Many times we are pushed into functioning in an area that is not our highest and best use because someone needed us to be something we were not created to be.
~ Bishop T.D. Jakes
Believe it or not, this time two years ago I was on my way to law school. What got me admitted, was my Statement of Purpose. I had this statement peer-reviewed by so many people, including a Pulitzer Prize Winner for Exploratory Journalism.
When I first showed him my Statement of Purpose, he asked me if I planned on getting accepted into the program with it. I was taken aback. First of all, why would I write a letter without hope of being admitted? Second of all, I felt attacked! I’ve been criticized before, but this criticism made me scrap my entire letter and start from scratch.
The original statement was filled with anger, as he described it. You have to pretty angry, or let’s say passionate, about something for it to show in your writing. But it was true. The reason I wanted to go to law school was that I felt that I’ve been wronged, and there were many people in the world that were probably in that position. That being the root my purpose, would’ve set me on an entirely different path.
— Oluseun K. Arowolaju (@kidseun) April 21, 2016
When I constructed a new statement, I did so not out of anger, but out of love. It got me admitted into the College of Law, but more importantly, it made me realize what I was truly passionate about. The same week I went to the College of Business and asked to be enrolled in their Technology Management program. I didn’t even have to use a new statement, because they ported over my admissions information from the College of Law to the College of Business. My purpose was that powerful, that I think I could’ve sent it to any college, in any discipline, and would’ve been admitted.
This time around I decided to dig up this letter, to remind myself of this purpose. This leads me to ask, what is a purpose? It’s completely different from talent. Talent can be seen by the world, but your talents may not always align with your purpose. Sometimes you may need to develop a new skill, to live our your purpose.
This won’t be a long post. I just want to spark this curiosity in you. The challenge for this week, is to ask yourself, “what is my purpose”? You must be relentless in your pursuit to find the underlying reason for why you were created and the assignment that you have on this Earth. This is no easy thing, and I will follow-up this post with more on how I found answers for myself, and continue to on a daily basis.
I think a very good step, is to write a Statement of Purpose for a graduate program you’re interested in. Even if you don’t plan on applying this instance, write it anyway. What you come up with may surprise you. One of these day’s I’ll release the old and revised version of my law school Statement of Purpose. I didn’t go to law school, but I am for sure living out that purpose in everything I’m currently doing.
You may start out doing something that was not ‘the thing’ that you were created to do,” says Bishop Jakes. “It may only be the thing that leads to the thing you were created to do. So don’t stop at where you are as if it were the destination, when in fact in reality it may be the transportation that brings you into that thing you were created to do.
~ Bishop T.D. Jakes