Do you have a sense of purpose? Have you ever thought what a sense of purpose really is? Pop quiz hotshot,
What’s your purpose?
Hmm? Yeah, that answer just isn’t jumping out as fast as you thought. I had the same problem when I started writing this post. I thought it would be a nice easy bashing of the keys and poof! I would have 1500 words and be on with my day. Nope after reading several articles on the topic I finally understand, “What is the purpose?” I think this is what many of our younger men are actually missing.
What is your Why
Somebody before may have asked you this. What is your why? Why do you get out of bed? What’s the reason you put yourself through the anguish of leaving your family for several days if not weeks at a time? Why do you put yourself in harm’s way day in and day out? You may ask a police officer or a Fireman why they do what they do. Each man has a different answer to the question. Yet each of the answers has a very strong thread of similarity in it. Whether it is because it is a family tradition or you believe that going into the oilfield is the only path that affords you the ability to improve yourself.
Why does the construction worker pack a lunch and head out to the building site every day? Some people may say it is for the money, and you wouldn’t be wrong. You ask a group of guys at a construction site, “How’s it going? You will eventually get the phrase, “Another day another dollar”, or some derivative. There is another reason why guys return to the site day after day and it is the reason they go out to earn the money.
Purpose = Responsibility
Now if you are under the age of 25 it is going to sound like I am bashing you specifically, and I’m not. I am going to use you as an example because I do see a pattern in men at that age. At that age, I was that way. This is the typical man at the beginning of his adult life. So, let me begin.
When you see men at the age of 16-25, what do you think of? These days you think of guys just sitting in their room playing video games. Now if you break this down into two groups say the 16-18 year olds. Then have the other 19-25. When you hear of these two groups, you think they should pretty much be incomparable. Yet they are very similar in today’s instances. The older set if often still living with their parents and having a sense of aimless direction.
Yet give one of these men something to be responsible for and they often run with it. You see the inner man take charge and develop almost overnight. Why? Our purpose as men is tied to the fact that we have to be responsible for something. Having that reasonability helps us find a sense of purpose and direction. The responsibilities we men get from the ability to take charge of anything give us that why we so desperately need in our lives. Yes, men require a “why” to get out of bed. We require a got to do it mindset.
This is why men and boys like video games so much. It isn’t the “instant gratification”. Any gamer will tell you that it takes a lot of work to get good. Yet what really is important to the gamer is the group he is a part of. That group relies on this man showing up. Therefore, that group gives that young man a sense of responsibility. They are counting on him showing up each night and providing to the group. That is WHY they play video games.
Without a why we become listless. We lose our drive. This is why marriage makes so many men. As soon as we say I do, there is an adjustment period. It often the reason that the first year or two can be a bit rough and rocky. It isn’t that people are trying to figure out each other’s idiosyncrasies. It is that the man is really trying to grow from a boy to a man. The biggest ah-ha is when the boy finds out that he has a responsibility to his new family. I know that sounds very elemental but surprisingly it’s not that easy for the man.
Many times young men miss understanding what marriage is. They think it is a free ticket to have sex night and day for the rest of their lives. I know I had that misconception and it was shot down very shortly into my marriage. Young men then have to take time to figure out what marriage is since it doesn’t involve two people being naked 24/7. Often the men don’t “grow up” right after the honeymoon, and that is where the problems originate. The guy doesn’t see that he has any purpose other than bringing in money. Yet that is one of the biggest points for a man to understand, before he will mature, he has to have a purpose. He has to find his, why.
Two Big Whys
For men, marriage is very important. Without a partner to go through life, men often die 8-17 years earlier than men who are married. How many times do you know of an elderly man who died within a year of his wife passing? Why is that so common? Many people claim that they lost their will to live. In other words, they lose they’re why and soon die. Two of the biggest and universal whys men have are the responsibility of providing and protecting their families.
Once a man has his responsibilities figured out then they almost become unstoppable. These men mature and find that they take pride in what they do. They may not like the job that brings in the money but they suffer through it because of their sense of responsibility. That right there should show you how important a man’s WHY is to him. He is willing to go through hell to provide for his family. Why he loses that why that is often where his additions and self-loathing come from.
*Side note* If you are a guy who feels trapped in your profession you can change that profession and still provide for your family. Need help you can get a coach.
The other responsibility is the need to protect his family and property. This is a big issue too. Partially from the providing because when you provide you are able to acquire objects of value and comfort. The need to protect one’s family comes from the very basics of humans. That is why the need to protect isn’t just a family. If you see anybody in danger, most men rush to help. There is a sense of responsibility to ensure that the human race stays around. Those who fall short of this responsibility often have a hard time living with themselves.
Why is a purpose important?
We covered many reasons men need responsibilities. Yet there are other reasons that finding and having a sense of purpose is important for a man.
Having a sense of purpose is what drives you each day. Much like Fred the Baker, his purpose is the reward for making people happy with the Dunkin’ Donuts he makes each morning. That sense of purpose helps give your life true meaning. You want to get out of bed so that you can do your calling.
A man with a purpose prioritizes his life, day, and objectives differently. You often see the purposeful man taking bold and massive action towards his objective while men without purpose have a mindset that is of scarcity. That is one reason why men who take up victim based causes so that they can have a sense of responsibility without having to change their mindset.
When a man has a purpose, you also look at long term and short term goals differently. This is tied to the priorities and mindset so it makes sense that a man with purpose will look at all his goals in a different light. Have you ever seen a dude who is pressed against crunch time? Their whole demeanor and mindset shifts. They become more intense and purposeful.
Since your priorities are different, a man with purpose also reacts differently when things fall apart. This harkens back to the abundant mindset many purpose-driven men have. That mindset also causes you to become more resilient and even tougher to crack. That is because you see where you are going and something falling apart is part of the change as a whole. The man with purpose isn’t bothered by the discomfort of change. In fact, he is more likely to embrace the suck.
So take up the mantle of something. That uneasy listless feeling that leaves your aggravated and ill-tempered can change. You often don’t have a real sense of purpose, or your purpose is masked in a veil of scarcity. Both of these can be changed. There is hope. Next week will be the topic of how you can find a purpose and how to recognize that purpose when it comes to calling. If you need help and want to be coached in finding your purpose, you can set up a time for us to get together
Have a great week!