A few years ago, Jennifer and I traveled through South Africa with our dear friend, Tim. I could tell a hundred stories about our trip, but there is one moment I hope to remember for the rest of my life.
While on safari, our tracker and guide was a 21 year old, little pixy of a girl named Lou. Her passion for the animals was contagious and in our short time with her, she taught us far more than we expected. Not just about nature, but about life. Having seen the world through very different eyes than me, she remains one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.
On our way home from a game drive, Lou said, “You are very special people…I have something I want to share with you. But you mustn’t tell anyone at the ranch.’’ We all agreed, without knowing what we were agreeing to.
A dear friend of ours came over tonight and we laughed our way through dinner with the girls. After she left, I turned on the television and was swept into So You Think You Can Dance. I’m a total sucker for reality TV, especially competition-based shows. I’m always inspired to see people give everything they’ve got for the chance to change their lives. I watched in amazement, as one of the dancers gave an incredible performance. And when it was over, I looked up to make sure Jennifer hadn’t missed it.
I was surprised to see her crying.
“Are you okay?”
She looked up from her computer screen and burst into tears. Then she read to me something that gripped my heart.
Zig Ziglar named Andy Andrews “the best speaker I’ve ever seen”. Andy is a Bestselling Author, a masterful storyteller and one of the most hilarious people on earth – but to me, he’s also a dear friend and mentor. I never leave his company, be it in person or a book, without being better for it. I asked him to share one of my favorite stories he tells about raising his boys. I love it because of what it deposits in them – and also what it deposits in you and me.
Almost every week, I stand in front of an audience somewhere in the country. My goal is to leave each person with something that will stay with them. I don’t want them to get fired up for an hour, only to fizzle out in a week. So when I got the opportunity to write a guest post for Chance’s blog, I wanted to do the same for you.
I sat and thought about it for a while. My first question was, “Why are most people reading Chance’s blog in the first place? What do they come here for?”
I listed it out:
Chance is a great storyteller.
Chance’s perspective truly resonates with many different kinds of readers.
Chance’s writing shows people how to step out and do great things with their lives.
When I wrote that third bullet point, it hit me. Chance’s blog is for everybody! Who doesn’t hope to do great things with their life?
And I stopped right there. Because I knew what message I wanted to give you:
I recently polled some readers and friends and asked, “If you could speak with any kind of expert about anything in the world, what would you want to know?” I got some great questions about money, health, career, family and more. But the most often repeated response by far was, “How can I know my life’s purpose?”
Can you relate? I’ll bet each of us would admit that at some point, that question was at the top of our list too. I remember desperately longing to know my purpose and wondering if I was somehow missing it. For years, I couldn’t relax in my work (and otherwise) for fear that I was off course and somehow ruining my future. I sensed that same frustration and confusion in many of the responses I received.
“What is my life’s purpose?” is one of the least helpful questions we’re all asking ourselves. Because here’s the thing – it’s unanswerable. We’d need to be able to see into the future to answer confidently. It would require us to not just understand our own story, but also everyone else’s around us, before us and behind us to know our true significance. No wonder we’re confused. We’re obsessing over a question we don’t have the capacity to answer.