You Don't Have A Purpose. You Have A Destiny.
People waste a lot of time looking for purpose, and purpose is not what any of us human beings need to pursue.
Our destiny in life already had us tagged from the moment we were conceived. There's more to it, though, than two people slept together and one of them got pregnant and nine months later ... out popped whatever. I used to believe that. I no longer do.
Michael Jackson said it well when he said "Certain people have a thing they're meant to do."
That doesn't speak to a life's purpose, necessarily, it speaks only to destiny. His was wrapped up in his genetic code, the people he was born to, the timing, and what decisions they made for their children once they were born.
Say what you will about the late Joseph Jackson, Patriarch Extraordinaire of The Jacksons, but we got our behinds beat when we were youngsters, yet none of us got whipped into the shape and form of one of the most well-known, fabulously famous, richest, most trusted and well-beloved musical families on the planet.
Everything Happens for a Reason
Joe set his family up for life and he, at the time, could have taken everything in a whole different direction as a coal miner or trash worker of some kind. Michelle Obama's parents shaped her destiny and molded it so that she "became" something, never knowing she would one day be the First Lady of the United States of America.
In order for people to "become" anything, they have to belong someplace, even if it's not to a genetically traceable set of family members.
Had Joe turned in another direction and not ruled his huge household as the real man of the house, we likely would never have heard much about Michael or his brothers and sisters unless they made headline news for the same reasons as most people do in the ghettoes of Gary, Indiana. Most of Gary's headline-makers aren't anything to be proud of; though we can believe that they would have been the exception rather than the rule.
In the case of the Jackson family, they would likely have been more rooted and grounded if they had stayed in Gary and built their own "tylerperryesque" compound at home, as did Prince, Whitney, and even such superstars such as Morgan Freeman, James Brown, Dave Chappelle, Lebron James, Usher, and even Warren Buffett. However ... they did very well for themselves and we have Joe Jackson's choices when they were children to thank for that.
Small Town USA and A Date With Destiny
It's not that there is no hope for the average family in Smallville, U.S.A., but the vast majority end up spending a lifetime exactly where they were born and raised, sometimes in and out of all kinds of trouble, and mostly looking for various 'purposes' of some kind that would have been like everyone else's. They spend much time trapped in the mind someplace hoping someone or something might come along one day and rescue them or at least change the channel on their pre-determined 'fates'.
But we know better than to say there is no hope.
Everything from Mississippi Mud Bottom to the shallow potlikker bowls of Louisiana and smoky mountains of Tennessee says otherwise.
"What they puttin' in the water?" down in the Mississippi delta was a true saying at one time. Seemed like every piece of musical talent on the planet was coming up from catfish corner and gumbo and poke salad annies on the swamps back then.
Joe Jackson changed his trajectory in life and turned his family's lives into a date with destiny that will ride the waves of history AND BLACK HISTORY for all time. But he had to change something, not his own purpose, but something in his own desires and beliefs for his family's future.
He didn't have a purpose, he just knew he wanted better for his family than the cards he was dealt; and that desire put him in destiny's path - for without the love of his life, Katherine Scruse, neither Michael nor his extremely talented family would ever have been born. They didn't know what would happen, they just knew they had to do something with all those babies; so what he did was just about the only thing that made perfect sense.
Where some men would have abandoned and some women might have aborted, their lives as a family seemed to have a certain aligned destiny that would not be stopped.
Their father realigned his determination to see his family doing anything besides getting clowned, arrested, and pissing away their lives in the mean streets of Gary and that determination changed their lives forever.
That Thing You Do
When Michael said "certain people" have a thing they do, he phrased it perfectly. Not everyone will meet these types of destinies no matter how hard they try and no matter how hard they practice. If they ever had a purpose, that wouldn't be it.
Martin Luther King Jr. said it even better when he said "It isn't by size that you win or you fail, be the best of whatever you are." His destiny was not anyone else's purpose, either. It was specifically made just for him at his time.
Your own destiny is aligned with your birth, birth order, the choices your parents and others make for you until you are of age to make your own, or make your own without their input, and then with what you choose to do afterward and how others impact that.
That "No man is an island" thing is real. No one gets what they want out of life without the people who have what they want and need to help make sure they get there. Without that belongingness, becoming anything is next to impossible. Not totally impossible, but highly unlikely.
Preparation meets opportunity most days, but it is highly possible to miss it or even to spit on it when we don't recognize it when it gets here.
Garbage cans, sinks, toilets, and TV's have a useful purpose - a use for which they were created. You can ask the purpose of just about anything and get a definitive answer, but when you ask the purpose of a human life - there is no straight definitive line to make up an answer, and there is a reason for that.
Purpose and destiny are not the same. Besides ...
We won't know our 'true purpose', as it were, until this life is over and someone else is talking about it when we can't hear them speak.
You came into this world to:
To be the best version of yourself that you already are.
To create intimate and loving relationships that reflect, mirror and amplify your greatness in the space where you live.
To discover your gifts and talents and expand on them in ways that are received and impacted by others and to impact others in a way that helps them build on their own gifts and talents.
To thrive in a way that aligns with your own internalized constitution and values.
To live out your deepest desires for fun, to express your creativity, and to partake in the bounty of the world that has manifested around you - unencumbered by the attitudes and manipulations of others and not locked away in someone else's idea of a profit system that is of no use to you.
To deepen your spiritual connections and to forge an unshakeable connection to a higher power that helps strengthen your moral conventions and spiritual fortitude.
To be vital, healthy, radiantly alive, and in a state of wellness and well-being as much as possible at all times.
To participate in making the world a better place – however large or small your site of inspired action might be.
THIS is your DESTINY; not your "purpose".
-adapted from 'The Power of Your Desires'_