I know we have a unique and authentic mission because I have been observing it almost every day. I have been coaching members of the university community to help them find their personal mission. That mission is clearly unique and central to that individual. That person knows when the stated purpose resonates authentically, when it’s not quite right, or when it’s completely wrong. When they touch upon their realization of their authentic personal mission, you can see the light inside them ignite, and they realize it is their personal truth. Change one word, and the mission is wrong. It just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t ring true. And as far as I can tell, each person’s purpose is as unique as their fingerprint.
As much as we like to distance ourselves from our biology, it is a fact that we are biological organisms somewhere in the midst of a vertical and horizontal ecological tapestry. Our individual purpose and pathway could be as unique as the nucleotide molecule that plays different roles in the course of its existence, only to be degraded or synthesized into a different molecule all together. The nucleotide that ends up adjacent to DNA synthesis enzymes is going to get woven into its purpose rapidly and efficiently. The nucleotide that hunts for its purpose in the wrong place will float aimlessly and ineffectively until it happens upon the right enzyme. Those loner molecules that never find their role are more likely to be picked off and metabolically repurposed into a new identity.
I spent much of my life thinking I was part of a protein when I am actually a piece of DNA. Not literally, of course. But by failing to recognize my purpose, I have spent a lot of time hunting to make a contribution in the wrong part of the cell, or doing the wrong thing in the right part of the cell. But strangely, my authentic purpose has always been lurking beneath the surface, whispering to me my whole life. Now that I have a much better understanding of my purpose, I am often startled when I reflect upon my past and see the theme resonating back through time.
My purpose has always been about authenticity. In the fights with my parents, in my essay for graduate school, in my speech at an Asian American Heritage Day event, in my own personal mission statement, in my capstone project for my masters degree, and my realization of my calling (authentic purpose), I have been drawn to this topic my whole life. It has been only relatively recently has my own purpose dawned on me, and lit me up like a Christmas tree. Now I know that I am here to help others find and live their authentic purpose. And like the rest of you, I’m here to live mine.
What is your role on this planet? Do you have a sense of what you’re here to do? Have you identified it, or is it lurking just past your grasp? Let me help.