There is a sweet spot to your “why”
Most people have at least had a momentary thought about why they are here. Some even ponder their purpose, sincerely putting time, thought, and energy into discovering the reason for their existence. Hopefully, you are one of them (if not check out the 8 Essential Questions™). If you concluded your quest for answers with something like, “I’m here to help people,” or “I exist to ensure my family has a great life,” I don’t want to say that you’re wrong. But…
Let me use an analogy: If you ask a church leader why their church exists, most often you will get an answer like, “To love God and love people,” or “To grow disciples,” or “To glorify God.” They are not wrong, but that is the purpose of THE church, not that particular congregation. What they (and you) need to define is their role within that universal purpose. Likewise, your higher purpose considers your passions, skills, talents, desires, spiritual gifts, experiences, and soap-boxes. We are all here to help people in some fashion. Your higher purpose is making the world better, serving humanity, and furthering God’s Kingdom in a way that is specific to you.
I also want to make a distinction between purpose and responsibility. We are here in part to steward creation. We all have responsibilities within that charge that may or may not be part of our higher purpose. For example, we parents are responsible for taking care of our families, providing for our kids, and even helping them to have a better life than we did. That’s part of our purpose here, one facet of our role. But it is not our higher purpose. Really that is simply a responsibility of parenthood. However, everyone has a God-given purpose that is tailored to the unique characteristics He designed and orchestrated for each individual.
Example time. Several years ago, I worked through the book, Chazown by Craig Groeschel (which I highly recommend), and came to the realization that my higher purpose is to catapult everyone within my reach into clarity about and action towards their Higher Purpose. My business is built on that… Greenfire Innovations exists to propel every entrepreneur into radical clarity with a powerful mindset and a focused plan to reach their next Ideal Destination for their business. Part of that process involves identifying the higher purpose of the organization (which is inevitably an extension of the owner’s higher purpose). Then it’s about aligning the rest of the business (direction, plans, goals, actions) toward fulfilling that purpose. So I change the world one entrepreneur at a time.
The sweet spot for your higher purpose is where Ginormous Ideas, your Personalized Purpose, and Kingdom Perspective converge.
- Ginormous Ideas – These are passions bigger than you can accomplish in your lifetime. How do you want to change the world, help thousands or millions of people, or revolutionize an industry?
- Personalized Purpose – Think about how you are wired. Where do your talents lie? What have your experiences taught you? What do you do? What are you about? In addition to experience, this also digs into identity.
- Kingdom Perspective – Consider God’s heart and what his word says about humanity. Focus on stewardship, love, peace, joy, and glorifying Him.
When you find the spot those 3 meet, you just might have discovered your Higher Purpose. It isn’t a big secret or a complex puzzle. God wants you to know your purpose. He designed you with your Higher Purpose in mind because He wants you to fulfill it (or at least work towards fulfilling it while you are here.) After working through Chazown and clarifying my purpose, it wasn’t a surprising new revelation or epiphany. Rather, it was a clarification and confirmation. My response was along the lines of, “Well, that totally makes sense.”
Your higher purpose should identify who you are here to help and how you are going to help them. “Helping people live better lives” is too vague. “Helping my family live in financial freedom” is not big enough. Also, try to avoid the word help. Although people need help, they rarely like to admit it. So, find an action word that articulates what you are going to do (mine are “catapult” and “propel”).