On finding my life’s purpose

No Thankful Thursday post today: I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and its purpose, and my purpose on this beautiful earth. You’d think I’d know my life’s purpose based on all the self-help books I’ve read, the Oprah Lifeclass I attended earlier this year, and the seminars I’ve attended, but I don’t. I’m dissatisfied with my life (yes, you can be grateful and thankful for all the blessings you’ve received yet still be dissatisfied with things, generally speaking). I constantly feel like I’m not where I want to be, and like I don’t know who I truly am. I’m certain that once I know my life’s purpose, things will become easier because I’ll be able to measure anything I think of doing against this purpose and if it honours that purpose, then I’ll do it.

If you can relate to my feelings, a book that’ll help with this exercise of figuring out our individual life’s purpose is The Purpose Driven Life (does anyone else think of the Purpose Driven Blog when they see that title?). I read the first chapter a few months ago, but was annoyed by the recommendation within it to read one chapter per day. I wanted to read as much (or as little) of the book each day, without following any rules. However, I’ve just finished re-reading the introduction and first chapter, and I’ve been challenged by these words on the second page of the introduction:

This is me to a T with everything I consume–books, magazine articles, videos, live seminars. I’m trying so hard to devour all the nuggets in all the books I want to read that I don’t make the time to reflect on what I’m reading in a way that allows it to stick with me long-term. The chapters of The Purpose Driven Life are quite short, which makes it tempting to keep reading but I will be disciplined and read just one chapter each day for the next 40ish days (fingers crossed that I don’t miss a day!) and reflect on each chapter as suggested in the book. The first chapter is titled It All Starts with God and there are some great nuggets in there (I don’t even like the world nugget yet I’ve used it three times in this paragraph!):

  • If you were given an invention that you had never seen before and didn’t know what it was, asking the inventor would be the easiest way to find out that information. Similarly, to find out your life’s purpose you have to ask your Creator. Your life’s purpose won’t come to you by looking within yourself.
  • You were created by God and for God.

I found this second point hard to digest. I’m a Christian so I believe that God has a plan for everyone’s life, that God created the world, and that none of us are accidents, but I still struggle to live my life as if it’s for God and I fail miserably at it. Most of the time I live my life for me, doing what I want to do and not thinking about whether or not it’s in line with God’s plans for my life. I don’t know God’s plan for my life, so that makes it easier to do my own thing because it doesn’t feel like I’m rebelling against God or anything like that.

Another thing about me is I’m stubborn and I like to be in control. If I’m created for God that means my life is not just about me and that’s hard to take. Someone needs to be hit by a humility truck!

Anyway, that’s what’s been going through my head for months if not a whole year by now. I’m not making the impact on the world that I want to make, nor am I accomplishing my personal goals of marriage, having children, and creating a business. The only way I can get rid of the blockage I feel in my life is to figure out what on earth I’m here for!

  1. Do you know your life’s purpose?
  2. How did you find your life’s purpose?

17 thoughts on “On finding my life’s purpose

  1. I feel like finding your life purpose is not really a divine intervention. It is almost like arriving at your passion. What do you find yourself doing more and more of?
    Are taking the necessary steps everyday to lead you to where you want to where you want to be?
    It's so simple but yet complicated

    • Hmm, you may have a point there, deladoe. I guess what you're saying is if you're following your passion it's probably heavily tied to your purpose…that could be true actually! Thanks for commenting.

  2. I believe my life purpose is to help people develop their God given potential…which is why I am currently in the HR field but sometimes I feel I am not yet where I am supposed to be. God will guide me through.

  3. i totally get this feeling. There are some that just come naturally and i know this is what i'm supposed to do but sometimes, i feel it's not enough. Someimes it's so clear and other times, it gets a little muddled. I'm def sticking around too see tips

    • Thanks Toinlicious. You raise a good point because this is something I've wondered: if something doesn't come so easily to me (web design for example) yet it's something I want to do for whatever crazy reason, am I going against what I'm actually supposed to be doing by pursuing it, or will I discover a new life's purpose by challenging myself to develop the skill?

      I will definitely share what I'm learning along the way!

  4. Goodnaijagirl….where have you been o.have been trying to log on this website for the past one week,keeps telling me the website is suspended.i just gave it a shot today and almost closed the page.u must have heard me when I said 'thank God' when U finally showed up.

    • Awww, thanks so much, Iffy for checking back again and again! I've been having trouble with the company that hosts my site…but the worst seems to be behind us. Thanks for the kind words and for visiting!

  5. Same here o…..subscribed to your blog(not this one, the other one) about 3 years ago…yep…been stalking you silently for a while:D….but stopped receiving feeds from your blog a couple of years ago. Since I miised your thankful Thursdays so much, I had to look for you again and here you are!
    Glad that you're taking this to a new level with your own site and everything.
    I do know the feeling you're refering to and I've been struggling with myself over this for years. I feel some people are lucky in that they find their purpose really early on without any of this soul searching business while some of us will have to work harder to figure it out.
    I'll say dont sweat it, keep praying about it and I believe that soon, you'll sudenly realise it was right there all along and God will guide you to it. Take care, and glad that you're up and running again:).

    • Thanks so much, Young Naija Woman. It means a lot to me that you remembered my blog and found it again. I hope you've been well.

      Your advice is practical: whenever I stress over something or seek it out compulsively, I never seem to find it. I need to do more of the "let go and let God" stuff…because my own methods aren't working so well!

  6. hmmm. i think the struggle with finding your life's purpose is misinformation or rather a wrong idea of what God's will for ones life is. Not handing over control of ones life is a symptom of wrong facts which have turned belief. I used to believe like a lot of people that telling God to take over my life would be tantamount to getting ready to head for a remote part of the world to preach or do something really hard that I would not like to do.
    These days, I have handed the reins over understanding that God is love. He loves me and wants the best for me and his plans for me are plans I can not and will not be able to make on my own and like Jer. 29:11 says they are thoughts of good.
    I am not 100% surrendered, its a daily work but I think TRUST is the component that'll make His will unfold for us.
    One way to look at it is see what our earthly fathers did just to give us a great education and point us on the right path. My dad would have sold the last shirt off his back just to send us to school, I believe strongly that Gods plans are much better.
    I hope this doesn't sound like preaching but its what I have mulled over in my head asking these same questions as yours.
    I take daily steps ask for his guidance and trust that He is leading me and guiding me as I take them. I believe that his word speaks to us so just settling down with the Word helps as a lamp – showing me what to do. There are several things i've done which in hindsight I know I didn't engineer but I believe God led me….
    this is a long one…forgive me…hope it helps….

    • This was wonderful…thank you, Toyin! You're also sharing practical advice, which is what I need. If I can let go, stop overthinking everything, and just TRUST God to move me in the right direction, I'll go further than what I've been doing to date. I have control issues: God does a better job of guiding my life but I keep forgetting that! Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Interesting post GNG and quite reflective. I am on a discovery journey myself, it's like I keep going back to God to ask questions…Who, what, when,how, where, why all sorts!
    1.Who… Okay Lord my life is all about you, I was created to worship you… rrright, it will be nice to be in control of my life all the time but izzorai, You know better than I do. then….
    2.What am I meant to do to worship you… then He whispers it…trust me it was a whisper… then I have to really focus to hear clearly…. and it takes me to the next question
    3. When and how do I do this Lord? And this my dear GNG is where I'm @!

    He loves to commune with us plus He knows we can run hay wire if he gives us the whole plan, so He gives us enough to digest and work on at every given point in time!
    Enjoy the ride my dear.

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