Six personalized clues for discovering your purpose
Try this exercise, which will help you discover your purpose and unleash your greatness:
First, write down the top six people you admire most, three of them living and three from history.
Next to each name, answer these questions:
- What do you admire about him or her?
- What did he or she accomplish?
- What about him or her do you want to emulate?
- What qualities did he or she have that you lack?
Now identify all the common threads running through each of these six lives.
There’s a reason why you chose these six. There’s something about them that resonates with you.
In physics, “resonance” is defined as “the state of a system in which an abnormally large vibration is produced in response to an external stimulus, occurring when the frequency of the stimulus is the same, or nearly the same, as the natural vibration frequency of the system.”
In other words, you resonate with these six individuals because there’s something inside you that is like them.
What does this resonance tell you about your purpose? What God-given mission were you endowed with at birth that makes you recognize the greatness in these individuals?
Now, what do you need to do to become more like these people and live your mission with greater faith, courage, dedication, and power?
I don’t know which six people you chose. But no matter who they are, I guarantee that they all have these things in common:
1. They all took great risk
Anyone worth emulating takes calculated, courageous risk, whether it be social, emotional, financial, or physical.
At some point in their lives — nay, at many points — your heroes stepped off the edge of a cliff without having a clue what would happen.
They undoubtedly suffered greatly for their risks. But they also learned and grew from them. Those risks opened doors for them that could not be opened in any other way.
2. They all went the opposite direction of the crowd
Heroes stand out precisely because they step away from the crowd.
There was a time in your heroes’ lives where they were ignored. They were dismissed as naive, foolish, and rash.
They were ridiculed for going against the grain of popular culture. The establishment sneered at them. The masses hurled cheap insults at them.
They were feared for threatening the status quo.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Mahatma Gandhi
3. They all built a legacy
They are and will be remembered for a reason; they built something that will last for generations — an idea, a cause, a movement, an institution.
The pilgrims established the foundations of a free nation. George Washington and others built on that foundation. Shakespeare built a library of truth.
Building their legacy required that they tread their own path through the desert of the unknown, versus walking down the highway with the crowd. It required monumental risk. They suffered colossal failures along the way.
But they knew who they were and what they were born for. They knew their North Star of purpose. They fixed their eyes steadily on that star and adjusted their rudder and sails to navigate the winds and waves of circumstance. They knew what they were trying to accomplish and how to measure success.
And now we come back to you.
You chose your six particular heroes for a reason. That reason shines a light on the path of your purpose.
- What risks do you need to take to open doors of opportunity and progress?
- How must you step away from the crowd to accomplish your purpose?
- What do you need to build? How do you want to be remembered? What qualities do you need to develop and what resources do you need to gather to build your legacy?