Why are you special? What do you bring to the task at hand—life—that no one else brings?
In other words, if you were to get run over by a bus today, why would the world be a poorer place tomorrow?
These questions strike at the heart of purpose and meaning and why you exist. Whether you have thought about it or not, you have a need deep in your soul to believe you are important. In fact, if you will stop for a moment and take personal inventory, you can probably identify some of the things you think give you distinction.
There are people to love, children to be reared, projects to be developed, games to be played, homes to be managed, and empires to be run. Behind all of these initiatives—and many more—are people, each with unique distinction, living in an extraordinary manner, believing inside that what they do is important.
If purpose and meaning are jeopardized, our souls sink under a weight of desperation and despondency until we are able to determine what makes us special. While there is the option to grasp wildly at what is temporal and worldly in order to sate our craving for distinction, the need to live extraordinarily is given to us by God.
This is as true for organizations as it is for individuals. In fact, if an organization does not possess a common purpose, it exhibits dis-organization. If purpose is not clearly defined, when the organization is stressed, the people scatter like a flushed covey of quail.
Whether individually or as a group, we need a purpose that is clear and compelling. There must be something sounding a clarion call deep in our breasts, a drum issuing a distinct rhythm to which we march, a cause compelling us to sacrifice ourselves in a noble and honorable endeavor unattainable through safety and selfishness. That “something” is called purpose.
Next, I want to explore what purpose looks like, how it sounds, and examine how it is adopted with sufficient determination to make us more effective.