“Who made you?”
“God made me.”
“Why did God make you?”
“God made me to know him, love him and serve him.”
If you were raised in the Catholic Tradition, you probably know these answers by heart, as I do, the Nuns pounded them into us. (Yes, I still flinch when I see a ruler.)
Why did God make me?
I’ve been talking about what motivates us, what gets us off the couch and Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, does a pretty good job of explaining the psychology behind the three sources of personal motivation.
Autonomy, the first principal, means we like to be left alone to solve a problem our own way, we aren’t fond of being treated as robots. Mastery means we are most creative when we are “engaged”, when we are fascinated by our work. The final piece of the puzzle is “Purpose”. It is almost impossible to stop an engaged person who is working for a cause greater than himself, someone on a mission.
Middle Age is when we start asking that catechism question again, “Why did God make me?” We realize we don’t live forever and begin to look for meaning in life. The great philosopher, Elwood Blues, said it best, “We’re on a mission from God,” and those of us who find our passion, our mission, also find that we live a more fulfilling life.
Want to motivate a customer, an employee, your kids? Find out what is important to them, show them how to get it and get out of the way. People jump on grenades, they win championships with broken legs, they pull people from burning buildings when they are on a mission. They also teach children to read, they put kids through college, they walk across continents. Purpose is a powerful thing.
Finding your passion doesn’t mean you have to discard your career, your family or your life and start over. No; finding your mission can enhance your current life. Involving your family, your friends, your co-workers in that passion is bonus.
Try this, it’s 40 years from now and your decendants are talking about you. What will they remember? What did you accomplish? Write that story today and start living it. While you are writing that story you might ask:
Why did God make me?