Your purpose. Your Why. The driving force behind your dreams and desires.
Everyone has one. But not everyone is clear on what theirs is.
And the funny thing is, purpose is such a simple thing most of the time.
And yet it sometimes feels elusive. It sometimes feels like it should be more complicated than it actually is.
I’ve been searching for my purpose since I quit my day job in March 2012 to turn my writing business into a full-time thing. Even more so since January 2019, when my divorce went down and my entire life was flipped on its head (and I’m so grateful that it was).
For my entire life, my purpose has been there. Right in front of my face. Right inside of my heart. Always on my mind. Never leaving me alone.
I just kept thinking it had to be something else.
That my purpose needed to be or should be something different.
Something that helps a lot of people. Something that makes an impact in the world. Something that people desperately needed in their lives.
And it took me until last week to finally realize I’ve been wrong all along.
I’ve spent years trying to get clear on my purpose. On the thing I’m meant to be doing in this world.
I felt like I would never find it. Like I was doomed to forever feel pointless and purposeless.
But all along, there it was.
It’s been there since I was 11 years old. It’s the thing I can’t ever let go of or stop thinking about. It’s the thing that’s always been at the forefront of my mind.
I’ve ignored it. I’ve pushed it down. I’ve fought it with everything in me.
But it never left.
It’s always been there. Nagging me. Shoving itself in my face.
Constantly reminding me of what I’m actually meant for in this life.
For far too long now, I didn’t allow myself to believe it.
It seemed too simple. Too crazy. Too unlikely.
The thought that I constantly came back to was—God wouldn’t make this thing someone’s purpose. This thing can’t possibly be the reason I was created, the reason I came to this planet.
It seemed selfish. Self-indulgent. Ridiculous, really.
Yes, it’s something I love to my core. Yes, it’s the thing that never leaves me be. Yes, it’s the dream that has been in my heart and soul for my entire life.
But I still felt like I was wrong.
I prayed about it constantly. I asked God to show me a sign. To show me evidence I couldn’t argue away or make mean something else.
I was shown this same purpose over and over and over again. And have been shown it for years.
But I still didn’t believe it.
Not until last week, when I was led to a YouTube video that changed everything. An interview with writer and actor, Tyler Perry. One where he talked about his purpose.
He said his purpose was to tell stories and to turn those stories into plays and movies and TV shows. To help inspire, motivate and heal people through storytelling. That God had shown him this early on in his life and he decided to believe it.
Watching this video, it finally hit me. I finally got it.
That is my purpose too.
It’s the thing I’ve always known. It’s the thing that has forever followed me. It’s the thing I’m always being guided back to.
I just didn’t see the kind of impact that purpose could make until I heard the words coming out of Tyler Perry’s mouth.
Until I heard him say that his purpose is to be a storyteller, and to change people’s lives through the experience they have with his stories.
After that it became so clear.
My purpose is to be a storyteller. It’s to inspire, motivate, entertain, heal and help people through the stories that I tell.
Everything else I’ve spent my life doing—freelance writing, working a corporate job, building a coaching business, launching course after course after course—it was all just me running away from what was always meant to be. It was all just me denying the one thing that has always felt true for me.
I was chasing money and running from purpose. All under the guise of wanting to help people and make an impact in the world.
Yes, I want to help people. Yes, I want to change and impact the world.
But I can only really and truly do that by owning my actual purpose and then living fully into it like I’ve always known I was meant to.
Everything I’ve done—the freelance writing, the corporate jobs, the coaching business, the workshops and courses I’ve created—has always fallen away at some point. I’ve always gotten bored of it, burned out, or wanted something different for myself.
But storytelling has never left me. Storytelling has never made me bored, burned out or wanting something else.
In fact, it’s the one thing that gives me life, that gives me energy. That revitalizes me when I’m feeling pointless and powerless. That makes me feel like all is right and I’m doing what I’m meant to be.
Storytelling is my purpose. And not only that, but turning my stories into books and screenplays, and eventually having those books and screenplays made into movies on the big screen and on streaming services all over the world.
That is my purpose.
It always has been. It always will be.
And while I had so many BS beliefs that it couldn’t possibly be my purpose because it’s selfish and self-serving and not really helping people or impacting the world in the way I thought I was supposed to be, those beliefs are now gone.
Because now, I finally get it.
Being a coach is someone’s purpose. Being an entrepreneur is someone’s purpose. Being a teacher, a course creator, a speaker, a mentor is someone’s purpose.
It’s just not mine.
The way I get to impact the world and change lives and help people is through my stories and my storytelling.
And it’s not selfish or self-indulgent or wrong. God specifically chose me for this.
I was chosen for it.
Because I’m someone who has the desire for it, and the skills for it, and the ability for it. Because I’m someone who dreams of this and has dreamed of this for my whole life.
God wants for you what you want for yourself. Your desires and dreams are from the divine.
And the truth is, there’s a reason why my mom was obsessed with novels while she was pregnant with me, to the point where she would lock herself in the bathroom stall at work just to finish the book she’d been reading. There’s a reason I’ve been reading fictional stories since I was a small child. There’s a reason I learned how to read before age 5. There’s a reason I’ve always been obsessed with novels and movies.
There’s a reason why I was pulled toward creative writing classes when I was in college and even after. There’s a reason why I invested years of my life learning story structure and studying the craft of storytelling. There’s a reason why I spent a decade editing books and coaching writers.
And that reason was set up.
I was being set up for the thing that I’ve always been meant to do.
The thing that has been my purpose my entire life.
Writing stories. Turning those stories into books and screenplays and eventually movies.
I was born for this.
Molded for this.
Made for this.
Meant for this.
And now I’m finally, fully and forever owning it.
So, what’s your purpose? Here are my thoughts on how to figure it out:
- What’s that thing it’s always been about for you?
- What follows you, nags at you, never leaves you be?
- What do you wish you could do with your life more than anything else?
- What dream did you have as a kid that still calls to you today?
- If money was no matter and you could do the thing that calls to your heart without worry, what would it be?
- What do you always go back to, over and over again, even if you’ve pushed it off or walked away from it multiple times?
That’s most likely your purpose. Only you can know for sure.
But if there’s anything I now know, it’s this: your purpose is the thing you think it can’t possibly be.