Purpose Won’t Find You Until You Get Started

April 23, 2013

You’d think getting where you want to be in your career and life would be the big challenging facing most of us. But the truth is, for many 20- and 3o-somethings and even beyond, the challenge is often even more basic: figuring out what the heck it is you want.

Not knowing what you want can be paralyzing. Because you have so much potential, there’s all this pressure to choose the right path, one that has meaning… which often leads to choosing no path at all. We see our indecisiveness and inaction as temporary, but too often it lasts years, and then we risk looking back with regret about what might’ve been.

I believe most people who think they don’t know what they want actually do know, but that desire is hiding beneath something bigger, often fear. Or we know what we want but think (usually wrongly) it’s unattainable, and we don’t know what we want as a second choice. Which makes complete sense, since we should really be throwing ourselves toward the seemingly-unattainable-but-actually-doable dream.

That’s why if you don’t know what you want, you should guess. Now here’s another layer to add to that conversation, one that comes out of an absolutely AWESOME book that just gained a permanent spot on my motivational bookshelf.

Why Jon Acuff’s START is a must-read

The book’s called Start, and it’s by Jon Acuff, who says there’s no sense in waiting to find your purpose.

Why? Because contrary to popular belief, purpose usually finds you — not the other way around. And it only finds you after you’ve gotten started.

“Purpose is attracted to motion,” Acuff writes. “Purpose is attracted to momentum. Purpose loves to surprise you mid-stride. Very rarely will it greet you on your front doorstep. More often than not, you’ll encounter purpose in the middle of the road when you least expect it.” (Click to tweet that quote.)

Purpose is attracted to motion.

That’s why you should START, Acuff says. Starting is his version of guessing, of taking baby steps. Because purpose won’t find you until you’re in motion, until you’re moving toward what you think you want. That means you have to get going even if you’re unsure of the right direction.

So if you’re waiting for purpose to find you, it’s time to get moving. Start down a road you think you might like, and then you can expect purpose to find you.

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    3 Replies to “Purpose Won’t Find You Until You Get Started”

    • ECPeak says:

      I couldn’t agree more with the perpetual dilemma of finding something you want to do that has meaning. It also seems that as jobs have evolved over time, more opportunities and industries have made finding the ideal job even more challenging. (I have a digital media background so I am speaking of the jobs in my industry that didn’t exist when our parents were younger).

    • Therese says:

      Love that quote. This is a big piece of what I teach, too. You’ve got to get MOVING and STARTING in order to find passion and purpose.


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