This blog post is Part 1 in a 14-part blog series on discovering and living your mission. In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl said that one of the primary ways to find meaning in life is through our actions, or the things we do.
For example, Frankl was passionate about helping and psychotherapy. At the start of World War II, he was in the process of writing a book about logotherapy, his theory about how people could experience healing from emotional problems. When he was put into a concentration camp during the war, the SS guards forced him to throw away all his possessions, including the initial copy of his book manuscript. He begged the guards to let him keep the manuscript, but they threw it into the fire anyway.
Frankl was understandably devastated by this loss. But throughout his time in the concentration camp, Frankl never stopped thinking about and writing the book in his mind. After he was freed from the concentration camp, he immediately wrote and finished his book. These actions helped to give his life a sense of meaning.
This blog series focuses on finding meaning through our actions. How can we engage in meaningful work? How can we discover and live out our mission and calling?
So many people struggle to discover and live out their mission. Maybe you feel this way. You might have a job that pays the bills, but it doesn’t feel meaningful to you. It might feel as if you are going through the motions in life, and every day is the same. You aren’t excited about what you do. You have a job, but it doesn’t feel like a mission.
Or you might be in a place where you are trying to discover your mission, but you haven’t found it yet. Perhaps you are a college student or young adult, trying to figure out what major to study in college. Or maybe you are considering a career change, but you don’t know what a better path would be. You’re in the process of trying to find your mission, but you aren’t there yet.
Finally, you might have a sense of what your mission is, but you are struggling with translating your calling into a career that makes a living and can support a family. How can you apply your abilities and expertise to the area where you feel called? How can you find the sweet spot between your purpose and what you are good at? You need help connecting the dots.
I believe that mission occurs at the intersection of our purpose and expertise. Purpose is the “why”—and that is where we will start. Life is difficult, and there are many big problems to help solve. You need a compelling “why” to fuel your mission.
Once you determine your purpose, there are several ways to work toward solving that problem. Your expertise is the “how”—and that is where we will move next. Living into your mission requires you to apply your abilities and expertise toward your purpose. If you aren’t operating in your areas of strength, you are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. You will end up frustrated. You need a clear “how” to make your mission happen.
If you feel frustrated about your day-to-day life, this blog series is for you. In the next several posts, I will help you explore your purpose—the “why”—as well as your expertise—the “how.” My hope is that through this process, you can hone in on your mission and live a more meaningful and impactful life.