What is my purpose?
This is a question I ask myself every day.
I am driven forward by finding meaningful work in line with a long-term purpose, surrounded by community, while engaging in flow throughout the journey..
Purpose, even specific, knife-blade-sharp purpose still only motivates me so far.
If I hate what I do every day then that purpose is a far off comfort. It’s me plodding through a snow storm with the promise of a warm blanket when I arrive.
The cold still bites.
Far-off purpose is not enough to keep the flame burning.
I discovered this truth in my bones working as an employee for other people. I didn’t like my job, because it wasn’t in line with my ultimate purpose. I’d visualize and see this purpose practically every day, but in order for me to deal with the continual hike up my Everest, I needed to find small things to enjoy in the journey.
This need led me to flow, mindfulness, and identity projects.
I’d create meaningful tasks, and small purpose projects to work on during my time in a government bureaucracy. I’d launch think tanks, and find people like me to spend time with. When I was planning, creating, and living out these projects I often found flow, community, and identity refreshers to keep me warm on the journey.
Purpose to me becomes practical when you’re surrounded by a community of like-minded people, finding flow in tasks, pursuing identity refreshers, and aiming the daily tasks at the long-term legacy.
Let me define those terms for you:
- Flow: Flow is that state of losing track of time while you work. That feeling of being fully engaged in your task and getting lost in it.
- Identity Refreshers: Launching purpose-oriented projects inside my job also served a secondary purpose as an identity refresher. The flickering candle of purpose requires a continual flame of identity. You must believe you are the one to fulfill your purpose. I had to see myself completing projects leading up to my larger purpose.
- Community: Finding a community of like-minded people is a need I suspect everyone feels. Being part of something bigger than oneself while engaging with people like you provides a motivation beyond what you’ll get in a solitary journey.
Identity wanes as the world comes at us, like a candle flickering before the onset of a storm. Build your log cabin. Put together a meaningful purpose script that tells you where you’re headed. Develop identity refreshers that allow you to continually make meaningful progress toward your end purpose. Then enjoy the journey by practicing mindfulness, flow, and aligning your tasks with a like-minded community.
Keep the candle lit until your tiny flicker becomes a bonfire for you and your friends to warm themselves by.
Author: Joseph Terndrup
Hi! I’m Joseph, the founder of Underdog Marketing. I am passionate about digital marketing, growing businesses, and start-ups. I’m an insatiable learner and a repeat entrepreneur. I love writing and I work on projects that I find purpose in with people who I believe in. I look forward to connecting!