Columnists Features

Purpose is unchanged territory

LAST week we concerned ourselves with the first letter in the word PURPOSE, the letter “P”. This week we concern ourselves with the second letter in PURPOSE – the letter U. This letter reminds me of four words starting with the letter U: Uncharted, Undaunted, Unmovable and U-turn.
Uncharted: This word is an adjective describing unknown territory, hence the phrase, “uncharted territory” or “uncharted waters”. You are born into purpose, and for a purpose, but discovering that purpose is in effect a journey into uncharted territory. Leo Buscaglia, the American author, puts it this way: “Life is uncharted territory.
It reveals its story one moment as a time.” You can only succeed in your pursuits if you are a risk-taker – meaning you are ready to take steps on unfamiliar territory. Not everything will be clear – you discover your purpose one moment at a time.
Progress, after all, is about taking forward steps on uncharted ground. You begin to do the charting yourself. And it does not matter what another person has gone through – purpose is unique to each individual simply because each individual’s experiences are unique to that person. No two persons can experience exactly the same things in life, or take exactly the same path to destiny.
When you discover your purpose, it does not matter how dark the path ahead seems to be, you have to be optimistic and take the crucial steps. Helen Keller, the famous song writer, famously said, “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”
Undaunted: The fact that your life is uncharted territory means there are a lot of daunting unknowns: dangers, traps, temptations, threats, and trials. When you know you are on the right path, the most important thing is to keep moving in the right direction despite the obstacles. It might be possible, sometimes, to go around an obstacle, but oftentimes the only way is to confront and overcome it. Never retreat, do not be discouraged, or else you will never attain your purpose.
Unmovable: In order to remain firm in the pursuit of purpose, you must stand on some positive values.
You must not be swayed by temptations or made to compromise your dreams. At times, because of obstacles on the path to your destiny, you might flirt with an “easier” option.
You might consider abandoning your principles – but then being principled means you stay the path and cling to your dream, refusing to be moved from it.
U-turn: It may happen, though, that you discover you are pursuing the wrong dream or career; that you are operating outside the purpose of your life. In this case there is no point in continuing on the wrong path, or stubbornly refusing to change.
You can still make a U-turn and retrace your steps to the right path. I know of individuals who wasted years pursuing a career that was not meant for them.
They were forced to do it by the prevailing circumstances, or by people around them, but they discovered their heart was not in it – they lacked the passion for what they were doing.
They were just trying to earn a living, not living to fulfil their purpose.
Take a close look at your life.
Are you enjoying the adventure of discovering your purpose and destiny in uncharted territory? Do you remain resolute – undaunted and unmoved by the many obstacles and challenges you face? Have you ever had to U-turn upon discovering that you were on the wrong path? Do you need to U-turn from your current path?

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