If I held up a fork and asked you, “what’s the purpose of this?” you would probably say “that's a utensil we use to feed ourselves.” If I showed you a chair and asked, “what is the purpose of this object?” you would say, “that’s a thing we sit on.” Why is it that we know the purpose of the things we use but are unable to explain the purpose for which they have been uniquely designed and created. The good news is that you can discover how to find your purpose and passion in life by seeking to serve and relieve the pain of others.
When the elimination of the pain of others becomes our passion, our purpose becomes clear. Each one of us has been created to serve. The question is: what purpose does our life serve in making this world a better place? What purpose do you serve in leading our family? How are we of serve to our community? How does our business identify the pain of others and then design products and services to lessen that pain? When we get passionate about eliminating the pain of poverty, disease and injustice we are certain to discover our life purpose.
Understanding Why Were Created
Think about it for a moment. Who determines the purpose of any object? Is it the user, or is it the inventor? Of course it is the inventor that determines purpose; it is the user that determines how the invention will be put to use. Just the same, our inventor (or Creator) determined our purpose when we were created in our mother’s womb. How we use our life (or use up our time) here on earth is our call. The value we place on ourselves and our time is up to us. It’s called choice. We can choose many things in life, but we cannot choose our purpose. We cannot choose our purpose; we can only understand our purpose.
If you didn’t know the purpose for a tool in your toolbox or a utensil in your kitchen you’d probably throw it out. Not knowing the purpose of an object makes that object of little value to you. It’s as if that object was worthless. Many times valuable objects are discarded simply because their purpose is not known to the owner. That’s why many lives are thrown away. The people who own them don’t know their purpose.
The Key is Exposure
The power of purpose is the strongest force that can ever be at work within us. Most times the thing holding us back is exposure. We live safe and comfortable lives. We maybe take a volunteer vacation and get exposed to extreme poverty for a week or so. For some the impact will be life-changing. For some the sight of pain and poverty will disappear with time. Like the memory of a bad dream, it didn't come to stay, it came to pass.
I’ll never forget my first visit to a hospital in Romania and the impact it had on me. One little five-year-old boy in particular. His mother had dropped him off the day before I visited the hospital for kids with Aids in Constanta, abandoning him like so many other parents had done. As my friend Keith Gonyou, who had accompanied me on this particular trip, picked him up from his crib, this little guy threw his arms around Keith’s neck, and began babbling in Romanian and refusing to let go.
I turned to our translator to get the English version of what the boy was saying. Our translator responded, “He’s saying God has sent us to take him home.” How do you tell a five-year-old he can’t go home? Not now. Not ever. I watched as tears filled Keith’s eyes and he turned to me and said, “Ben, get me out of here. I can’t handle this.” The pain caused by the choices made by an evil leader was unbearable to watch. But making a vow to help relieve that pain was key to me finding my life purpose.
Why Are You Still Here?
What about you? Are you clear about your life purpose? Is there a pain that exists in the world that were specially designed to help alleviate? Will you say YES! for this purpose I was born?
Ben Kubassek is an international expert on social entrepreneurship, author, and speaker. He’s on a mission to help young people in developing countries launch their own businesses in order to create jobs and bring transformation to their communities.
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