My Second Birthday

I can’t seem to get this quote out of my mind: “Earn this!” That is the way I feel about my heart transplant. The outlook for me was pretty bleak on September 30th. My heart was failing in a big way. On October 2, I received a new heart. I consider October 2nd to be my second birthday.

Why a second birthday? When my heart gave out, I got a second chance. Starting a few days after the transplant, I have been considering what my “purpose” is given this was a second chance. What am I going to be remembered for when I do finally go? Whether I wanted it or not, my life is going to change. Diet, exercise, alcohol, work, and relationships are going to be different. No sense worrying about what could have been. That option is gone, and who knows where I would end up. I accepted pretty quickly that things are going to have to change. Time to give back. So let’s get to it.

My transplant has burned into my brain that I may not have much life left. (I’m doing my best to make sure it has plenty more.)

As I was lying in the hospital bed, I started to realize that I couldn’t find my “purpose” while just lying in a bed. Since being discharged, I have continued to consider what my “purpose” is. I have researched and spent some time reading and searching for my purpose.

But what does “find my purpose” mean? I realized I didn’t really know, and based on the research I did, neither did anybody else. If you google “find my purpose,” you’ll find that a large number of people know their answer, but there isn’t a common view.  The number of the “Answer these (pick your #) questions and find your purpose” articles and posts overwhelmed me.

Here’s what I have discovered so far through research:

Merriam-Webster defines purpose as “something set up as an object or end to be attained.”

Rick Warren’s famous book Purpose Driven Life is religious-based and dominates the Google Search results. Amazon is the same -he dominates. I wanted to see what else is out there about purpose. It turns out there is a lot.

There is no consistency about how to find your purpose. Lots of theory, but not much on getting started once you have identified your initial purpose. It seems as though each author has come up with their own approach. The approaches don’t provide actionable steps, but instead, deliver concepts for you to figure out how to implement.

As an entrepreneur, I can tell you that once you think you have defined your purpose, it’s probably going to have to change. In other words, as you start on your path, you are going to get new information about yourself and the journey that you didn’t know when you started. Your steps to achieve your purpose may change, or even your purpose itself may change. That means you are going to either adapt based on the new information or potentially get stalled or blocked on your journey.

After thinking about this for over a month, I decided I would follow an approach I am used to.

The approach I am used to is to research the topic, pick an approach, develop a plan, and get started. Don’t analyze it to death, because it is going to change anyway., The concept of a canvas (template, but ever-changing) is what has been lacking for me to “find my purpose”.

purpose canvas

Needless to say, I couldn’t find one, so I created one. I am going to post my current iteration of the template. It includes my first stab at completing the various sections.

I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks for coming in today.


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