What happens to a tool or a piece of equipment when we no longer use it for its intended purpose?It begins to rust and decay. Or if we use the tool in a way contrary to its created purpose, we end up damaging it, sometimes beyond repair. However, when we keep using that tool or equipment the way the creator or manufacturer intended, it remains useful for many years.
Our lives have an intended purpose just like a manufactured tool. A Creator made us with a purpose in mind, and when we don’t fulfill that purpose, we too, just like a tool, become useless over time. Of course we don’t rust, but I guess decay is inevitable for us all. We can become damaged though if we don’t adhere to our original design and purpose. Here are 5 things that happen to me when I forget my purpose or mission:
- I strive against my purpose. In its purest form, striving is good. But striving against our purpose causes unrest and doesn’t fulfill. In fact we work harder than we have to work to get anything done. When we use a tool outside of its original purpose, it often makes the job harder.
- I panic. When I work outside my designed purpose, things seem to not work the way they should. I don’t have the results I should either, or at least think that I should. The longer I do this, the more I begin to panic. Most of us would not define our reaction to lack of results as panicked, but let’s define this word “panic”—alarm, anxiety, trepidation, agitation, and apprehension.
- I begin to think it is all about me. When I strive, and then probably begin to panic in different ways, my focus shifts from my purpose or mission and onto me. I either think that I am the solution, or I think that I am the cause. Neither thought process serves me or anyone else any good. It really isn’t all about me.
- I lose self-awareness. I find that much of the time I lack a healthy self-awareness. I don’t think that I am alone in this. Self-awareness simply means that one is conscious of their own character, feelings, motives, even their intended purpose. When this is lacking, it can point to a lack of purpose or mission.
- I focus on tasks. Lots of job descriptions look for a person good at multi-tasking. Yet, God created us as relational beings. When our purpose and mission is our focus, we have healthy, growing relationships. When we forget our purpose, we tend to withdraw from those relationships into our tasks.
When forget or lose sight of my purpose in life, I miss out on God’s best for me.
What is the alternative? First thing is to spend time finding out what your purpose is if you don’t know already. I have a free e-book for you if you want my thoughts on how to do that. Look at the end of this blog post or on the right column to grab that today.
If you do know what your purpose is already, then relax. Don’t get concerned about the results. Focus on the process and on the people. Keep your eyes on the mission and the Giver of that mission, especially when things get rocky.
I mentioned above that we can think that it’s all about us, then I talk about self-awareness. Seems like a contradiction. Bottom line is it helps to not think too highly of yourself but at the same time have a healthy understanding of your role and what you add to the mission.
Living a life on mission with purpose doesn’t always come natural for us. We need guidance and correction. We all tend to stray off course or lose our way from time to time.
Question: Do any of the 5 signs I list above describe you now? What can you do now so that you are living a life on mission with purpose?
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