Religious leaders tell us we were not created by accident, for we came into this world with a purpose the world needs. So, does this mean you have some special job or assignment given to you to fulfill? If so, are your life circumstances and fate aligning to get you to perform that incredible mission that will save the world? Or, is your life purpose the ability to find and pursue your passions and do good with them, whatever they may be?
I believe the answer is all the above.
There is more than one life purpose
As I passed through many phases in my life, there is something I couldn’t help noticing; there is more than one life purpose, and each one is suited to the appropriate life stage. I have been a student, athlete, father, husband, achiever and now I write and teach about the life lessons I learned. As you continue evolving closer towards your authentic self, so will your purpose grow and change.
Sometimes the path is clear, other times it is not
In 1995, when governor Roy Romer first asked me to become executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, I turned him down. Political appointments to high positions do not come around a second time; this one did. Romer again asked me to join his cabinet. I turned him down again. Romer asked me a third time, and this time I felt the hand of fate instructing me to take the job.
Working for Governor Romer turned out to be the best part of my career. In retrospect, it was obvious the Universe was giving me these rare opportunities to take the job. Fortunately, I saw it in time and changed my initial response.
I had a similar experience in 2004 with then newly elected Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. The Mayor asked me to join his cabinet as manager of public works and deputy mayor three times before I accepted the job. Again, I saw the hand of the Universe at work and took the job. This opened the door for me to become the 44th Mayor of Denver and the first immigrant to serve in this capacity. These are two great examples of clear direction. They are also instances that demonstrate the great results one can achieve when you open yourself up to the signs of the Universe.
Here is a time when it was not clear. A big chapter in my life ended when, in late 2014, I became single, unemployed and forced by circumstances to move to Florida. After gathering my wits, I tried returning to running large transportation organizations as I had done in the past. I first accepted an offer to run the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in Washington, D.C., but something happened along the way and the expected appointment did not materialize.
A year later, I accepted a job with a company that was helping Mexico’s Government build a new airport. Two weeks before I was to move to Mexico City, the company made a corporate decision to pull out of the job and my new opportunity evaporated faster than morning dew under a scorching sun.
In 2017, after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, I applied to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to help the island rebuild. But FEMA turned me down.
In these instances, the Universe did not open the same door for me as it had with Romer and Hickenlooper. This time, it kept every door closed that would allow me to return to what I had done in the past. I get the Universe’s message and I have stopped pursuing this direction. It is ironic that the Universe had to show me these three times before I made my decision.
I still long to help create a greater good with others, but the only door that has remained open has been for me to continue to write, speak and teach as I have been doing with my books, blogs and speeches. Unlike the other purposes in my life, this one has been something I fell into more than one I pursued. Yet, it burns in me as much as anything I have ever done to date.
Your purpose is not just one thing, it is distinctive for different times in your life. It is right there for you to pick up exactly where your life is. The first step is to acknowledge the outstanding talents a Higher Power gave you. Second step is to use those gifts on something, whatever it is, that lights your passion. The third one is to align your efforts with something that helps create a greater good.
What the world needs is passionate, happy people working together to make it a better place. This is why you must find your purpose and pursue it.