As I got into my car this morning, these two words popped into my head; purpose and desire. I said to myself, No! Not this morning, my head is jam-packed already. I have proposals to write, I have solutions to review and more importantly, I have Christmas budget to finalize. The budget is a bigger headache with the dwindling purchasing power, a no match for expenses and ever rising cost on all fronts.
But it just won’t go away, is there a reason or purpose to this or is it just me desiring to click on my laptop keyboard once again after a long absence from jotting down my thoughts? I slowly began to turn the words in my head as I made my way to the office. My quiet time was spent dwelling more on purpose and desire. It then dawned on me that this won’t pass until I face it, so here we go ….
On the assumption that we understand what both mean, the question that immediately comes to mind is are there differences between the two? I know I sometimes confuse the two and it’s not surprising, I want to believe am not the only one. We sometimes find it difficult to separate our purpose in life from our desires, thus sometimes reducing our life purpose to a collection of self-gratifying desires.
Desire can sometimes lead you to ask the questions; what’s in it for me, what do I get out of it? It is about what you came to get or take so you may be applying only a small part of your ability. On the other hand, purpose is about principles which revolve around your identity. It brings meaning to your life, it is who you are, what you stand for, and it is your capacity to give from the heart and it is the true definitive expression of self.
So can we simply say that purpose is giving and desire is taking?
It is more intriguing when you realize that until you discover your purpose, it will be difficult to know which desires are valuable or self-gratifying. Desires are legitimate and have values as long as they are aligned with a purpose, then the two are faultlessly in harmony.
Take a moment and consider your purpose in life and your desires; see if they check out with each other. Purpose is about service to oneself and more significantly, others. It therefore requires absolute dedication, focus, courage depending on the degree of opposition one may face. The need to be unconditionally resolute and fixated on the path of purpose must not be compromised. On the other hand, one often give up on desires because it is a wish, a longing, a craving, a request, a desire to or a desire for….
So which shall it be?
Afolabi Williams has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, a Master of Science degree in Multimedia and Interactive Systems from Napier University, Edinburgh Scotland, a graduate of the Senior Management Program (Class 36) of the Lagos Business School (LBS) and a member of Lagos Country Club, Ikeja. Afolabi is one of the founding members of The Trent’s Elite Voices and he blogs at Folabi Williams.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.