No one wakes up one morning and thinks to themselves, “I was born to work, pay bills, and die.” Rather people realize their destinies and say things like:
“I will provide the best life possible for my family.”
“I will influence young minds to build a better tomorrow.”
“I will save lives with my medical skills.”
“I will explore the world.”
“I will hone my craft so well that everyone will call me the best in my field.”
“I will fight for my country.”
“I will make the world a better place by impacting others with my expertise.”
When you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life, but purpose is about more than just your career. At its core, your purpose will include your passions regarding your family, calling, career, recreational pursuits, legacy, and faith. Knowing your purpose in life involves recognizing your “Why”, having a general plan for what you want to accomplish in life, connecting with those things that put a fire in your belly, loving what you do as a job because you’ll do it every day (this also involves choosing to love it on the bad days), being intentional about pulling away from work on a regular basis, remembering what’s most important in life, and choosing contentment.
Connecting the dots in all these areas involves taking time to think through things by yourself, be it with a journal and a cup of coffee, a pen and a napkin, or whatever your process is. As your passions for some things grow, your pursuits of others will fade. You will have an original plan, but that can change through time as well. The most important thing is to have an original plan and maintain your ability to adapt to changing circumstances. If you don’t have a general plan for your life, what are you doing? Failing to plan is planning to fail. Being intentional about life can include so many different aspects of planning regarding one’s education, marriage, children, children’s education, divorce, remarriage, life insurance, retirement, will, and durable power of attorney.
Each of the former “life callings” mentioned above is related to a vital part of the planning process. The doctor who wants to save lives through her medical skills needs to plan regarding her education, payment of student loans, disability and malpractice insurance, and retirement just to mention a few issues. The world traveler needs to figure out how her various trips will be funded. The entrepreneur honing his craft needs to make sure his business plan is viable. This wonderful world of life/financial planning is exciting because you can take stock of your situation and plan out the rest of your life. The sky is the limit. As your purpose emerges, specific strategies can be implemented to pursue your passions. As you answer your “WHY” the “HOW” becomes clearer. That’s where the plan is created, implemented, tweaked, sometimes changed altogether, and created new again.