Your Purpose is not your Occupation
Our life purpose is not what we do for a living. Most people tend to confuse these two things. What we do as a career or how we end up spending our time might not necessarily be directly linked with what our purpose is.
Our purpose is something bigger than our career or occupation, something that some times we don’t even get to choose; but I do agree that our career or occupation is normally closely related to our purpose and can either be a catalyser, enabler of our purpose or even a detractor or derailer.
Our purpose is the bigger reason why we are here or the ultimate personal goal we choose in order to give meaning and sense to our lives. Our occupation on the other hand is how we decide to spend our time and/or earn a living. Our occupation is probably one of the biggest contributors to our chosen purpose and it is also a big source of happiness and fulfilment to our lives, but it is not necessarily the purpose itself, although many people chose to make their life purpose their career.
I believe that we can accomplish our purpose through many different occupations. The criteria with which we choose what we do for a living or with our time depends on what I call vocational factors and how we choose what our purpose is depends on our life experiences and our psychological and spiritual needs. I could even go as far as to say that we don’t even choose it ourselves.
Living your Purpose
On my journey to unravel purposeful living, I’ve been interviewing people who claim to know what their purpose is and who claim and seem to be happy, fulfilled and thriving. I’ve asked them how they found out what their purpose was and what puzzles me is that many of them actually were never ‘on the search’ for it. For many of them it was a random chain of events or they ended up having to do something at that moment because essentially they had nothing else to do at that point. What happened was that with time they made that their purpose or they discovered their state of flow through that activity. They certainly live a purposeful life, the question that I ask myself now is: Did they discover their purpose through coincidence or did they found a way of making their life purposeful?
To live a ‘purposeful life’ is to take something and make it our own and to choose to be happy and fulfilled with what we do. For many people it is not about finding the job and career that makes them happy, many people actually land in their careers by chance and still have very purposeful and happy lives. For many people it is about learning to find meaning and happiness in what they do.