Someone asked me this the other day and it got me thinking… damn, finding your life’s purpose ain’t easy!
“What is your life purpose?” is such a general question and big picture item that doesn’t really make much sense unless you can break it into smaller parts on what it means for you right now, at this moment in time.
But, I thank you for your question because it makes me think about what I want right now. What do I want to leave behind? What legacy will people remember? What will my family and closest friends say about me tomorrow if I die (or ascend to another universe, yes, I mean who knows, why not that one where Thor lives)?
Our purpose should be both macro and micro, both flexible, insanely detailed, and adaptable. No should ever feel like they are cornered into a life without purpose.
Adapt. Grow. Build something with every free second of time you have.
My personal story of purpose has changed over the years. As a kid, I wanted to play varsity as a freshman and get good grades. Then it was to be a college basketball player (and get slightly less good grades), then become a professional basketball player, and finally, play in the NBA. But those were just big picture tickets to finding purpose.
My actual purpose was found in the daily individual workouts, grueling weight sessions, the camaraderie of teammates through our ups and downs, whether it was our huge victories on ESPN or crushing defeats on NBC.
My purpose stayed the same in the pros until about halfway through. After a few NBA failures, my purpose started to change away from only being sport specific. Not only did I want to be an MVP basketball player in Europe, but I wanted to help my younger brother and other young players reach their dreams. I wanted to give back and teach.
I think the best teachers are people that have experienced life, and more importantly, experienced the vulnerability of feelings in finding one’s true purpose.
As I grew even older, towards the end of my pro career, I wanted sustainability and freedom to follow my next dreams, whatever it was. This meant my next purpose was to become a businessman, leader, and build a sustainable business in my efforts to live off passive residual income.
Now my dream and purpose are evolving again, into helping design new businesses and execute my plan for building a community of readers, creators, athletes, and humans to help inspire, teach, and mentor people on how to follow their dreams and create their version of success.
More specifically, my purpose is to help 1 million people, kids, and adults alike, to let go of conventionality, lead themselves to a happier life, and do things that align with their true self.
How does one find that true self?
I find it within. Reflection. Honesty. Awareness. Not taking criticism personally. Asking questions and answering them with thoughtfulness. Learning from experiences.
I answer these questions because they ignite a discussion inside me that I have to listen too, and ultimately, I have to answer. As a kid, that internal discussion was my love of sports and how I would build my purpose towards achieving success in that arena.
It took constant feedback and evaluation and work.
But as I grew out of sports, if I had just lived blindly, doing the work set ahead of me, never being present with this next breath, or next conversation of kindness, or human to interact with, would I have lost that sense of purpose?
I believe so. We are the ones connected to our purpose. The ones that must continue to connect and ask and seek.
And I must ask myself, what is the purpose of life if we are always living in the future or past and never in the present?
Finding purpose is something that every human should pay attention too because it changes and evolves as we grow older and seek to add new layers to our soul or let go of old, outdated values.
PS. My favorite book on purpose is here.