JustPurpose

THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY?

thank God

I had a discussion with some friends some days ago about how our jobs may be keeping us from doing the things we are very passionate about. It became clear to us that sometimes all that a job does for you is to keep you from working. Does that not sound interesting? Is there a difference between your job and your work?

Have you ever heard speakers say if you look forward to Friday in your current workplace, you need to find a new job? I have read many stories of people who left their jobs because they felt it was not expressing their passions. The story of a young man who resigned from his six figures paying job to pursue his dreams readily comes to mind. He soon found out that life was not as easy as he thought and that people who stay stuck in an unfulfilling job do so for good reason which is that it puts food on their table and helps them keep body and soul together.

So, I’ll like to share some thoughts on this issue. If you feel stuck in your current job, I hope these thoughts help you find clarity and begin to live fully and well.

  1. UNDERSTANDING THE WORK-JOB DICHOTOMY

There is a difference between your job and your work. Some of us are blessed to find both in one preoccupation. Your job is what you do to keep you busy and meet your physical needs. Apostle Paul suggested that anyone who used to steal before they got saved, should go get a job so they can earn a living to be able to serve others. Paul himself was a tentmaker. So, your job is how you earn your survival. Your work on the other hand is the God-intended medium by which you were planned to live fully and maximise your life. Your work is how you interact with your domain of impact and advance God’s Kingdom on earth. The purpose of your job is so you can earn. The purpose of your work is so you can live.

  1. EARNING OR LIVING: WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT?

I have established that there is a difference between your job and your work. Your job gives you a source of earning, your work gives you a source of living. Now, many people never get to decide which is more important to them. The society already configures us to run after earning rather than living. Do you eat to live or live to eat? Why do we eat if not to have strength to live and live well? Why should you earn at all if that would not help you sustain a meaningful existence? So, you see, you were planned to live fully not just survive. You were made for more. And in the final analysis, the more you were created for isn’t first a function of how much you earn but how well you live.

  1. FINDING THE MEETING POINT

I believe one of the keys to a fulfilling life is to find the meeting point between how you earn for survival and how you really live. One, your job may be flexible enough to accommodate your engagement with your life work. In this case, your job may serve as financier for your life assignment. This was the case for Apostle Paul. As a tentmaker, he was able to earn enough to sustain his missionary activities in addition to donations and contributions from other co-workers in the ministry. Two, your job may be an expression of your work. I am a lawyer. My legal practice puts food on my table. However, it does more than that. I believe God has called me to eradicate crime from our society by bringing the message of purpose into the criminal justice system of our society. Three, your work can become your job. There is a way you can monetize your work so that it does more than expressing your passions, it also becomes a source of income. The idea of course isn’t to make your pursuit of purpose about your making money, but as you do purpose, you create value people can pay for and as they do so, you earn.

I believe it is because most people do not understand the work-job dichotomy that they are stuck and unhappy in their jobs. That is why we have people who earn so much but are so unhappy. They feel stuck in between the need to make ends meet and live fulfilling lives. But this does not have to be the case. If you first of all believe that your life serves a purpose greater than what you earn, then you can find the courage to admit the meeting point. Before you leave your job in the pursuit of your dreams, you must be sure to make plans for your transition because you understand that you have to be alive to live. Whether or not you look forward to every Friday of the week really isn’t as important as whether you are truly deriving the satisfaction you were planned to derive from your life and whether, you are living in such a way that society can be overflowing in gratitude to God for your existence.

Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts in the comment section.

You matter to me always.

PurposePursuit

NAVIGATE!

Friday afternoon

Yesterday, I received a call from someone asking me to come pick up a package that was sent to me from Lagos. I was not familiar with the location of the pick-up centre. The caller gave me a description I did not exactly get, but I expected I would be able to find my way around town. So I got on the road joining different buses at different stops with my eyes focused on where I figured my destination ought to be- the left side of the road.

I was on the bus with a friend who advised me to ask for directions from the driver or his conductor. But I was adamant. I felt I knew where I was going and asking for directions make me look like I was new in town. You know what they say about men not wanting to ask for direction? Maybe, I am a living example after all. Anyways, to cut the long story short, it took the loving intervention of my friend who volunteered to ask the driver if he knew my destination on my behalf to help me realize to my own embarrassment, that I had already passed where I was going. Actually, my destination was on the right side of the road and the driver was very familiar with the place. My ignorant assumption and pride cost me additional money, energy and time loss.

I think there is a lot in common between my journey to Isior and our life journeys. I want to share with you very briefly three lessons I learnt from that experience. I’ll be glad to read your gleanings too. Please leave a comment at the end of this post.

  1. Always pursue CLARITY

I had an idea of where I was going. But I lacked clarity as to how to get there. I knew the bus stop and what buses would take me there. However, those were not enough. I still got lost. Without clarity, knowledge can hardly inspire any meaningful action. Without clarity, the tendency that you will miss your destination is higher no matter how much you know. Clarity is what gives you confidence. Clarity is what gives value to knowledge. It is good to know where ought to be your destination in life. However, it is critically important that you give yourself to seeking clarity about the dimensions of your operations and receiving specific instructions to help you get there.

  1. Pride goes before embarrassment

If I knew exactly where I was going and how to get there, it would have been okay to be proud and not even say a word to the driver. But because I was ignorant, my pride cost me more embarrassment than it ordinarily would.You see, if you were the most intelligent person on earth with no area of ignorance and no need to learn from other people, it may have been okay to be proud. However, this is really not the case. It is sincerely foolish to be proud in the journey of life because all you know is all you have learnt and all you have learnt is not all there is to know. So, save yourself some embarrassment by getting down from your high heels. Humble yourself enough to be able to freely ask others for help and be of help to others.

  1. Mentoring saves time, energy and money

The driver had the clarity I did not have. He had been to the place I was going before. He knew the way. By submitting to his superior experience, I would have saved time, energy and money. I’d like to think this illustrates the role mentors ought to play in our life journeys. The purpose of mentoring is not for unproductive attachments but for speed. Your mentor should be someone who has gathered the experience and who now has the heart to help you get ahead in life on time. The actionable insights from your interactions with him must save you time, energy and resources.

So, these are three lessons that I believe will profit your ability to navigate your way through life. Abandon your pride and give yourself to the pursuit of clarity. When you identify a man who can help you get to your destination, connect with him. Let him help you save time, energy and resources.

Blessed? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

You matter to me always.

I call you blessed.

PurposeDiscovery

ABOUT THE MANY CATEGORIES OF PURPOSE

Recently, a friend asked a question in a Whatsapp group I belong to about Primary and Secondary purposes. Apparently, someone had taught, mentioned or implied that such categories of purpose exist. I responded that while I was not familiar with such categorization, I am aware of another categorization (for want of a better word) of purpose into General and specific purposes.

What I want to do in this piece is to share with you my thoughts on this subject. I have met too many people who have become confused about this issue and I think it is time I provided some clarity for such people.

First of all, the idea of categorization of purpose stems from another question that often bothers people about purpose. I have been asked a number of times if a person can have more than one purpose. From my interactions with people who ask this question, I have seen that they are generally unclear about this because from their analysis of their gifts and passions, they have realized that they are capable of achieving more than one thing with their lives. This is why purpose discovery is beyond the analysis of your gifts, talents, passions and experiences. Purpose discovery must begin and end with God. He is our Creator. He is the One who can tell in specific terms why He has put each of us here. Our gifts, talents, passions and experiences can only be pointers, they are not enough to ground our discovery without a revelation from God as to why He put us here.

My answer to the question of whether a person can have more than one purpose has always been that I believe God had one specific thing in mind when He created you and I think this is consistent with Scriptures. I have not seen anyone in scripture who had two purposes. It may require a depth of clarity to see the unity in their purposes, but I encourage you to take your time to study. You will find that men in scriptures were not jumping from one purpose to another neither were they running with different purposes. God is not the author of confusion.

It may be helpful to understand that your purpose is like a tree. Its root may extend to several places, it may have many branches, yet it is still one tree. Again, understanding how the different discoveries you have made about your life unify into one may require a depth of clarity but it is not out of your reach. I have personally walked several people through the process. It is amazing when you realize how all the pieces fit perfectly into one thing your whole life can be about.

Let me close by sharing some thoughts about the three dimensions of your purpose. I prefer to use the word “dimensions” rather than “categories” because I find it more apt in this context. First, there is the ULTIMATE purpose of every man which is about God’s dominion mandate to mankind i.e. to extend the influence of God’s Kingdom to every part of the Earth. Second, there is the GENERAL purpose of every believer (I hope you notice the specificity) which is to glorify God through worship, service, missions, discipleship and fellowship with other believers. Lastly, there is God’s SPECIFIC purpose for your life which is your unique way of fulfilling the Ultimate and General purposes by expressing your unique gifts, talents, personality, experiences and passions.

See, there is nothing complicated about why God has put you here. I recommend that you read this piece about the Kingdom to understand the Ultimate dimension of your Purpose and then read Rick Warren’s classic, Purpose Driven Life to understand its General dimension. My whole life work is to help you discover your purpose in its specific dimension. I believe I have shared a lot of actionable content to assist you in this journey and I certainly will do more.

Today and always, my prayer for you is that God’s light will shine on your path to give you clarity and precision about why you are here.

How have you found this helpful? Blessed? Please let me know in the comment section.

You matter to me always.

I call you blessed.