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What to do When You Feel Off Purpose

You would think that once we identify our personal purpose, life would be easy. After all, we’ve identified why we are here and simply live our purpose every day, creating the perfect idyllic life—right?  Not so fast. The truth is that none of us lives on-purpose 100 per cent of the time. Real wisdom comes when we recognize the times we are off-purpose and know how to get back on-purpose.

What are the signs of being off-purpose? 

  • Letting small things irritate or frustrate
  • Feeling listless or hopeless
  • Going about our day feeling like a dry, joyless bucket

Often these feelings creep in without us even realizing it. Sometimes we become so focused on being on-purpose in everyone else’s lives that we forget to be on-purpose within ourselves! No wonder our buckets feel empty.

What Jesus says about our purpose

To sustain a joy-full, purpose-filled life, we must follow the words of Jesus when He was asked “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

Did you catch it? God, self, others. To keep our bucket filled, we must remain on-purpose with God, within ourselves, with our neighbors. What does this look like?  Here’s an example from my own life. My purpose is Inspiring Hope so:

  • I must first go to God and ask, “God, will you please Inspire Hope in me?” (In my life, He Inspires Hope through worship, His Word, and my quiet prayer time with Him.)
  • I must be on-purpose within myself asking “How do I Inspire Hope within myself?” (My hope is inspired when I remember God’s faithfulness in my work and family and how He has used me in the lives of others.)
  • Once God has Inspired Hope in me, and I have Inspired Hope in myself, then my bucket is full and I can joyfully Inspire Hope in others!

So how about you?

How does God fill your purpose within you? How do you live out your purpose within yourself? The next time your bucket is getting dry and you’re feeling off-purpose, crawl into your Heavenly Father’s lap and ask Him to live out your purpose in you. Then spend some time living your purpose within yourself. Your bucket will be filled to the brim and overflow into the lives of others with the joy of being on-purpose!

Discover your purpose and how to live it out when you attend one of our Women Doing Well™workshops. Learn more about them and find one near you.

Mary Tomlinson

About Author

Mary Tomlinson

Mary Tomlinson is a high-energy motivator who is passionate about encouraging individuals and implementing change. With over 40 years of corporate and consulting experience, including 18 years at Disney, she has a real-world perspective on business and life. As president of On-Purpose Partners, Mary works with businesses, non-profits and individuals, helping each achieve greater purpose and focus. She lives in Wake Forest, N.C., with her husband and is a happy “Mimi” to four grandchildren. Her purpose statement is “inspiring hope.”

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