Your Past Shapes Your Purpose
One of the major questions I get emailed all of the time is about people’s purpose. People ask me all of the time how to properly identify their purpose. This is something I worked on in my book and just a topic that I have been wrestling with for a long time. So there are a couple of different things that can influence your purpose, but ultimately I believe that your purpose is given to you by God… So let’s jump into a couple of different things that influence your purpose.
First thing is first, your purpose is going to be majorly influenced by your past. The reason I say this is because I would not be nearly as effective in listening to people and helping people if they were not struggling with the same things I have been through. Now, I use this quote all of the time and I am sure that if you have been following me for any serious length of time that you have heard me say this, “I would rather somebody give me the map that has already hiked the trail.” What happens a lot of the time with all of these self-proclaimed self-help gurus out there is that they are trying to give you a map to a trail they have not even hiked in the first place. You guys know I am a huge nature guy, so the trail is my go-to metaphor, but it’s true! It is always going to be easier to give advice when you have lived the problem yourself. The problem a problem of know-how. Think about it. If someone showed up to you at the bottom of a trail and said, “Hey, I have never hiked this trail before in my life, but here is a list I came up with of possible ways that I think you could hike this trail.” You would probably throw that map away, right? However, if someone came to you and said, “Hey, I hike this trail all of the time and here is a map I have put together from firsthand experience of hiking this thing. Here is where people usually mess up and make the wrong turn. Here is where you need to watch for snakes or loose rocks.” You would probably take that map and believe the validity of it based on the experience of the guy who made that map.
The things that you have been through can qualify you to help other people get through those same hard situations. Your past experiences will always play a part in shaping the purpose of your future. Many people who join helping professions are the people who have been through trauma in their lives. In the same way, the things that you have done in your life will lead you and guide your purpose towards something that it is qualified to follow through on. Don’t let your past rule your life, but allow it to shape you in positive ways.
It all starts with you.