Purpose: in or out?

8th April 2021, 14:22

I wake up with groggy eyes and do what I do on reflex – check my phone. Turns out that it’s the day the Forbes article was published, I see so many posts of people being celebrated and I’m just amazed. There are sooo many people who speak of how they work tirelessly into the night all for a purpose – to uplift women, to enable a savvy new technology that eases a consumer’s frustration, to make sustainable clothing mainstream – the reasons are infinite. What I notice though is they all seem genuinely motivated. Not by money alone, not to just become rich, but genuinely motivated to solve a problem.

Rewind to a day earlier. Someone asked me “what kept you motivated and working at your job all these years?” Funny. I’ve never really thought about it. I managed to scramble and come up with 3 reasons: 1) I’m on a visa 2) It pays the bills 3) I had made a to-do-list of tasks I wanted to learn how to do and given my obsessive perfectionist nature I wanted to tick that list off till it was all completed (p.s. that list is now torn and in the trash can because I think the vast majority of things on there I do not care about).

My point is I didn’t even realise that I wasn’t motivated in the job. But I don’t even know why I’m surprised. Wherever there’s no purpose in what you do, it’s difficult to be motivated or feel joy. I always say don’t ever confuse joy with happiness – they are two completely different things. Joy in my opinion is genuine and heartfelt. It’s not dependent on one’s circumstances. Happiness seems more fleeting – like a flash in the pan.

I sat up in bed and started writing this article. How does one find purpose in what they do? Purpose in the work they do daily.  I’d rather sweat for a purpose than without. Sigh.

The truth is, I haven’t found my “thing” yet. All my love ones continuously support me and are adamant on me never settling till I find it. Is it hard? Absolutely. Do I cry? Almost every day. Does it suck searching? Yes it does. But now I’ve learnt that searching is like running after fireflies. I’ve learnt that searching is like trying to find a needle in an oceans sea bed. Why? Because purpose is discovered. You don’t find purpose, you discover it.

You discover it as you try, you rule out what you don’t like and you practice the things you enjoy and are good at. You perfect your gifts that you know you have and you keep at it every day. And most importantly, you lean on God because he’s the reason I can even dare to say that you and I have a purpose. In scripture, it is written:

“However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.”

Ephesians 4: 7 NLT

And I cling to this word because my Father does not lie. He didn’t make a single person purposeless. You, me, the person on the road who sells water, the plumber, the school teacher, the baker, the person who mows your lawn, the naughty lady who was rude to you – we all have gifts, we all have purpose.

So I end by saying I can’t wait to discover mine. I feel so much joy when I see a friend of mine (she’s basically part of my sister clan now) who smiles so much as she learns the art of cooking. Random right? Yes. She was in a completely different field (banking) and God did a 360 degree turnaround on her. But her smile is a reminder that He exists and He brings out joy in people. I admire the joy I see on so many women on that Forbes 30 under 30 list. My heart is genuinely full of joy for them.

Before I started writing this, I sighed. And God knew why I sighed. When I said? And he replied “Your time will come”. I give you the same message “Your time will come”. And till it does, never stop holding his hand till you discover it together (you + Him).



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