I watched a video of Gavin Mcinnes (founder of “Vice”) the other day where he gave the following interesting bit of advice, “Don’t become a writer unless you have to.”
More often than not, we don’t get much of a choice in what our passion is – rather it seems to choose US. And yet as kids we were told we can be whatever we choose. An astronaut. An athlete. The president. “The world is your oyster – go CHOOSE your path.”
In stark contrast, Native Americans traditionally would UNCOVER what their path (and contribution to their tribe) was by going out alone and doing a Vision Quest. Armed with little water and no food, they would strike out into the wilderness until they found a spot and simply sit.
… Hours would slip into days. Rational would blur into intuition. The seeker would pass through the fire of initiation and be given a vision. Once received they would take it back home to camp, and then work to revolve his entire life and actions around it.
They got it – your purpose in most cases chooses YOU… not the other way around.
Author Steven Pressfield similarly describes how we already have a career – a completed body of work – that is pulling us in like a gravitational field. Fight it as you wish, but either way you are being pulled / dragged in that direction…
And it makes sense why this is so:
- You don’t choose your talents / gifts anymore than you choose your eye colour.
- You don’t choose what makes you come alive – something either triggers excitement or it doesn’t.
So How Do You Discover What Your Purpose is?
The quick answer is that you’re already doing it – probably in a pseudo form:
- If your gift is music, you constantly sing in the shower or crunch beats in your head all day long.
- If you’re born to be a coach, you unconsciously guide and coach your friends.
As Robin Sharma puts it, your greatest work is already working on you. I say your purpose is beating a path to your doorstep. Let it be obvious.
So now I ask you… what’s obviously working on you?
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