By Jim Whitt
The following is the Introduction to The TransformationalPower of Purpose: Finding & Fulfilling Your Purpose in Life.
In the film Unbreakable, Bruce Willis plays the role of seemingly ordinary everyday man David Dunn. His ordinary life takes a turn for the extraordinary when he walks away from a train crash without a scratch and as the sole survivor. This is the first in a series of events that leads him to believe he possesses unique superhuman powers. He discovers that he is, in fact, a real life superhero. With this revelation he begins to conform to his true identity and fulfill his superhuman purpose.
It’s a great storyline for a movie because it appeals to the human fascination with the supernatural. We want to believe there is something beyond the mundane and the ordinary. So, the human imagination creates superheroes who find their way into literature and film. And we buy the comic books and movie tickets because of some unexplainable desire to connect with these characters that are human and yet possess superhuman powers. Destiny has called them out for some magnificent purpose. They have important assignments to fulfill on planet earth.
What if you, like David Dunn, are a superhero but just simply haven’t discovered your true identity? What if you possess supernatural abilities and destiny is waiting for you to accept your calling?
If you believe that you have a calling or a destiny in life, you’re not alone. Life@Work Magazine surveyed more than 1,000 working American adults and asked if they believed they had a specific calling or destiny in life. While 84 percent believed there is a calling or destiny in their life, 64 percent felt they were not following that calling.
When asked more specifically whether or not a job can be included in that calling, 80 percent agreed that at some level it is. But only 34 percent really believed they were following their calling in their current job.
Life@Work concluded “that American adults do subscribe to the idea of having a calling or a destiny in life, but that it doesn’t necessarily have an effect on the decisions they make.”
We want to believe we have a calling, a destiny, a purpose. We intuitively feel that we are here on planet earth to do something specific, to carry out an assignment. We want to fulfill our destiny but struggle to hear our calling. The resulting frustration is probably best described by Henry David Thoreau who observed, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them.”
Thoreau’s observation of the human condition in the 19th Century is still valid today. The mass of humanity is not wildly desperate, just quietly desperate — quietly but desperately seeking their calling, their destiny, the reason for their being in this world. It may not necessarily be a conscious quest but a voice deep inside of us keeps telling us we’re here to fulfill a specific purpose.
That voice deep inside of us belongs to a superhuman trapped inside our mild-mannered mortal bodies crying out to be liberated, “Hey, it’s me — the real you. I’m faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. But I am bound by the kryptonite of purposelessness. Free me so I can fulfill my destiny!”
While your superhuman may not have X-ray vision or be able to bend steel with its bare hands it nevertheless possesses unique supernatural abilities. Your superhuman, the real you, is waiting to be liberated so you can complete your assignment.
I know the feeling. I was quietly desperate for 35 years, 6 months and 16 days of my life. I wanted to fulfill my destiny but was struggling to hear my calling. And the answer had to be more specific than an ambiguous generalization. I was not searching for a purpose in life or the purpose of life — I was searching for my purpose in life. And when I discovered that purpose — I was liberated. It was the beginning of an evolutionary metamorphosis that continues to this day. That discovery set me on a collision course with my destiny. My life became electric.
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound? The tree of purpose has fallen in the forest of destiny releasing the sound of your calling. Can you hear it? Not yet? That’s OK.
Your calling is like a radio signal carried on the airwaves of a specific frequency. Your purpose is calling you. You just have to get tuned in to the right frequency. I’ll help you. I wrote this book to serve as the catalyst to free the superhuman in you. I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned about the transformational power of purpose. You’re about to begin the process of getting tuned in.
This is an archaeological process of self-discovery. It will require you to dig deep inside of yourself. You have to find your purpose — no one else can tell you what it is. It’s like the scene from Forrest Gump where Forrest, sitting at his mother’s death-bed, asks, “What’s my destiny, Mama?” His mother says simply, “You’re gonna have to figure that out for yourself.” Your purpose isn’t something you define, it’s something you find.
This process is kind of like playing the board game Clue. If you’ve played before, you’ll remember that you search for clues to the murder by asking questions of the other players as you navigate the board. Finally the evidence leads you to conclude that Professor Plum committed the crime in the billiard room and the weapon was the candlestick. In this game however, each chapter will be a step in building a case for what your purpose is.
At the end of each chapter you’ll complete an exercise. Here is a critical bit of advice. When completing the exercise, the objective is not to be brief and concise. The objective is to turn your mind loose so that it may find what you are seeking. Free yourself from any judgmental thinking as you write your responses. Write in as much detail as possible. In other words, don’t discount anything that pops into your mind no matter how irrelevant it might seem. Your responses will contain the clues that will lead you to the discovery of your purpose.
God created you for a specific purpose. Ask him for supernatural insight as you read this book and complete the exercises. Ask him to make his voice very clear to you as he reveals your purpose to you. Your mind will subconsciously be seeking answers as you read this book and even when you aren’t. You’ll get flashes of inspiration when you least expect it. Be prepared, these insights occur spontaneously and when you might least expect them. When you do, write them down. They will provide the trail of evidence you need in solving the case for finding and fulfilling your purpose in life.
Enter into this process with a sense of expectancy. You are about to make a discovery that will transform your life. The superhuman in you is about to be liberated.