The One Thing You’re Supposed To Do
I love when I talk with my friends who get into new personality tests and one friend always says:
“I like this test, but I feel like I can’t be boxed in”.
What a revelation…
We’re constantly in search of the dynamic freedom of openness and the stability of a structured system.
We want to feel like there is a path to follow. But, we also feel like there's more than the path.
"That path can’t define me… but I sure hope it doesn’t go away"
And if you’re there, you’re right.
There’s not a path or a system or a type that can box you in.
Yet, why have we always been told that we should follow our passion or our calling like it’s always existed and we have to dig it up and dust it off?
We’ve been told there is One Thing:
One Thing you’re supposed to do… one path, one calling, one passion, one purpose.
We become blocked by the categorically-sorted mindset of One Thing that we must do.
When You Spend Your Life On It, You’ll Be Drained
So, we go through life continually observing and searching for the One Thing that was promised to bring us fulfillment and joy and prosperity.
Yet, in the searching we get tossed around by fleeting desires and ungroundedness.
We form a loose grip around everything that might be the One Thing because we know that life events just might break us apart.
When we chase after One Thing, we live in the agonizing fear that we just might miss it.
And we’re plagued by questions like:
What if I miss my calling?
What if I didn’t find my purpose?
And it’s astonishing that we live in the cycle where we allow others to set the standard for goals in our life.
Let me tell you:
There’s so much more than the weight of One Thing you’re supposed to do.
You have creative freedom that cannot be contained in one task, job, passion, and position.
This Is How You Reframe Your Mindset For Creative Freedom
Let’s walk through an analogy:
Let’s act like we’re going to build a wall.
So, we go and collect supplies: 2x4s, drywall, screws, nails, screw driver, hammer.
Let’s just pick one supply for this example:
Our goal is to build a wall. And the hammer is going to help us do that.
Not a trick question… what does a hammer do?
It hits things.
The purpose of the hammer is to hit things. That’s it.
So, when we use the hammer to drive nails into the wall, we’re fulfilling the hammer’s purpose by hitting things, not by building a wall.
But, get this…
So often we view life like this analogy.
We want to build a wall and so we grab a hammer.
And we say to ourselves, “the purpose of this hammer is the build this wall”.
We build the wall. And then we set the hammer down. We act like the hammer has no other need to be used than to build this wall.
We miss out on everything we can create and build because we limited worth to one task.
If we acted like the purpose of the hammer was to build the wall, we would never be able to build desks and chairs and tables.
We’d limit the value of the hammer simply with the language we use about it.
And we’re no different.
Start To Redefine Purpose In Your Life
So often we examine our lives and say, “my purpose is to build an orphanage, or to give sermons, or to be a mom”.
“My purpose is to [add in the wall you want to build]”
We define ourselves by the walls we want to build.
You'll miss out on so much creative freedom when you limit your worth to the accomplishment of One Thing.
See, your purpose is not to build a wall.
It’s to hit things (at least in this analogy it is).
For example, you purpose wouldn’t be to build an orphanage.
But, your purpose might be becoming a voice for the voiceless and downtrodden. Now you have creative freedom.
If your purpose is being a voice for the voiceless and downtrodden, imagine how much you can build.
Imagine the creative freedom that you can create when you extend your purpose beyond a final goal.
Because now you can build orphanages or you can mentor students or you might give talks or write or foster.
It’s endless what you can build and create.
So, the switch in unlocking your creative freedom is redefining what purpose looks like in your life.
It’s not about One Thing that you have to do.
Sometimes I think we get intimidated by the word purpose. We act like purpose is static.
Purpose is moving and breathing: evolving from what you experience and desire in life.
Honestly, I think instead of the word purpose, we might just use the word movement…
That’s all purpose really is. Movement in a direction.
Purpose isn't an end goal. It's just momentum that propels the ideal future into the present.
Movement changes over time. It evolves and adapts based on the direction you’re headed in.
How can you start to redefine purpose in your life?
Have you been acting like it’s One Thing?
Or is it just a tool you use to build with… to exercise your creative freedom with?
You don’t have to find an eloquent statement that you think will sum up the rest of your life. That would be so limiting to who you can become.
All you’re looking for is a direction to move in and a loose grip that welcomes change.
I exist to help people explore their identity and connect their unique story to culture. I’m an avid learner and am endlessly curious about the world around me (YouTube has taught me everything I know). When I’m not lost in a book, I’m usually brewing naturally-processed black coffee and picking up strange and unusual flavor notes.