David Ogunshola – The Innovation Catalyst

How to Discover and Pursue your Purpose – Part 1

July 12, 2020 0 Comments
What is my purpose on earth? Why am I here? What was I born or created to do? Is my life making any sense? Is this the right step for me to take now? If you have found yourself asking any of these questions, then you are at the right place.  You are not alone. Everybody whose life is making sense today at some point asked some of those questions. This blog series is the first in a set of writings dedicated to helping you discover and pursue your life’s purpose and making your life count.

Searching in the wrong places

Most times, when we begin searching for purpose and meaning, we are told to start by looking out for our passions, interests and talents. This is fundamentally wrong. We would eventually end up looking at those places, but that is definitely not the place to start from. The search for purpose cannot be done by looking more at yourself. You’ll only end up more confused and frustrated. It is important that we begin by looking in the right places and asking the right questions if we are to get the right answers. You need to understand that you are not an isolated entity and your life was not meant to function as a stand-alone. You are part of a bigger picture, your life is just like one piece in a very big puzzle and there is no way you will understand your individual purpose and significance without understanding the big picture or framework into which you were meant to fit. Your life will only begin to have meaning and direction when connected and plugged into the larger picture.

A Parable of Purpose

In a previous post, I gave a parable of chickens and purpose. Let me use another story to drive home a point. A builder wanted to build a house and decided he wanted a simple bungalow with 3 rooms. He sat down to list out all the items he would need for the project. Once done, he began to make bricks, pillars and order for the construction of special effects and finishing such as doors and windows to fit the dimensions of the plans. As he places orders for items and buys fittings, what is in his mind is a picture of the finished building. Every brick constructed and every item purchased has a unique place to fit into the building. Different items may look different, be made of different items and elements, but each of them is in one way or the other a unique part of the building, without them, the building would not be complete. If one brick on the floor or the pillar asks the builder the question of “why am I here” or “what is my purpose”, what would be your response to them? Very simple, the builder would say “I am working on a building, and you’re part of that building. Alone and isolated you may look useless, but when we place you as part of the building, you become useful and only then would you be serving your purpose.” Each one of us is just like a brick, a pillar or a window pane. Unless we can picture the full building, we may be wondering why we were created in the first place. The brick can look at the pillar and wonder why it looks different or maybe even smaller, but you see, in the end, it’s not about any of the singular item. When the building is complete you won’t be able to identify the brick anymore, all you’d see is a building.
The brick can never discover it’s purpose by looking more at itself, it can only do so by looking at the building. In the same way, you will not be able to discover purpose by looking at yourself, you will need to look to the big picture into which you were created to fit.

Asking the right question

If you would find answers to the questions of purpose and meaning, the first place to start is learning to ask the right questions. Having understood that you’re part of a bigger picture, before you ask about specifics, you need to have an idea of what this big picture looks like, only then will you have the capacity to comprehend what your specific role in the big picture looks like. When you have understood the big picture, then the question to ask would be “where do I fit in all of this”. But let us not run ahead of ourselves. What is this big picture into which we all fit and how do we learn about this big picture. In the next post, I will begin a journey into the discovery of the purpose of God – the big picture that God has been working on, the project He had in mind when He began to create each one of us. Outside of that, we will keep meandering through life confused, but once we grasp the picture of the mission of God, everything else will begin to fall into perspective. This journey is not one that I will try to show you with a few verses of scripture, no, it is one that will require us to zoom out and look at the entire Bible as a single unfolding event that has a single storyline. We would see how it all began, how we got here, where we are and how to move on from here. By the end of this journey, you will be in a position to ask the most critical question in your journey to discover and pursue purpose, and that is “God, where exactly do I fit in your purpose right now”. Welcome to the journey.  

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