By Dennis J. Trittin


17“Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.”

Washington Irving

What in the world am I doing here?  Have you ever asked yourself that question? It’s huge!

Your life purpose—what God has created you for and called you to do–is a powerful force that will direct your life and determine your legacy. It’s no surprise that people who are the most content and fulfilled are guided by an inspired purpose or mission. They apply their God-given talents to worthy pursuits and live with joy, impact, and passion.

Passion ignites initiative and creativity. It builds momentum and a zest for life. It also sustains hope and perseverance in difficult times. However, it’s not always easy to identify what your particular passion or purpose is.

Jeremiah 29:11 affirms God’s plan for our lives, but unfortunately, the Lord doesn’t provide us with a detailed memo! However, He does offer some strong indications when we prayerfully consider the following questions:

  1. What causes (e.g., poverty, youth development, evangelism, environment, health, education) and people groups am I most passionate about?
  2. What problems would I most like to solve? What global or community needs tug at my heart?
  3. What and who inspire me the most?
  4. What brings me the greatest joy and fulfillment?
  5. How would I like to be remembered?
  6. Where can my gifts and talents have the greatest impact?

Once you begin to reflect on these questions, see if a picture emerges. Then, as that picture sharpens into a sense of purpose and calling, think about how you can live it out. For some, it’s found in their careers, and for others in their community service or in their families. It’s different for everyone!

Also, keep in mind there may be more than one purpose, and it may evolve or change over your lifetime. It sure has for me!

I know many middle-aged adults whose purpose is still murky, while some young people, like Rachel Scott, perceive their sense of calling at a surprisingly early age. While she didn’t know the specifics of how, her sense of why was clear—to be a light in this world and to touch the hearts of millions of people. By living out her purpose through her compassion for others and love of God, she remains an inspiration to us all.

So, what’s your mission and calling? Are you living it out with purpose and passion? After all, you are a unique individual with gifts, talents, and passions that YOU were created to offer this world. Pretty amazing when you think about it!

Dennis J. Trittin is the President and CEO of LifeSmart Publishing, LLC and the author of What I Wish I Knew at 18: Life Lessons for the Road Ahead; and Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World. Learn more at