So many people wonder and worry about their life purpose. “I don’t know what my life is all about” you will hear most people say. Thousands of books are available on how to discover your purpose in life. Many believe that their life purpose is a hidden treasure, which they must search for, and discover.
Life Purpose, or the reason for your existence, is not about finding a well paying job. or about getting rich, though, it could lead to these. It is about using your natural passions and aptitudes in any position you find yourself, be it your at your job space, your community, your home or anywhere else. What you are meant to do is already within you from childhood. Education, training and self awareness help to sharpen it (them). Regardless of your spiritual inclinations, a sense of purpose will not only lead to a greater well-being, but can help us be at our best and live more fully.
A few months ago, I was invited by a church community in Linz, a beautiful city in Upper Austria, to give a 2-day seminar/workshop on ‘Life Purpose and Commitment’. The target group was women but the entire congregation was invited. At the end of the first day, one of the organizers led me to a lady participant who was assigned to take me back to my Hotel. This lady took me to a Mercedes Benz car parked outside of the conference building. The car had the taxi label mounted on it. She opened the rear door for me and went over to the driver’s seat.
‘Are you driving this?’ I asked.
‘Yes ma” she replied.
I insisted on sitting in the front seat with her. As she drove off, I asked, ‘Are you allowed to drive this taxi?’ With very pleasant smiles, she replied, ‘Yes, ma, it is my Taxi’.
On further discussion, I learnt that she had always found pleasure in driving even as a child and dreamt of owing a car.
“Do you drive at night and are you not scared?” I asked.
“No, not anymore. At first I was, but I pray each time for God’s protection and I believe He sends His angels to guard and protect me.” She replied.
Still curious, I asked, “What about the Austrian police, – have you ever been stopped or had problems with the police?’
“No, ma. Most wave when they see me. They call me , ‘Die erste Africanische Taxifahrerin von Österreich’ (the FIRST African Woman Taxi Driver of Austria)!
It it surprising that this didn’t mean anything, or sound significant to her. She has driven people from airports and across borders in Europe, even at night when necessary. Her name is Patricia Ekhator. Patricia is married and lives in Austria. She has 3 little sons. She juggles motherhood and her job with so much graciousness and gratefulness to God. Her husband is very supportive.
With my mobile phone, I took photos of her while she drove. The next day at the workshop, to her bewilderment, I beamed her image on the screen, as the First African Woman Taxi Driver in Austria! The participants clapped and cheered. For the first time, they saw her differently. For the first time, Patricia became aware that she was already fulfilling one of her life purposes. She was rendering service not only by driving people around, but also promoting the image of the African women immigrants in Austria! She also uses this opportunity to express and share her faith. The next day, Patricia picked me up from my hotel and after the seminar, drove me to the train station.
My reason for sharing this is that many a time, we are already in our purpose but do not know it. What do you do that gives you deep happiness and fulfillment? Reflect on moments in your life when you did something that made you feel proud of yourself, and really happy. Don’t take anything as insignificant.You have to let go of cultural and societal expectations of you. You could discover that these moments, which I call ‘Peak Moments’, not only made you happy, but also made other people happy – periods that involved giving of yourself! These moments, or work are clues to your purpose(s) in life!