Life can knock the wind out of your potential, but you still have a purpose

A young leader I recently met told me the way we find our purpose in life is to think about the things that break our heart the most in this world, while at the same time, think about what we are most passionate about. He spent time backpacking through the world living on the margins and reflecting deeply on his experience. His heart breaks for gross inequities, and he is most passionate about filmmaking. So, he teams up with like minds and makes films that incite people to think about our role in addressing inequities.

Purpose is so important to me. I believe that each one of us was created for a specific purpose. But I have come close many times, as I am sure many of you have, to buying into the lie that I had no purpose, believing that my lot in life defined me and the world expected nothing of significance from me. What breaks my heart is to see people give up on life because their start or some period in life gut punched them and knocked the wind out of their potential. We oftentimes think that this only happens to poor people – not so; depression has a way of overtaking any of us, and it can also creep into our collective regional and national conscience. Because of this, I feel compelled to tell others: you have a purpose, and when you operate with it, you’ll have the capacity to do more!

I’ve always understood purpose to be other focused and solution oriented. I believe that my purpose is to labor with others to create conditions for people to live better lives. I’ll admit a weakness: I’m intolerant of thinking that leads us to conclude that this (right now) is as good as it gets. When we think about purpose as solving a problem for someone else that only we can solve, it takes on a different energy. People acting with purpose are very intentional most of the time with how they use their time. People acting with purpose have the capacity to do more because they put themselves in synergistic relationships that lift everyone up.

People who live on purpose and with passion are remembered long after they die. I am grateful for all those who recognized their capacity to do for me what I couldn’t do for myself many years ago – believe. To change the trajectory of a generation and propel our region toward better, we the people have to do it with purpose.

Our region has a tremendous opportunity to inspire the world and most importantly reenergize the locals!

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