6 Lessons on Finding Your Purpose

March 12, 2016 — Leave A Comment

SILVER & LIGHT from Ian Ruhter : Alchemist on Vimeo.

“Life grants us a series of opportunities, and those opportunities come with a price.” ~ Ian Ruhter

So here’s the first thing to finding your purpose: You have to discover what you love. This can take a long time, or can happen in a single day. But you have to put your heart out there and let something take it. You have to experience things. You have to let yourself be vulnerable to life. What will break your heart? What will set it on fire? What will make it soar? To know these things, you have to let life happen to you. As you do, ask yourself, always be asking yourself, “What do I love? What do I want to give my love to? What do I want to give my life for?”

“What do I love? What do I want to give my love to? What do I want to give my life for?”

Once you know the answer to this, the next thing is to give yourself over to it. There is a threshold, a point of no return for every passion. Until you go all in, you are just dabbling. There’s nothing wrong with dabbling. Just be clear with yourself about the fact you’re doing it. Ask yourself: “If this really is something I truly love, what am I willing to sacrifice for it?”

Whatever it is, do that. But start small. Grow shrewdly. Follow your passion, but use your head. One step, one risk, one challenge at a time.

It will not be easy. Don’t romanticize this journey. It will be hard. You are not guaranteed success. Sometimes it won’t work, and you won’t know why. There will be times you want to quit. Fear and resistance are an integral part of the process. That’s the nature of the game. Know that. Then ask: “Do I still want to play?”

Above all else, follow your sense of wonder. It’s your wonder, your love of the thing, that got you into this in the first place. And it’s wonder that will point the way forward and fuel you to keep going. Notice fear, but don’t let it rule your choices. Instead, cultivate open-hearted curiosity. Stay compassionate with yourself, but never let fear have the final say.

Finally, remember: Today is all you have. Act now. What is one thing your sense of wonder is drawing you toward today? Go, do that, let your heart be in it, and see what it will teach you about the reason you are here.

Michael Warden

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3 responses to 6 Lessons on Finding Your Purpose

  1. Mike, love this. Have never seen the video and was moved by his commitment to his passion, his love. Such a cool story and a great precursor to the advice of this blog.

    Any advice on finding your life passion/purpose?

    A few thoughts I have for myself are more categorical than specific:
    1) I know God’s purpose for my life is to help others activate and to help create breakthroughs in their life/mission/work
    2) I know I love to chase after big things (value called significance) where we set a humongous goal and chase it down (value called campaign)
    3) I know I love to do epic things because I can create stories, and I love to retell them (value called story)

    I get these values actualized in both of the things I’m doing:
    1) HeartSupport–massive effort to help loads of people
    2) coaching friends to achieve their life dreams–setting huge goals and chasing them down

    But my values and mission/purpose are context-less…in other words, I could get them actualized doing a dozen different things. So, first question, how do I know when to stop looking for the right context?

    Then perhaps, if I AM on the right track, the next question would be, what does it look like to go “all in”…to take my life’s savings and create this truck-camera and go and do the thing…?

    And then to ground it in the realistic bounds of my own story…to what extent is “all in” influenced now by my wife and child? What does “all in” look like now that I have a family?

    Great blog and inspired great thoughts. Thanks, Mike!

    • Michael Warden July 29, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Hey Nathaniel! Love the way your mind works, man. 🙂

      As to your questions, I think for most people the context of their purpose is a more fluid than static aspect of the whole thing. You may fulfill your purpose in a number of different contexts throughout your lifetime. This actually makes sense for most people, since throughout their lives they continue to develop and hone new skills and capacities that allow them to stretch into new, more challenging contexts as time goes on. It may be true that for some people the “context” of their purpose is very specific and set for life…but if this is true, I think it is quite rare.

      As for what it looks like to be “all in,” especially when you are married and have a child, Paul writes about this in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34, but the gist is that a man of God who is married has more to consider than an unmarried man does when it comes to going “all in” for God. A married man’s interests are divided in a way that an unmarried man’s are not. This is just reality. The potential cost for me as a single man to risk my life for God is less than it is for you, because you have two other lives depending on you. The challenge for you and every other husband and father is to find a way to live in full devotion to God and your purpose in such a way that also honors your marriage and family.

      The thing I see in some married men is that they use their status as husbands or as fathers to justify pulling back from full devotion to God and/or their purpose “for the sake of their family.” This is a mistake, and some of the clients I work with today are men who have chosen that route and as a result have lost touch with their own heart’s desires and their passion for life. This is a loss for everyone, most especially for the man’s family, who need him to be fully alive.

      • Veeeeeeeery interesting…I’ve read that verse, but never as a married man, which gives it entirely new context. So compiling both halves of your response: it’s about a) engaging the current context of my purpose, b) in light of my family.

        Similar to our previous conversation on the phone, it’s about staying present with my journey and engaging God in the process. I know this is just about a universal answer, lol, but after reading your “It might be time to update your relationship status with God” blog, I realize I’m in the brother/friend stage of our relationship, and so continuing in this open-ended conversation with him about my daily life and purpose is the non-glamorous, but truthful answer.

        What’s been interesting in light of this new perspective on my relationship with God is that it’s not like I should be waiting for him to lead me to the next thing…it’s like…there’s not really a wrong answer as long as I’m showing up in my identity and including him in the process.

        So then, “all in”…if “all in” is about full devotion to God, is really about being intentional in including him in what I’m up to.

        And THAT is a much more pointed question because it’s not a lazy…”I’ll wait until God comes and shows up”…it’s a, “I’ll be consciously and proactively seeking God’s relationship and conversation through this all”…it’s something that requires much more intentionality.

        This is something I’ve made a note of to discuss with him in our time together today, and I trust He’ll help/show me the next step, and I’ll keep moving forward in partnership of my ever-evolving purpose with Him.

        Thanks for the truth and advice 🙂

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