Finding Your Purpose is an Inside Job

Finding your purpose is an inside job. It requires you, by a deliberate act of your will, to cast aside whatever role that your parents, relatives, and friends might be trying to put you in. You also have to put aside images that you have seen in the media about what “should” be right for you. You must never be living your life in someone else’s truth because that will only lead to dissatisfaction.

The fires of passion burning at the center of your true purpose will protect you from being burned out. Burnout only comes from a sloppy lifestyle. Burnout is the result of living an outside-in life. You don’t ever get burned out by the inside-out living towards which your purpose and passions direct you.

Burned out people are never living self-directed lives. They are living by other people’s agendas, trying to live up to other people’s expectations. The realization of a genuine purpose always creates energy; it is like adding fuel to the fire. It creates joyfulness and a sense of always being right on the edge of wonderful things that are about to take place. You cannot wait to get out of bed in the morning! You cannot wait to get to work!

Dale Carnegie wrote, “You never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing.” Following your passion leads to this kind of success. Purpose gives your life a meaning that transcends the mundane qualities of your existence. It must be difficult work to be a stone mason, for example. A person who would do such a task for no other reason than simply making blocks would be continually tired and feel worn out by the work. Before long, he would be burned out. But if the stone mason were carving on the stone with the purpose of creating a cathedral, he might spend four decades in that quarry with a heart filled with joy for the great purpose that God or fate had put into his hands.

We are all stone masons. Life is difficult for all of us. But finding a purpose for your life will forever change the manner in which you live. Don’t give up until you have identified the purpose that will motivate you to go charging through life as a person on a mission, joyfully engaged in creating a cathedral out of whatever stones are put into your reach.

We have all known school teachers who were surly and miserable creatures. They became that way because teaching for them had nothing to do with their purpose or passion. They became teachers because they did not have to work during the holidays, perhaps, or because of the three months they got off in the summer. Those were reasons for their choice of a profession, but those reasons were not — nor could they ever lead to — a genuine purpose in their working.

We have also known at least a few teachers for whom the classroom was the center of their lives: completely liberated and liberating men and women who regarded each young learner as an open portal into which could be poured wonderful and life-changing resources of information, wisdom, and affection. Such a melding of vocation and passion comes as a result of having a sense of mission or purpose about life and living. When you find your purpose, you find your potential, which lies within you as an oak tree lies within every acorn.

The destination is not the ultimate aim. The joy comes from the journey. Purpose is bound up in the process.

Bon voyage!

Jim White, PhD

Author & Creator of What’s My Purpose?

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8 Responses to “Finding Your Purpose is an Inside Job”

  1. Lynn Sherman Says:

    Burned out is the best way I can describe myself. Burned out on life, job, home, everything. Getting motivated is a struggle that I work on each day. I know that I need something more in my life and now I have found a way to identify what that “thing” is. Thank you so much!

  2. Marguerite Says:

    I’m at the stage in life when I can lead my own life as the kids are leading their own lives. The trouble is I don’t know what my passions are. I don’t know whatI am good at or what I truly want to do with the rest of my life. I need to find a purpose to fullfill me as a person!!

  3. caecilia Says:

    I don’t know what I must to do. I have a big opportunity in
    my carrier but I’m not find happy with my job now. I work
    just to get salary but I’m didn’t like it. I always feel
    wrong with my purpose. I want to resign from my job but I’m
    afraid to lose my continue income cause I must help to pay
    my old brother rehab from him schizophrenia. I want have my
    own business and to be writer.
    What I must to do to find my purpose about my life & living.
    I need find the way to joy my life? Thank you.

  4. margaret Says:

    I believe my purpose to the opposite to the life I was leading, role playing what I thought created acceptence. Lets push out those restricting walls we build around ourselves, push a few buttons and live life as large and as wonderful as we all truely are. We shouldn’t allow children to die of starvtion when the world harvest is ample. We owe it to us to be surrounded by happy smiling faces of children, grateful for their own dive into our beatiful home, we should be deafened by their laqughter, inspired by their joy and we should be grateful that they are here in the now, for now is all we have, tiny, tiny snaps of now played on a continuem. PS I hope the larger side of me can spell!!!!!

  5. Kimberly Novak Says:

    I used to be one of those teachers who was so enthusiastic and energized. I made things happen. Now though I ‘knew’ education in all forms was my ‘purpose’ it doesn’t call me anymore. I have spent my life making my job my passion and now I am tired. I want want to have the fun back in teaching but I also want to have more balance. I find myself saying “it’s just not fun anymore”. Oh and the “do what you love and the money will come” seems like such an untruth to me. So I guess I am wondering if I am supposed to change purposes (the teaching was a stepping stone to something else?) or how to rekindle the fire BUT not to the exclusion of other life events.

  6. Martha D Says:

    Hello, I am on a quest to find my life’s purpose. I am also
    following a path for enlightenment through web classes with
    Oprah and Bill Harris to mention a few. I am very pleased
    to be a part of the Find Your Life’s Purpose movement. I
    have a strong feeling that I know what my life’s purpose is
    but for some reason, I am not following up on it. I have
    just recently graduated from college with a degree in
    Electrical Engineering but I still have music on my mind. I
    am now in the process of following my initial dream to become
    a professional singer.

  7. Shaunte' L. Sparks Says:

    I definitely agree, it is an INSIDE job. So many people look for something outside of themself to bring them greatness when in actuality all we need we have already been given. All that is required is for us to quiet ourself and go within to tap into that which we have been given. This is my life purpose, to inspire others to discover WHO they are.

  8. Cynthia Says:

    I love to paint and I am very good at it. I do not make a living
    doing this because I lack the self confidence to put it out for the
    public to view. I do try to spend at least 20 or 30 minutes a day
    painting. I am taking a leap of faith and doing a showing this

    Others could try this to start with their passion weather it is
    helping children or writing a book. Just start doing it 20 or
    30 minutes a day, and you will see how soon it becomes a part of you, and you will know if
    this is your passion.


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