Have you ever been really excited to go to a talk or a conference about a particular topic, only to get there and find out that the speakers talk about everything else other than what was expected? How did that make you feel? Frustrated, angry, annoyed, like you wasted your time in attending in the first place? Probably all of the above right? But how do you feel when you go to a meeting, conference, event and the speakers you hear are everything that you expected plus a cherry on top? Elated, surprised, invigorated, motivated, encouraged, charged up? Wow, what a contrasting set of emotions with the only difference being that the first set of speakers were ‘off-point’ whilst the second ‘on-point’.
Now think about yourself, your life, your work and ask yourself this question: “am I on or off-point?” How can we even tell whether we are or not? Difficult questions I know but if we imagine ourselves as a speaker or even better still the whole event, what type of lasting impression do we leave on ourselves, on others, on God? Are we wasting valuable time, do we feel frustrated and let down by ourselves our lives or do we feel invigorated and motivated to do and give more?
I’ll stop with the questions and get to the point of this blog post.
A couple of weeks ago I found out about a free kindle book called the ‘On-Purpose Person: Making your Life make Sense’ and as you may have guessed the book was about how to become an ‘On-Purpose Person’. In plain English, it asked the big questions such as Why am I here? (Purpose) and How can I live in alignment with my Purpose? (On-Purpose”ness”).
The title of the book intrigued me from the outset, even though I fully believed I knew what my purpose was I still had a desire to find out more about the concept of being ‘On-Purpose’. I have to admit that I initially read just over half way of the book and stopped because I felt that the tasks where too methodological and I couldn’t see any relation to the big picture (ie. my work for God’s glory) but nevertheless it must have planted a seed because within a few hours I found that there was something about the book that could actually help me in my day-to-day living. What was it? The lightswitch.
According to the On-Purpose process one of the tools to help us know whether we are ‘switched on’ or not is the light switch. Whenever we switch on a light or indeed any appliance, this should act as a catalyst for us to review ourselves against our purpose and values. The strange thing was that I hadn’t even reached the stage of clarifying my purpose, but I remember clearly as I switched on the light to do some quiet reading the Holy Spirit arrested me and made me assess what I wanted to do in light of what I felt was more important to me – spending quality time with my husband vs reading by myself. Suffice to say, spending quality time with my husband was more important to me so I switched the light back off and left the room. So small and so simple, yet it was effective enough for me to actively and consciously decide what was more important for me to do based on my values, goals and purpose at that point in time.
That was just one example. A few days later I found that I couldn’t run away from a question that was popping up in my spirit “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” But hang on a minute, I thought I already knew the answer to these questions, obviously not. I remember praying and praying about it, saying “Lord, what do You want me to do?” At first I received nothing back, and then slowly I began to hear God saying to me – just give of yourself. The purpose was not concrete but something I could start with, so I made a conscious decision to start to give of myself.
Later on God led me back to the initial task in the book, which at the time I decided not to do because it seemed quite worldly and secular, but if I’m honest with myself I was probably scared of finding out all of the things that I felt I wanted to make me happy (you need to buy the book to find out more about this task) but again another part of me thought I already knew what I really, really wanted above all else. But when I finally gave in to the Holy Spirit and picked up my pen I was really surprised because the thing I felt that I really, really wanted was not that which I yearned for the most (the desire of my heart). The strange thing was when I finally put down my pen and looked at that core want/need I knew that it was in fact the thing that I desired and needed the most to bring me into alignment with God’s plan and purpose for my life. I also left armed with secondary core desires which taken together enable me to focus everyday on achieving the things that are important to my overall well-being, I had started my journey of becoming an “On-Purpose Person”.
So I finally finished the book, and I am happy to say that it definitely does not leave God out of the equation although if you only read halfway you may feel that this is the case. For us to truly become switched on to ourselves we need to know who we are in God’s eyes and allow that reality to permeate throughout our entire being. I think that the On-Purpose book is a good head-start on developing and owning this truth, so if you wish to find out just how switched on to yourself you are – why not consider picking up a copy of the On-Purpose Person.
Find out more about the ‘On-Purpose’ Movement
- Don’t Squander What God Gives You (godfamilycountrylove.wordpress.com)
- Soul Searching begins with Sole Searching (http://www.kevinwmccarthy.com)