Do you ever wonder what purpose your life is meant to serve? Would you like to finally stop guessing or experimenting with methods that just don’t work? Well, the good news is that the keys to discovering your purpose could be much closer than you think.
For starters, the concept of purpose should be crystal clear to us because we see it so much in everyday life. A spoon is meant for eating with and although a fork is somewhat similar, it is not a spoon and therefore should not be used like one.
The boundaries of purpose can be invisible yet distinct. A table napkin may look like a handkerchief but few people would mop their brow with it (in a social setting at least). Likewise, a handkerchief has a clearly defined purpose and wiping greasy fingers on one’s skirt is considered bad manners.
It is pretty cut and dried. Yet when it comes to our personal lives, for some reason, purpose becomes a marvellously mysterious affair. However, our lives are filled with clues as to where our purpose lies and by following those clues we can find the path to fulfilment – both at work and everyday life.
Why are you shaped that way?
Your physical appearance can be an indication of your purpose.
Historically our bodies were built to suit our natural environment: pointed noses for Mediterranean weather, darker skin for sun-drenched regions and slender frames for nomads. The reverse is also the case as environment and lifestyle can shape or reshape our bodies over a period of time.
Our bodies are crafted with purpose in mind. Whilst there are exceptions to most rules, your physical frame is already equipped to enable you fulfil your purpose and do the work you were born to do. You have what you’ve got for a reason and what you do not have, you probably do not need.
For instance, Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basket ball player in the world to date. He has excelled in the sport and is immensely passionate about it. Just think. Is it a coincidence that Jordan is at least 6 feet 6 inches tall? Perhaps not the tallest of basketball players, you may say, but he is sufficiently endowed to participate in the sport.
A pygmy would have had a hard time playing basketball in Jordan’s day. In fact it is said in numerous biographies that Michael was not a tall child and that, because none of his male relatives ever reached six feet of height, he had no real hope of growing tall. This perceived handicap caused the young Jordan a lot of concern but his father told him that hard work and determination were greater assets than physique. Michael heeded his father’s advice and worked on his skills every day after school. Remarkably he sprouted from 5’10” to 6’3″ between his sophomore and junior years!
Paula Radcliffe is one of the UK’s most prominent long distance runners. Is it a surprise that her natural body shape is slender and not thickset? Granted her training keeps her in form, but had Paula been born with an unsuitable stature, her sporting career would have panned out very differently.
Some might argue that people simply work with what they’ve got. For instance, a young girl might look in the mirror one morning, think: ‘gosh, I’m really pretty; I should become an actress’ and start striving toward that goal. Although this is plausible, it takes more than good looks to become an actress and more than physical prowess to become an athlete. It takes hard work, commitment, determination and sacrifice amongst other things.
People who truly enjoy and excel in their work have one thing in common: they say that it feels right, that they feel incredibly blessed and that they were born to do what they do. Contentment like that reeks of purpose and whether – in this context – the chicken (physical traits) or the egg (purpose) comes first, the fact remains that, generally speaking, physical traits can give us clues to career purpose.
I am not saying that your purpose is whatever your body seems built to do. No. However, physical traits, when aligned with a myriad of other clues, can often point us in the right direction.
(c) Ogo Ogbata: book excerpt