Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking, reading and writing on the word purpose. The word purpose was the literal bogeyman of my undergraduate studies: it scared me, it confused me. I strongly believe it elicited those reactions as a result of how it- the word purpose -was brandied about back in those days, a task that no man except the dead or wretched in society understood, a gift from hindsight. Purpose was made to be a definite end; a treasure you must unearth else your life becomes meaningless. The attainment of purpose under this definition is almost impossible as it offers the seeker little or no hope. The elusiveness of a universal map or compass to guide one's search on the journey of purpose also makes it twice as hard. Discovering one's purpose is certainly desirable, it is a quest that must begin from an inward bay to point beyond. A quest that requires a lot of hope something the above definition did not offer.

Definition of purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

The above definition is simple and straightforward, however when placed side by side with an individual living in an ever spinning world it starts to sound high faluting. That not withstanding, I come to learn certain facts about purpose from life coupled with the above definition and I would love to share them with you:

1. Every individual on earth was created to improve and increase life (make life better) for themselves and those around them. We do not live in a vacuum, we were designed to make an impact anywhere we find ourselves, ideally a positive impact. Your purpose in life wherever you are should be to enjoy life and be grateful. By enjoy I don’t mean constantly seeking adrenaline thrills, but finding contentment in the simple routines of life. I mean staying happy, positive and constantly learning new skills through life. It also means making life better for those around you, by sometimes putting their needs ahead of yours or simply not being a nuisance.

2. Secondly I have learnt that purpose is something you discover gradually by doing things consistently overtime. I don't know how else to say this, but purpose is not something the lazy, careless or scared person will discover or maximize. As we grow and take up different roles and responsibility we discover new skills and strengths we weren't previously aware of, and this makes us question the path we're on. However, if we carefully look through everything we have done and gone true we might notice certain traits, abilities, routines which have stayed with us all through, these common lines I believe are tied to your purpose. How we express our purpose in life is dynamic, a fluid state of existence but we express is more or less constant. For example a hospitable person will always find a way to include serving people wherever they are i.e. formal or informal situations, a writer will always find a storyline, a metaphor or scene in everyday life. This is not to say that one has to walk around in that state of mind, rather it is a knee jerk reaction to life.

3. Purpose has no time limit, but your capability/strength does: now I am not writing this to scare you, but it is the truth. Some of us never fully understand our purpose until we’re much older (myself included), and it is probably twice as hard to find and stick with purpose when life is beating down on your doors. However, on the bright side we can never run out of opportunities to express our life's purpose if we keep on hoping and growing. Everyone’s purpose is different, but one thing is the same for everyone it requires hard work to fan that purpose to success.

Success is a fruit/evidence/end result of fulfilling purpose, being successful however does not automatically mean you followed your purpose. Many people (myself included) mistake wealth or fame to be success, but that is wrong. True success is accomplishing your own life purpose. So if your purpose in life is to become a wealthy business, a doctor, a tailor, a wedding planner then fulfilling that purpose makes you successful.

Sometimes we might not live out purpose to its full expression, but sowing the seed we can when we can might be the hope someone else needs to start an inward journey to discovery. And that in itself is the major stake of purpose to bequeath a little goodness to another. In all you do always remember point one make life better for you and those around you.

Don't give up: get scared, get worried, it will make you more careful and perhaps wiser, but never ever give up.

Header image: from pixabay free images.

Published by Chioma Nwafor