5 Differences Between a Career and Your Life's Purpose

5 Differences Between a Career and Your Life's Purpose

There are so many people who get up each morning, go to work and come home---only to repeat the same pattern the following day. Before they know it, days have turned into months and months have turned into years. Unfortunately, all they really have to show for their routine is a paycheck (and maybe a few trinkets, if they’re luckily).

Life should be about so much more than doing whatever you can to make money. You are born with gifts, talents and a brand of individuality that help you to make a real mark on this world.

We all hear about “living out our purpose”. But have you ever wondered what the difference is between that and simply having a career?

1. Purpose is what you were meant to do. A career might not be.

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Your purpose is literally what you were put on this planet to do. Finding your purpose is not something that’s always easy to figure out. It can literally be a project within itself. You have to ask yourself things like “What brings you joy?” “What can you do for hours without feeling drained or bored?” “What complements some of the skills and capabilities that you naturally have?” On the other hand, a career may be something that you chose based on your education level or its pay scale. In short, your career can be tied to your purpose, but don’t ever assume that your purpose is automatically your career path. Your career might be nothing more than just…a job.

2. Purpose is what you'd do for free. A career pays the bills.

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All of us want to be able to put food on our tables. We need money in order to do that. But your purpose is something that you would do even if no one paid you a dime. It’s the thing that you find yourself wanting to do in your free time. Your dreams are attached to it. Your career? While it’s awesome if it’s the thing that puts a smile on your face, there are millions of people who do what they do simply because it pays the bills.

3. Purpose fulfills your mind, body and spirit. A career might not do any of the three.

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A few years ago, an article was published citing that 70 percent of people hate their job. When you think about the fact that 8-10 hours of your life each day is oftentimes spent at work, if you fall into that category, that’s a pretty miserable existence. Since your purpose is what you were made to do, it’s something that feeds your mind, body and spirit. A career...well, if you’re lucky, it might fulfill one of the three.

4. Purpose expands you. A career tends to limit you.

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This certainly isn’t the case for all careers. Some people have been able to tap into their purpose and find a job that develops it. But if you’re not sure if you’re one of those individuals, ask yourself how much you’re growing as a person at the workplace. If you can’t honestly say “yes”, that’s something to really ponder. Your purpose is going to make you a better person. A lot of careers? They do nothing but limit you.

5. Purpose is tied to passion. A career is a part of your daily routine.

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Ever seen the movie Serendipity? Towards the end of it, one of the characters said that when a person died, the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They simply ask if the individual had passion. Passion is intense. Passion is eager. Passion is what drives a person. When you’re passionate about something, you’re bold, you’re spontaneous…you’re open to taking risks. As for careers, so often they're tied to a routine; one that rarely changes. Life's too short to not be lived with passion. Think about that as it relates to your career. Ask yourself if what you’re doing is truly helping you to really and truly live out your purpose!

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