But what actually is your purpose?

Hugh MacLeod

This for many of us is the question we contemplate for a lifetime. Often we align ourselves with the purpose of an organisation, a charity, a community and maybe even our own family.

And rarely do we get to fulfil our own individual purpose on this planet. Sure we may get some epiphanies along the way, when we say:

“I know what I’m here to do!”

And when we follow that calling, when we go down that route, that route which confirms to our minds what we’ve been put on this planet to do, we notice a small bit of doubt in the back of our minds that says:

“What if this isn’t it?”

That’s when the fear strikes, the fear that stops us from moving forward, the doubt that cripples us, that holds us back from being our true selves.

We’ve all had this feeling and even if you believe you haven’t been struck by this bug, I promise you, you will!

It’s okay, you are normal, you are part of the human race and I believe that we’re all put here to overcome that immense feeling of failure, that feeling of not fulfilling our true purpose, even if we think that we know what it is or was.

Let’s imagine, what if your purpose is actually to do exactly what you’re doing right now. I’m not talking about the work or non-work, I’m talking about what you’re doing right now in this moment.

In this moment you’re reading this article, correct?

Well that’s your purpose right now. Right now you’re reading the article, nothing else matters, that’s your purpose. When you finish reading the article and leave the screen to go and grab a coffee, then that’s your purpose now. And so it continues.

Your purpose are all those small elements of your life strung together into one long thread. The story thread of your life. If you want to innovate along the way by all means do that. Change direction with confidence, knowing that this is your purpose for now. I personally changed direction, pivoted into different projects about a dozen times. It’s only when I look back on those that I realise it was my purpose in those moments. Some worked out and many didn’t, but they all contributed to my story and made me who I am today.

Happy Innovating!

Michael de Groot

Poem by Nic Askew, which arrived in my inbox the day after I wrote this!


A man looked for meaning.
For his very place in life.

He searched high and low.

He’d often hear a whisper, calling
his name from the other side
of what seemed like a door.

A door that remained hidden
from his ability to see.

Frustrated, he’d knock on
everything that resembled
a door. Turning here,
and there. Turning
just about anywhere.

Then one day,
it opened.

And he realised that he’d been
knocking from the inside.
And that the whisper
had been an echo.

The echo of his own soul
reminding him that
he was already home.

Nic is a Former (Geographical) Explorer and (Business) Managing Director. Now an Educator and Film Maker. He is the creator of Soul Biographies (®), which includes the search for ‘The Soul of America‘. And the profound INNER VIEW Method. His work is in the arena of the Transformation of the Human Experience.