What’s your contribution?
Years ago, I heard this question on a short film. I hate that I can’t remember where exactly, but it was asked in the context of basically, what are you doing for someone besides yourself? Take your job, for instance; many of us wouldn’t go to work if we weren’t getting paid, right? Think beyond the paycheck. What does management say about you? Your coworkers? If you have regular clients, why do they keep returning?
I recently posed a similar question (thanks again for your feedback!), but I want to dig a little deeper. I know there are some people who have yet to figure out their purpose(s). I am all for redefining and revising; having a sole purpose your entire life is not always reality.
I think that if you’re a great conversationalist, that is your purpose. If your laughter is infectious or you’re quick-witted, part of your purpose is to spread joy. If you’re dependable, your purpose is in putting others at ease because they know you’ll be there in a time of need.
Your purpose doesn’t have to be shiny and conspicuous.
Many purposes are not going to make headlines or become household names. Oprah has not done anything extraordinary if you really break it down; she was merely given the opportunity to connect with people (live her purpose) on a world stage. What matters is you glorifying your purpose. Maybe you’re the Oprah in your friends circle. What naturally gives you a sense of connectivity and responsibility? What acts come easily and bring you joy? What are you good at that you’ve been suppressing?