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In 2010, I really came to understand the importance of knowing your purpose in life. Not like I didn’t previously understand, but when I talk about knowing, I am talking about coming to that consciousness and dawning of a new day – it was like a seal was opened, and I suddenly became aware that there was something I should be doing, which I haven’t been doing, and that thing is my life’s purpose. It was that dawn that gave birth to my writing, inspirational public speaking and motivational blogging. Since that day, I have never looked back.

I am one believer who thinks that everyone was made for a reason, just like every product on the shop shelf was developed with the intent to solve a certain problem. A detergent for instance, was made to keep fabrics clean, and if it doesn’t, its purpose is defeated. It will be wrong therefore, to expect it to be used as bathing soap, even if it has a close relationship. Some people are living close to their purposes, but not in their purposes – that is the most confusing aspect of life. When it comes to purpose, many people are confused because they don’t have a clear understanding of what it is, but by talking about the importance of having purpose in life, I hope I will be able to unveil what yours is.

1. It is the Essence of Existence: The essence of a building is to be a shelter. The essence of prescribed glasses is to improve sight. The essence of the social media is networking. The building, prescribed glasses and social media have reasons for being born, so what makes you think you don’t have a reason for being born? You were born for a purpose; therefore, you must live for the purpose.

2. It is the only Source of Inner Satisfaction: You might be the head of a huge organisation, but if it’s not your purpose, you will never be satisfied. You may make the whole money in the world, but if you aren’t living in your purpose, money cannot fill the vacuum in your heart, because your inner being will keep yearning for its reason of creation. Your purpose is the only source of your inner satisfaction – if you do not live in it, your thirst will not be quenched and your hunger will not be filled.

3. It is Your Job for Life: You may have a career, but that may not be your job for life. The main challenge with humanity is that many people’s careers aren’t their purposes in life. You can retire from your career, but until death, you can’t retire from your purpose. Your purpose is your job for life. I, for instance, was born to inspire people – that is my purpose in life, and daily, I am passionately driven to do – the day I stop, just know that I am dead, because that is what will announce my demise.

4. It Conforms to Your Nature: The nature of a building is to house – so, housing is its purpose – its purpose therefore, conforms to its nature. My purpose is to inspire – and in my nature, I love to talk and write – my purpose therefore, conforms to my nature because to inspire, you have to talk and write. Your purpose conforms to your nature because you need the natural ability to fulfil your purpose. If soap can’t wrestle dirt and defeat it, it can’t fulfil its purpose. You were not designed for something that your nature does not agree with. You were not assigned to do something that you haven’t been given the ability to do.

5. It is Enjoyable: Living in purpose requires a lot of hard work – it can be so laborious. Sometimes, you feel the pains and pressures, but in spite of that, it is enjoyable – the consciousness that you’re doing the right thing at the right time and in the right place make you happy. The knowledge of it, the love of it, the passion of it, make you enjoy it.

6. It is Measurable: In purpose, you can measure your growth, improvement or development, and your impact. St. Paul, from history knew when his purpose was winding up, and so, he said, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my work.’

7. It is the Criterion on which you’re Judged and Rewarded: Recently, I posted this on Facebook, ‘Get Yourself ready for tomorrow. When you’re no longer there, when you have no power or no longer in the position to defend it, your work shall be laid bare and examined and re-examined. Every mediocrity will be exposed. All your shortcuts will be revealed. All your tricks and manipulations shall be exposed. You won’t be there to save face. Whatever you do now, do it so well. There’s a day of diagnosis. You won’t be there.’ What do I mean? Your purpose will determine how you will be perceived when you die. You can cut corners now, and pretend you’re a hero, but those that will live after you will judge you and either reward you or reject you. You won’t be around to make your usual excuses, so mind what you do!

8. It is the answer to, ‘WHO ARE YOU?’: When people ask, ‘Who are you?’ and you say, I am a doctor – the truth is that the WHO, may not actually be a doctor, even if your career is medicine. You may just be in medicine to fulfil your purpose of being a counsellor, and that is why you’re always passionate about advising your patients, especially when they’re in predicaments. Your career may not be your purpose, but your purpose may be in your career. Who you are can reflect in what you do, even if what you do isn’t your purpose in life.

9. You get respected: What you get a sense of fulfilment from is what you do so well, and what you do so well brings you respect. You will be respected for living in your purpose – people will see it, recognise it, and appreciate it, and bit by bit, as you gain recognition for what you do, you become famous, not because you want to, but you just become. Because it is what you think before going to bed, what you see in your dream, and what wakes you up, you become a mentor to those behind – those in search of their purposes in life. In addition, the more you live your purpose, the more you become innovative.

10. It is your Life after Death: Bob Marley lives on – not because he’s still alive, but listen to those philosophical lyrics and tell me if his songs will ever die. John Pemberton lives on – drink Coca Cola, and tell me if you can’t feel the pulse of the man that died long ago – 1888. You won’t be remembered for the salaries you earned; you will be remembered for the impacts you made to humanity. Your purpose is your aim. Your purpose is your intention for creation. Your purpose is your reason of being here. If you don’t live it, you’re scoring an own goal, and defeating your own self. Don’t walk the street like someone who is here only to make up the number – you are a significant number – play your role, show your value, prove your essence of being here. You’re a vital inclusion to the seven billion people on earth – show the world how important you are!

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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