There are a lot of myths about purpose floating around that keep you from your calling. I’m debunking some major ones in this post.
In this episode I’ll be discussing:
- The source of myths about purpose. I think it’s important to be informed about how we arrived at our false beliefs about purpose.
- The I break down 3 of the most common myths about purpose that I hear, and
- I will conclude with some next steps
We have a lot to discuss, so let’s start with the source of myths about purpose.
The Source of Myths
If I had to pinpoint the root of a lot of myths about purpose, I would say that they come from one of the following or even a combination of them: 1) a lack of foundational teaching about purpose or 2) false teachings about purpose.
The first root is a lack of foundational teaching about purpose.
I should preface this by saying, I did not grow up in the church. I started regularly attending church every week from ages of 16-18. Before that, it was very sporadic, and by sporadic, I mean a few times a year.
With that being said, I had never really heard anything specific about purpose until around 2020. I would hear people mention occasionally that God called this person or that person to do something. However, I had no idea that God has called EVERYONE to do something. Literally, every single person on this earth has a purpose.
When I would hear about purpose, it wasn’t followed by any instructions for how to find it or identify it.
While I was loosely aware of purpose, I didn’t have the slightest idea about what to do about it.
It’s kind of like being aware that people can go to space, but having no idea how to actually get there.
When you don’t have an understanding of what something is and how to obtain it, anything can inform your understanding about it. Think about all of the things that you assumed operated a certain way, only to later find out you were wrong.
When I lived in Miami, I lived in a guarded-gated condo community in the north part of Dade County. There was one entrance to get into the complex, but that one entrance had two separate entryways—one for residents and one for guests. All the residents had to do to enter was pull up to the gate and it would open for them, what seemed to be automatically. Before I moved in, I remember thinking that the guard was letting the residents in. Somehow, someway, the guard knew who the residents were. Man, was I wrong. What actually happened was that the residents had a barcode on their window. That barcode would be scanned at the entrance and THAT is what opened the gate.
My thoughts misinformed my understanding.
The second source of myths about purpose is false teaching, which is extremely harmful. The rate that people exploit the gospel for ulterior motives is astounding, but not surprising.
Satan likes to take good things and pervert them into something else entirely.
This doesn’t surprise me, because Satan often perverts the truth into falsities or good things into corrupt and harmful things. Purpose is no different.
I most often see purpose perverted as simply a tool to start a business. Online business owners and marketers charge people with the promise of teaching them how to “turn their purpose into a business.” There are multiple things wrong with this.
First, this cheapens purpose into something that can be manipulated for personal gain and that is not what purpose is for at all.
Purpose is not about you, it’s about who you are called to serve. Sure, some people are supposed to monetize their purpose, but that is not the case for everyone. Can you imagine if Jesus charged people for healing and deliverance?
Here's the thing...
Some people’s purpose is to parent. Imagine trying to directly monetize that lol. Your kids will look at you like you had 3 heads.
Second, God is the only person who can tell you what your purpose is. I would guess that a prophet could as well because they speak the thoughts and will of God.
Not to make this political but it’s very similar to a misinformation campaign. Like fake news.
That wraps up where a lot of myths about purpose come from. Now, let’s dive into some myths about purpose that I hear and see often.
Myths About Purpose
Myth 1: Purpose is easy.
The first myth about purpose I want to disclose is the belief people have that purpose is easy. This one has a lot of people in a chokehold. Due to this, a lot of people will completely miss their purpose because it looks a lot like work.
I know that there is a trend now of people embracing a more easeful and soft life. A soft life has been defined as “a life of ease, peace, comfort and intentional happiness.” In essence it is the opposite of stress and distress.
I think that is great. There are demographics of people that have been forced to live hard lives just survive. They need and deserve to live a life that isn’t full of stress and hustling. Like with anything else, living a life of comfort and ease can be taken to the extreme.
But, the truth is, God never promised us a life of leisure 24/7. In fact, many of the great people we read about in the Bible worked hard. It wasn’t easy to walk out God’s purpose and plan for their lives.
➡️ It wasn’t easy building an ark. In fact, it took Noah decades of HARD labor.
➡️ It wasn’t easy for Esther to stand up to a king in defense of her people. The usual consequence for such an action was death.
➡️ It wasn’t easy for Gideon to send thousands of his soldiers home right before a battle. Especially when he already had significantly less soldiers than his enemy.
Purpose is work.
I don’t even want to sugar coat it. It requires your time, your money, and your energy. And that’s just some of it.
Sometimes we think that because something is easy, it’s right. Let me challenge that thinking. Purpose takes work and that work won’t always be easy.
When we’re on the outside looking at someone walking in their purpose, it can look easy. It looks like they were born to do whatever it is they’re doing. They probably were born to do that or they’ve become a master at it by doing it long enough. I’ll talk more about this in the next myth.
What you’re witnessing when someone is operating in their purpose is an anointing. Their purpose unleashes an anointing on their life that gives them the ability and capacity to be extremely effective. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy though.
When you operate under the belief that purpose is easy, and it shows up in your life as a challenge or it’s introduced to you as a sacrifice you have to make, you will miss it. You’ll miss it because it’s packaged in a way that you have completely discounted.
Myth 2: Purpose is the same thing as your talent
The next myth about purpose I’m going to discuss is the belief that purpose is the same thing as your talent.
Talent is an ability or natural skill that you’ve learned to do well and you may have even achieved mastery in it after some training, practice, or a significant amount of repetition. Also, when I say a significant amount of repetition, I’m thinking of something like the 10,000 rule.
The 10,000 hour rule is kinda controversial today but made waves back in the early 2000s. I became aware of the rule after author Malcolm Gladwell mentioned it in his book Outliers. Some people like to credit him for discovering this rule, but he didn’t. What he actually did was expound on research that was already done.
The 10,000 hour rule operates under the belief that, “excellence at performing a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice.” Researchers have determined that the critical minimum level of practice required to achieve expertise is 10,000 hours. Sure, some people are innately talented in some things. However, research consistently shows that those people are very few and far between.
The 10,000 hour rule...
After tons of research, neurologist Daniel Levitan came to the conclusion that, “10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world class expert—in anything. Anything means anything.
Let’s use Bill Gates as an example of the 10,000 hour rule and how repetition creates talent and expertise. People often taut Gates for his achievements and being a college drop out, but that cheapens his story.
Let’s start with his parents and upbringing. His dad was a wealthy lawyer in Seattle and his mother was the daughter of a banker. This allowed him to attend an elite private school for middle school. During his second year at that middle school, they started a computer club. Shortly after that, the school ended up acquiring a computer that allowed Bill Gates to do real programming. This was in 1968! In 1968, Bill Gates was 13 years old, and he only turned 13 at the end of the year. He was likely getting some experience with computer programming at the age of 12. Most colleges didn’t have computer clubs or the access to computer programming technology during that time.
Talent is not purpose
Bill Gates lived in that computer room. Then, in 1971, an organization gave him access to free computer time and in a seven-month period, he and his friends logged 1,575 HOURS of computer time. It’s all he did in his free time. He didn’t play any sports, he wasn’t playing with friends outside. At nights after school, he was programming. On weekends, he was programming. He was programming 20-30 hours every single week.
He continued to get opportunity after opportunity to program throughout high school, so by the time he dropped out of Harvard as a sophomore, he had been programming for 7 straight years and had acquired well over 10,000 hours.
We can do this Serena Williams, Steph Curry, Mozart, and just about any other extremely talented person you can think of.
But, can you see how none of this has anything to do with serving others or being called by God? If you want to be talented at something, know that it requires repetition. If you want to be an expert at something, then it requires a significant amount of repetition, but just because you’re great at something, that doesn’t necessarily mean God called you to do it.
Your talent is a tool that can be leveraged to help you do the work of your purpose but it is not the same thing as your purpose.
Myth 3: Purpose changes during different seasons of life
The last myth about purpose I want to bust open is the belief that your purpose changes during different seasons of your life. I think the best way to break this myth is to talk about what purpose is from a Biblical perspective. And for that, I’m going to go to the written word of god.
“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” – Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)
This scripture shows us 1) that God has an individual purpose for every single person, 2) He has some overall purposes that we all share, and 3) before we knew anything about anything, God created us for a purpose.
Romans 8:28 says that we have been called according to God’s purpose. The book of Romans was written by the Apostle Paul and the purpose of it is to outline the constitution of the church. This scripture in chapter eight, verse 28 is a promise, albeit a conditional one, it is still a promise.
Let's take this a step further...
Numbers 23:19, NLT says, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”
If we take these three scriptures together I believe we can conclude that God has created us for a purpose and because God cannot change His mind, He will not change our purpose. In other words, your purpose is what it is.
Now, I do believe the execution of your purpose may change, because God may tell you to upgrade how you show up. For example, right now, I do the work of my purpose through this podcast and my weekly newsletter, but God may call me to write a book or host a live event. The purpose I’m serving is the same. The vehicle I use to serve my purpose is what has changed.
I wanted to clear up these myths about purpose because if you don’t know what purpose is, you will mistake it for the things that it isn’t.
How to Avoid False Info About Purpose
Check the source. My first tip for how to avoid internalizing myths about purpose is to check the source. Have you ever heard the saying, “trust but verify?” I want you to verify everything you hear, and yes, you should even be verifying what I say. I research what I discuss, I pray about it, and I try to share only what I’ve received revelation or interpretation of. That does not mean that everything I say is directly from God. The bible tells us not to, “despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, CSB.
I think that is a great lesson in vetting what you hear and see. I have the purest intentions when I share things with you about purpose, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be seeking truth yourself.
Here’s how to verify if what someone says to you about purpose is the truth: 1) ask them to explain how they know this to be true. Hopefully, they can point you to the written word of God. 2) if you’re unable to directly ask the person, then seek out other primary sources that provide insight on the subject matter.
Ask God to show you. My last tip for avoiding false information about purpose is to pray and ask God for guidance about what you have heard. Be specific with Him, and ask Him to reveal the answer to you in a way that won’t miss it and can’t be ignored.
Now that you have this information debunking some major myths about purpose, let’s talk about next steps. If you’re ready to take the next step in your purpose, then I recommend that you take a FREE, 2-minute quiz I created that will help you find your unique path to your purpose.
This quiz explores your strengths and weaknesses, your personality, and what motivates you and it uses that information to outline what your path to purpose will look like and what you need to consider. It’ll reveal some potential roadblocks that will cause a problem if they aren’t addressed.
But that’s not it. I also provide you with some free resources to help you along the way. I want you to know that you have my support on your journey.
This quiz is the next best step because it will guide you to the things you can start working on NOW that will set you up for success before you do the work of positioning yourself for purpose.
After you take the quiz, email me and let me know what you think about your results. I would love to answer any questions you have or just be a listening ear if you just want to get your thoughts out about your journey.
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Disclaimer: If you happen to purchase anything I recommend in this or any of my communications, it’s likely I’ll receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, I only recommend things that I truly believe in and have personally experienced. If you ever have an issue with anything I recommend, please let me know. My goal is to help you thrive in your purpose. — Pavielle