I recently had the pleasure of helping a friend and client produce a 5k mud run for charity in Champaign, IL. This gentlemen owns multiple automotive repair shops by trade, but has a heart and passion for giving back to the community. Hence, the client launched an annual mud run to raise money for local charities. He’s been extremely successful to date, engineering one of the ten largest single-day events in the community and raising over $150,000 for local charities in just three single-day events. It’s been so successful that he’s launched a second event, a top chef competition, to benefit the local university volleyball team, and is currently planning other fundraising ventures.
It’d come as no surprise if I told you that my friend is passionate about his local community. Even though his “day job” of sorts is to run his very successful automotive repair businesses, he incorporates his other passions into his purpose.
Too often I hear people in my generation complaining about a lack of purpose. They don’t like their job, they don’t find fulfillment as a stay-at-home parent, they feel like their life is boring. It drives me crazy to hear people in their mid-twenties talk about not knowing what to do yet and electing to sit at home playing video games and partying on their parents’ dime while they figure it out.
If you’re having trouble defining your purpose, think back to what you’re passionate about. Those God-given passions are the very keys to the definition of your purpose. Ask yourself how you can serve others in fields that you’re already passionate about. From sports and the arts to business and physical labor, there’s no wrong answer, except to do nothing.
Another common misconception is that a person can’t define their purpose until they figure out their career. But in all actuality that’s backwards: how on earth could someone figure out their career path before they determine what they’ve been put on earth do accomplish? An attorney might make a fine English teacher, but if they’re passionate about debate they’ll be bored to tears in a room full of students that are required to agree with them.
Perhaps you’re a life coach that’s passionate about baseball. The no-brainer there is to begin coaching youth baseball. Or perhaps you’re an airline pilot like another friend of mine that also happens to have an entrepreneurial spirit. He’s launched a home-based business that he runs around his flying schedule. No matter what your career path is, there’s always a way to pursue your passions.
Regardless of where you’re at in life, I’d like to encourage you to take a moment and consider your purpose. If you don’t know what it is, revert back to your passions to find out. If you know your purpose and aren’t pursuing it, map out a plan and get after it. Life is too short to say “shoulda-woulda-coulda” at the end.