modified when they don’t end up looking exactly how I dreamed them. One thing a Pastor I know once said about life and puzzle pieces is that although you may know initially where all the pieces fit or what your final picture will look like. They all go together to make the beautiful picture puzzle that is your life.

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    1. Yes they do. I always think of my students when the โ€œwhyโ€ takes more understanding than they have to process right now. I have to go with just trust me until they get to the point in the school year where they can begin to understand the why. When those moments arose, I think to myself, โ€œthis must be how God works.โ€ Even if He explained, I still may or may not understand it based on where I am in my assignment. I love how your pastor painted a beautiful puzzle picture!!

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  8. I wanted to be a teacher as a child. I wanted to be a doctor as a young adult in college. I became a teacher when I was 27. I left teaching two years ago and I am still teaching people in a slightly different ways in my business. So I guess I became what I was always suppose to become.

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  9. I love puzzles, there are some great one available at Bits n Pieces for anyone interested. Some are harder but even more beautiful and some take a long time to do and some have thousands of pieces. God has a way of putting them together, that little girl inside of us was probably listening to her Heavenly Father dream for her. Nothing wrong with dreams, nothing wrong with puzzles, i like seeing children with them instead of so much technology and doing one on the computer isn’t the same, it’s just harder to move the pieces.

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