Drew Young is a native of the east coast, growing up in Connecticut, and now resides in Texas with his wife and daughter. His first book published in 2020, The Meaning of Your Mission: Lessons and Principles to Know You Are Enough, debuted as a #1 bestseller and continues to help individuals understand their worth and overcome perfectionism. In addition, his second book, Stand Guard at the Door of Your Mind released August of 2021 and became a #1 bestseller in helping people increase their mental wellness. Drew is a certified professional coach and works to help individuals increase their mental wellness, overcome perfectionism/anxious tendencies, improve their scholastic/professional performance, promote positive mindsets in their lives, and recover from habitual porn use. In addition, he is an advocate for and speaker on topics such as mental health, suicide prevention, and bullying prevention. His lifelong goal is to become a clinical psychologist and help other people conquer their mental and emotional demons. To get in touch with Drew, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s your mission in life?
It seems at one moment or another we’ve all heard or read this question. To some, they’ve known since they were eight years old exactly what they were meant for, whether that was conducting symphonies, painting murals, serving the homeless, or playing professional sports. For others, no matter how many books they’ve read, or how many people they’ve talked to, their mission seems hidden . . . almost undetectable.
You were created on purpose with purpose. The scriptures undeniably teach us that,
we are His [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10, NKJV)
In short, you are the solution to a problem, and becoming that solution is your purpose.
The challenge isn’t always knowing if you have a purpose. It’s discovering what your purpose is that can feel mysterious and at times a bit overwhelming.
So, how do we discover what our purpose in this season of our life is, let alone our entire life?
Here are a few questions we can ask ourselves that may help lead us toward the answer.
No Failure Zone
What would you do with your life if you knew you couldn’t fail?
It’s the first question I ask people who are struggling to discover their purpose. Fear of failure is by far the greatest obstacle that keeps us from discovering and walking in our purpose.
I’ve watched people struggling with this fear drown themselves in an ocean of “what ifs.“
What if I leave my job and the business I want to start falls through?
What if the seed I plant doesn’t grow?
What if the degree program that I feel passionate about turns out to be too difficult and I can’t graduate?
The “what if ” question may take on a lot of different forms, but the source is the same—it all goes back to a fear of failure.
When it comes to pursuing your purpose, the most devastating thing that could happen to you is not failure. The most devastating thing that could happen is for you to become successful at the wrong thing.
What in Life Bothers You the Most?
The reason something bothers us is often that our purpose in life is to help fix that problem.
In the Bible, it bothered Nehemiah that the wall around Jerusalem was broken down. Why? Because repairing that wall was a part of his purpose.
It bothered Moses that the nation of Israel was in Egyptian captivity. Why? Because it was Moses’s purpose to lead those people to freedom.
It bothered Jesus’s disciples that the crowd of 5,000 people who came to hear Jesus teach were hungry and there was nothing to eat. Why? Because Jesus intended to use this moment to teach His disciples that the reason it bothered them was because He was going to work through them to fix it!
So, let me be your life coach for a moment: what bothers you?
Sex trafficking? Addiction? Homelessness? World conflict? A lack of leadership in our culture? Watching young couples struggle in their marriage? Maybe empty seats in church bother you, or people not knowing how to handle their money?
The reason something bothers you may very well be because God created you to become the solution to that problem.
Clues To Where God Is Calling You
How have the struggles you’ve endured impacted your life?
Purpose is often born out of adversity.
Where you’ve come from is often a clue to what God’s calling you to.
Jesus took Peter from catching fish to being a fisher of men. Jesus took the Apostle Paul from persecuting the church to building the church. Joseph was sold as a slave and betrayed by his brothers, but he was carried away to the very nation that he would eventually lead.
So, how has what you’ve been through impacted your life?
Envision the Support
What would you do with your life if you knew your family would support your dream unconditionally?
Sometimes we dismiss our true purpose because we don’t believe we would have the support of the people closest to us.
I’ve talked to men and women alike who knew exactly what they were passionate about but couldn’t muster the courage to pursue it because they didn’t feel like they had the support of their families. I’ve sat and talked with college students who felt trapped because they were pursuing the degree that their parents wanted them to have rather than the one they felt called to.
At this point in the discovery process, I want you to imagine receiving the full support of the most important people in your life, even if you don’t think they’d give it to you. This might help you uncover another clue to discovering your true purpose.
Overcoming Your Past
What would you do with your life if you knew that you wouldn’t have to face the pain of dealing with your past?
Sometimes the most intimidating obstacle standing between us, and our purpose is our fear of having to deal with the pain of our past.
We often want to pursue our purpose, but we don’t want to have to dig through the baggage of yesterday to do it. If that’s you, then listen to me very closely: as long as your fear of the process is greater than your frustration with your progress, you’ll never fulfill your purpose.
The good news? You’re not alone. God will give you what you need to overcome your past so that you can walk in your purpose. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) says,
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Our Purpose is Hidden in Plain View
What comes easy for you that doesn’t come easy for your friends or family?
We often overlook the things that we already do really well. This is why everyone can find benefit in going to therapy or finding a life coach—someone who can see the gifts in us that we can’t see in ourselves.
These things often come so naturally that we never stop to consider the fact that they might really be supernatural.
We assume that because it comes easy for us, it must be common and therefore easy for others also, but that’s not always true. Not everybody can work with computers, people, money, or business the way you can. Not everyone can draw or take photographs as you can. Not everybody can organize their life as easily as you, cook as well as you, listen as well as you can, or make a house into a home the way you’re able to. Sometimes the treasure of our purpose is hidden in plain sight. 2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV) says it like this:
“we have this treasure in earthen vessels . . .”
So, take a minute and take stock of your life.
What do you do that hardly takes any effort to produce results? What do you do that you can make look easy? You may be surprised to discover how much treasure God’s buried inside of you.
Don’t take what God’s already equipped you to do well for granted. It may indeed need some polishing and development, but even in its rawest and most undeveloped form, it can be another clue that will help lead you to your purpose.
What Will You Put on The Altar?
What are you willing to sacrifice for?
This is a big one. Sometimes in order to hone in on your purpose, the question you need to ask yourself isn’t, “What am I trying to get?” but rather, “What am I willing to give up?”
Jesus repeatedly said “no” to what appeared to be great opportunities so that He could put Himself in a position to fulfill His purpose. And when it comes to sacrifice, Jesus led the way. Hebrews 12:2 (NASB) says,
Jesus . . . who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus was willing to sacrifice what looked like “good opportunities” on the front end to fulfill His ultimate purpose on the back end.
Discovering and developing your purpose will require seasons of sacrifice. You’ll have to say “no” to a good thing now in order to say “yes” to a great thing later. And not everyone will understand or agree with the decisions you make when you get serious about pursuing your purpose.
So, what are you willing to sacrifice for? The answer to this question may very well be a clue that leads you to your purpose.
God’s Will, it’s God’s Bill
What would you do with your life if you knew money wasn’t an issue?
Sometimes we allow limited resources to put limits on our purpose.
Personally, I believe that if it’s God’s will, it’s God’s bill. God doesn’t need what you don’t have in order to fulfill His plan for your life.
I once heard a quote by Jimmy Larche that said,
God never gives you a dream that matches your budget. He’s not checking your bank account; he’s checking your faith.
It’s been my observation that a lot of people miss their purpose by putting the wrong priority on money either by focusing on the presence of it or the lack of it. In fact, the Bible says:
some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10, NLT)
Remember—there’s nothing wrong with making money or having money. Just make sure money doesn’t have you.
Bishop Dale Bronner may have said it best, You don’t have to choose between God and money, you just have to choose which one you’re going to serve.
One of the worst mistakes people make is choosing to pursue a paycheck rather than pursue their purpose. That’s backward. If you pursue your purpose, the paycheck will eventually pursue you. Never allow what you don’t have now to prevent you from becoming who you will be later.
What is Your Passion?
What in life are you naturally passionate about?
What do you spend your time thinking about, talking about, reading about, watching, or listening to?
Our passions and interests are often times put there by God Himself as a means of pointing us towards our purpose. Psalm 37:4 (KJV) says that:
if you’ll delight yourself in the Lord, “. . . He will give thee the desires of thine heart.”
That doesn’t mean that God will give you whatever you want, it means that He’ll put the proper desires in your heart to pursue His will and purpose for your life.
Here’s something for you to consider:
Your gifts + Your Passion = Your Purpose.
Your God-Given Purpose
If you had ten extra hours per week that you could spend on anything, how would you invest those extra hours?
The reason we often won’t pursue our purpose is that we keep telling ourselves, “I don’t have time.” I don’t have time to write that book. I don’t have time to work on a business plan. I don’t have time to launch that blog or website. I don’t have time to go back to school, read a book, serve in ministry, find a mentor or life coach, or get my vision for my life or family down on paper. But the truth is, we make time for things that matter to us the most.
Time is your most valuable resource.
The way we invest it will determine what we get back out of it.
Your answer to this question may help uncover what you’re truly passionate about and you may need to restructure your days in order to make time to work on your purpose.
Once you discover your answer to this question—make up your mind to make up your mind! No more excuses. Carve out and protect some time each week to work on discovering, developing, and protecting your God-given purpose.