What do you want to be when you grow up? Think back to your childhood. Do you remember how you answered this question?
Having three young kids, I get to watch as they creatively navigate through the dreams and possibilities of what they want to do. The question itself is a bit misleading, and maybe even telling, about the way we view work. What you do, vocationally, should not be the sole factor of who you are as a person; however, our culture puts considerable emphasis on the work you do to define your worth. That narrow perspective can keep you from uncovering your true purpose in life. This false ideology of limiting oneself based on societal standards is ingrained in us at a young age. Defining who you want to be, independent of those standards, is critical to establishing your Purpose Dreams.
What if we took a different perspective? What if we were asked at a young age, “How are you uniquely made?” We could then dream more effectively and ask, “How can you take the unique person that is you and use your talents and passions to best serve the world?” I know that might seem a bit idealistic, but if you are using your naturally ingrained talent and passions, you are more likely to be in the sweet spot of your career. When you are in the sweet spot of your career, you are more likely to be engaged. When you are engaged in work, you are more likely to be happy in life.
This all seems obvious, right? Then why is it that we rarely invest time in knowing ourselves?
We are all more effective in life when we are proactive, not reactive. Too often, though, we see the world around us and what others are doing as the basis for how we do or don’t want to live our lives. We react to the outer world instead of acting according to our own inner desires. Many aspects of our culture contribute to this tendency, for example, the obsession with social media and reality TV. But external expectations come from many other sources as well.
To combat a false self-identity, you need to have an intentional desire to focus on your own experiences and purpose in life. Looking to the external world to define your worth will eventually leave you feeling empty and abandoned. Ownership of your past, who you are, and who you want to be is an investment with significant returns. As we go through our journey together, we will look at the factors to help you own who you are. As you gain this self-awareness, your Purpose Dreams will become more apparent and more obtainable.