Last week’s article ended with a question. Njeri, how then do I discover my Purpose/Calling/Mission in life? Well, the answer is easy, find yourself. However, finding yourself is the most difficult thing ever. It is a journey and like I always like to say, not for the faint of heart.
One of the reasons 70 percent of employees are disengaged at work is because people don’t understand the greater purpose or mission behind what they do and most managers and leaders never try to move people toward something greater. If an employee’s mission is about himself and the manager’s mission is about herself; it is easy to see the clash happening.
A while back, a thought crossed my mind: nobody wants to work for me! I’ve realized that the ultimate motivation is not that people want to work for me but rather that people want to work for a mission that is greater than me – a cause that gets them out of bed every morning. They want to make a difference. People want to make the world a better place. They want to put a dent in the universe and if I as a leader can help them do that, I’ll have a motivated team for years to come. My friends, money is not the mission. Money funds the mission. I am not the mission. My role is to point people to the mission – a mission worth them spending a major chunk of their lives working towards. Let people know that their efforts have made a difference in someone else’s life and they will look forward to getting themselves out of bed.
You may be asking, why is finding myself, finding my calling. Who you are is the answer to why you are here – your Purpose. On the journey to finding yourself, you unpack your life, find out what has been holding you back all this time, let go of it, find out what your strengths and values are and then you will have discovered your true north. Jesus was very clear when he said the words “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” In other words, the very thing we fear most – surrendering control of our lives – is the key to finding yourself and thereby finding your Calling.
Let me ask you my friend, who are you and why are you here? Which Kingdom are you living for? The truth is, left unchecked, I will always live for the Kingdom of ME! Even as a person who loves the Lord, I can let my prayer life and my overall life quickly become “My Kingdom come, my will be done.” I have found that the alternative to living for myself is dying to myself. I know how terrifying that sounds but if you think about it more deeply, you will realize that it is a pretty good idea. This is the reason I keep surrendering to it.
I have come to the realization that a life devoted to self ultimately leaves you alone. Selfish people drive others away. Selfishness breaks up marriages, destroys relationships between parents and children, ruins friendships, and in the workplace makes you a leader no one wants to follow. And guess what, you will wallow in self-pity wondering why no one likes you. Conversely, when you die to self, something greater rises. When you are no longer about you – when you are over yourself, have found yourself and your reason for existing – you live beyond yourself and you are finally in a position where God can use you.
So, how do you find a mission that’s not about you? I encourage you to put Christ at the center of your mission. Maybe you already do that or you are not quite there yet. What I know for sure, having lived life on both sides, is that the emptiness will go away only when you decide to make life less about you and more about others.
My friends, the Kingdom of Me is a sad kingdom and it leaves you feeling empty. It is time to die to it!
In the process of giving your life away, you will find it.