Do What You Are


I am an ardent believer that purpose is one of the first steps to living a successful life. I facilitated a listening session last week where I talked about the overwhelming evidence that finding one's purpose helps to minimize the feeling of helplessness that is often felt during situations that are outside one's control. There are issues right now that can be considered quite challenging to us all in one form or another - COVID-19, anti-Blackness and economic uncertainty, but I love this quote by Viktor Frankl that says: "Life is never unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose." Living a life of purpose does not make us immune from difficult circumstances but it provides the anchor that has the power to keep us grounded in the things that are within our realm of influence.

Knowing your purpose is all about discovering your "why"- your reason for being. I believe every individual walking the surface of the earth has a mission. You have an assignment. I have an assignment. Whether we take the time to discover it or not is entirely up to us. I can tell you from personal experience that it's one thing to be alive and breathing, it's quite another to find a compelling reason to live. And without a life driven by purpose, our existence can very quickly become a chore - an exercise in futility that lacks any type of worthwhile fulfillment.

Do you know why you are here? Do you know what problem you were created to solve? What is the "why" behind all that you spend your time on? If you have no idea, it's definitely time to find out. According to Oprah Winfrey, "There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It's why you were born. And how you become most truly alive." However, before you embark on the purpose discovery journey, it is important that you first locate yourself. Who are you? What are you about? These questions have nothing to do with your name which is simply a label issued to you at birth. It is also doesn't concern your job title, the organization you work for, your marital status or how many children you have. This is about the core of who you are when all the labels and titles are stripped away. When you identify who and what you are independent of all else, you can start to bring to light what your mission is.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am designed to add value to the lives of others in everything I do. What are you designed to do? We are all busy but do we need to stop and investigate what are we busy doing? It is so easy to spend one's entire life engaged in all sorts of activities which have nothing to do with what we are here on earth to do. All that these unnecessary activities do is completely drain us of the energy that is best utilized on purpose-driven work.

Life is indeed more fulfilling when we align our life's work with our life's purpose because to find one's purpose is to discover the real purpose of life. You are truly onto purpose when you realize that one thing that brings you to life - the specific work that you are most passionate about; something that you will readily do for free. Terry Orlick rightly says, "The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, sees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion." True excellence is often only revealed when we collide with purpose. The minute we are able to tap into the thing we were designed for, we find that we have the seeds of talent and gifting to become great at it.

It is important to note that purpose does not diminish the need for hard work and commitment, in actuality, it demands it. The only difference is we are often willing to pay whatever price that true purpose requires. When we are engaged in work that we are passionate about and feel like we are created to do, working and committing to our mission is tolerable because we can clearly see the end from the beginning. Our path in life becomes much clearer. Opportunities start to come our way and we are inspired daily to live a life of excellence. 

Purpose is also never about money although money may be a by-product of purpose. What others may view as difficult, not financially lucrative, even meaningless,  feels very real to us. We are no longer wandering through life, trying different routes that will more than likely lead to nowhere. We become focused and our time is being maximized on the things that count. With purpose as our guide, we have a unique opportunity to achieve our best selves on our own terms. Finding out what and who we are and doing just that, is the number one key to true success.

If you are still on the fence about why it's critical that you take the time to find your purpose in life, consider these seven benefits:

  1. Purpose makes us focused and resilient.
  2. Purpose is what gives our lives a sense of clarity and meaning.
  3. Purpose leads to value-based living.
  4. Purpose moves us from simply making a living to getting a life.
  5. Purpose allows us to see failures, not as deterrents but as milestones to success.
  6. Purpose motivates us to make our dreams a reality.
  7. Purpose is what compels us to live strategically and with integrity.


            1. This is a fundamental question of life - who am I
              A question I ponder upon. What is my purpose?
              Thanks for sharing Ola

            2. This is a fundamental question of life - who am I
              A question I ponder upon. What is my purpose?
              Thanks for sharing Ola

            3. This is a fundamental question of life - who am I
              A question I ponder upon. What is my purpose?
              Thanks for sharing Ola

              1. It's an important question that must be asked and answered to live a fulfilling and successful life.