Somewhere in the last 24 hours of travel I lost my phone charger. Luckily when this happened my phone was charged enough to act as my alarm clock and still wake me this morning, of course the 3% didn’t last long when I began my morning routine of social media checks… It wasn’t long till I was staring at a lifeless screen. Tossing my phone on my bed, I thought, “well you’re useless now”.
And as if I was in a cartoon movie, a lightbulb appeared above my head as I realized how much I am like that phone… When without charge, utterly useless to my purpose.
In this seemingly obvious moment I drew the parallel. In the same way my phone needs to be charged every night to work to it’s full potential, so do I. However, this isn’t about sleep, it is about a charge far more powerful, a charge called purpose. Here is what I’ve learnt about my own purpose and some of the questions I frequently ask myself.
- Know your WHY.
When you begin to feel overwhelmed in the waves of life, what keeps your head above water? What is the ‘one thing’ you’re working towards? Are you here to plant seeds of goodness & kindness wherever you go? Are you here to bring laughter to the people around you? Are you looking for truth? Whatever it may be…
“When you know your ‘why’ then your ‘what’ has more impact, because you’re working towards your purpose.” Michael Jr.
- Find your ‘charge’.
Have you ever met a lifeless person? Much like my phone, when I am uninspired, unmotivated, disheartened and frustrated, my ‘what’ becomes infectious to my ‘why’. Everything I do, the people I interact with and my overall output becomes counteractive to what my purpose is. I usually offend people in this state. The work I am doing feels ‘pointless’ and if I stay without charge for too long, I start throwing around many, “That’s it! I quit!”.
What fills you up? What do you do that releases energy in your bones? Who do you have conversations with that leave you smiling all day? Where do you feel most at home?
- When you’re ‘full’, bleed out once more.
If you know your charge, then running your battery dead is no problem at all.
How often haven’t you heard, “it is bad to keep your phone plugged in if it was fully charged?” If I kept my phone permanently plugged in and at 100% I wouldn’t, stay in touch with far away friends, I wouldn’t capture any moments worth instagramming or be able to FaceTime my family from a breathtaking secluded beach on the other side of the world to them! Although these are silly examples, the point is that when my phone is out on an adventure with me, it is not anxious of losing battery because (up until today) it knows it will be charged once more.
To live fully alive, we need to give more of ourselves to everyone, in every place and in every season. Staying ‘full’ and keeping the focus on oneself does far more damage to our purpose than giving love and sharing what we’re good at with those around us.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
(Notice ‘love your neighbour’ comes before ‘yourself’) I’ve recently begun to further unpack this in my own life, and have experienced that bleeding out my ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘charge’ for the people around me, doesn’t harm me in the way I am conditioned to think it will, but rather fills me with far more ‘purpose’ than I had to begin with.