You Don’t Choose Your Purpose… It Chooses You
I watched one of Gavin McInnes’ (founder of Vice) videos the other day where he said something interesting:
“Don’t become a writer unless you have to.”
We’re told all the time in our culture that we can be whatever we want. An astronaut. An athlete. The president: “The world is your oyster – go CHOOSE your path.”
But do we really CHOOSE what blows our hair back? Do we CONSCIOUSLY that field that makes us come alive? No, it chooses us.
The ancient Native Americans understood this. They would do Vision Quests to UNCOVER their path. Armed with no food and little water, they would strike out into the wilderness and find a spot to simply sit.
… Hours would slip into days. Rational would blur into intuition. Growing hunger and heat from the day. Dreams and thought merge until the seeker passed through the fire of initiation and was handed a vision. Then they’d take that vision back home into their life, to begin revolving their life and actions around it.
The natives got it: Your purpose chooses YOU – not the other way around.
Author of “The War of Art” Steven Pressfield describes it in the same way, that the young budding artist already has their whole future career carved out– a completed body of work – that is pulling us in like a gravitational field. Fight if you wish, but either way you are being pulled in that direction.
And it makes sense: You don’t get to choose your talents anymore than your eye colour. You also don’t get to choose what triggers excitement or turns you off (no matter how desperately your father wants you to be a lawyer…).
So What is Your Purpose?
That’s easy, you’re already doing it – but probably in a pseudo form.
- Your gift is music – so you constantly sing in the shower and crunch beats in your head all day.
- You're a writer - yet you're an assistant to famous writers.
You’re probably dabbling, but not going balls deep. Or you’re sitting safely in the stands a spectator, rather than the one in the action getting stomped by the bull. And that’s fine – you dabble until you’re ready. Either way, your purpose is beating a path to your doorstep. It’s coming for you whether you like or not.
As Robin Sharma puts it, “Your greatest work is already working on you.” You’re being groomed the Universe. Shaped and molded. Ready for the spotlight when the timing is right.
Until then I ask you: what’s working on you?