When I review the biographies of truly great people they all seem to possess one very strong characteristic, clarity. They know what they were meant to accomplish in life, often at an early age. Most of us spend life searching for “the next thing.” The next big opportunity, the next lotto jackpot, the next big “thing” seems to dilute our thinking and our energy. In a fast moving world the ability to focus has become more important than ever. Clarity allows us to do something very important, it allows us to pursue our “purpose.” You probably are asking a very important question about this time, “Ken, how do I know my purpose?” It is not as difficult as you think.
Your first step in discovering your purpose is to project out three to five years and ask yourself a simple question, “If I could live my greatest dream, to accomplish the thing that would give me the most fulfillment, what would it be?” Your answer is your first step in discovering your purpose in life and your profession. In your perfect future, what would you be doing? Where would you live? What would you spend your day doing? A funny thing happens when you are able to visualize your future; you begin to think about the things that will get you to that point. In essence, you pull the future to the present.
Your second step is to determine your values. A man or women that clearly knows and practices his or her values makes the right choices in life and is able to overcome adversity. The Greek philosopher Epictetus once wrote, “Circumstances do not make the man. They merely reveal him to himself.” A person of value does not waiver from his or her true purpose and is able to face obstacles with integrity and perseverence.
Finally, once you have found your purpose, pursue it with passion! There are few things in life that can create success like passion. Talent, skill, and intelligence are of little use without passion. Passion about what you dream and desire will overcome adversity, failure, criticism and doubt. It is the great equalizer and is a strong substitute for almost anything!