Why Is It Important to Have a Purpose in Life?
Purpose is something that can be defined as a reason for living. It’s the driving force that helps people achieve their life goals. A strong sense of purpose can help you overcome obstacles, achieve success, and improve your quality of life.
And here’s why purpose is important. A sense of purpose in life leads to living a meaningful life. It’s the bridge between where you are now, and where you want to be. It gives you a trail to follow.
What gives your life its purpose?
There are many ways you can find your purpose. I found mine when I was just 10 years old.
I’d spend time during weekend days at my teachers’ houses, and then return to my home in the Projects at the end of the day. Through hanging out with them, I developed my purpose. I wanted to achieve greatness likethem. Though I didn’t really know what that meant back then.
A big purpose to have – especially as a 10-year-old, who doesn’t even know what greatness looks like or what purpose means. I just knew that I would take this vision and make it mine someday.
Your purpose may be driven by personal experiences, like mine was through junior and high school and beyond.
It may be driven by a desire to do greater good in the long term, fulfilling the needs of others and making a contribution to the world.
Your sense of purpose might be driven by your beliefs or your faith.
Whatever motivates your purpose, it will help you live your life to its fullest potential.
The inspiration of purpose – What does having a purpose mean?
In the fifth grade, I had a wonderful teacher called Ms. Veerbaum. Day-to-day, she would always tell me that I would be great one day. My father would say that I needed to focus on getting a job instead of having dreams of being great. It was like I was living in parallel universes.
My father didn’t have money to send me to college. But Ms. Veerbaum, she showed up for me. She took me to the bank and showed me how to save money. She showed me how to fill out my college application. Her husband, a doctor in a local hospital, gave me my first part-time job.
College was tough, but by this time I had defined purpose. It was my true purpose that motivated me to work hard at college and work long hours in the hospital to pay for my education.
My purpose drove me forward. I was heading toward greatness, and nothing was going to stop me.
The real difference between good and great
On my path through life, I’ve strived to be great. I graduated as a C-student, but I knew if I found my thing, I could achieve greatness.
I tried teaching for a while. But that wasn’t for me.
So, I went into corporate America. I found that people like me – a person of color – didn’t have an equal opportunity. I hadn’t experienced racism before, but now it was very real.
I didn’t buckle. I earned my respect. I had to stand out to do so. My purpose drove me forward. I showed them that I was good. That I could be great. That I could make things happen.
It was purpose that did this for me. Without purpose, I would have had a job, no more. With purpose, greatness was within my grasp.
Discovering your true sense of purpose in life
Eventually, with the encouragement of a new mentor, Ralph Lauren, I left the corporate world and began life as an entrepreneur. I went into the construction business, even though I knew nothing about it.
I nearly went bankrupt doing it. I had to pare my business to save it from going under. I had to go back to school to learn about accounts and construction. All the while I was driven by the desire to be great.
Then I started to do small scholarships. A few dollars here and there. My true, major life purpose was slowly coming into play – to serve and give back. And I was feeling good.
I became a servant leader. My greatness was starting to evolve and take shape, but I failed again and went bankrupt. I turned to my mentors. They kept me buoyed up. I reminded myself of the word that drives me. Greatness.
You see, greatness doesn’t die or fail. It continues to move. It makes sure that you don’t crumble, and that you live a life aligned to your purpose.
Discover your true purpose
Purpose is never a destination. It’s about perseverance. If you’re looking for the difference between good and great, remember that great is about having a purpose. Good is only about having a job.
I’ve had many mentors throughout my life, from my teachers to other entrepreneurs and renowned business leaders. Without them, I may never have discovered my true purpose.
To book me for entrepreneurial coaching or for a consultation, please get in touch.