Summary of In Pursuit of Purpose by Myles Munroe
Dr. Myles Munroe starts the book, In Pursuit of Purpose by explaining that true success is not defined by any standard set by any society or culture. Instead, true success is only measured by personal fulfillment.
This means no matter how highly society thinks of you, except if you have a sense of personal fulfillment in life, you are not yet successful. On the other hand, if you are despised and unappreciated but you are fulfilled with your life, you are successful.
So the question everyone should be asking in life is how they can become fulfilled. This is where the book comes in. Fulfillment in life only comes when you are living a life that fulfills the purpose you were created for.
Just like a bird whose wings have been clipped, you can’t have a deep sense of satisfaction in life except you are operating in the space/function for which you were created. But what is Purpose?
What is Purpose According to Myles Munroe?
According to Dr. Myles Munroe, Purpose is the original intent for the creation of a thing, the original reason for the existence of a thing, the end for which the means exist, the cause for the creation of a thing, the desired result that initiates production, the need that makes a manufacturer produce a specific product, the destination that prompts the journey, the expectation of the source, the objective for the subject, the aspiration for the inspiration, and the object one wills or resolves to have.
I know these are seemingly complex expressions, but your purpose is simply why you were created.
The Nature of Purpose (In Pursuit of Purpose by Myles Munroe)
1. Purpose Is Inherent
The purpose for which you, like every other person on earth, were created is in you. So the concept of going to get or find a purpose for your life is inaccurate. You can only discover your purpose, you cannot invent one. Just like no product needs to find a purpose for which it should exist, you don’t acquire purpose. God has created you with and for a purpose already.
2. Purpose Is Individual
The purpose for which you were created is unique to only you. You don’t inherit the purpose of your parents nor adopt the purpose of your community. God already had a specific assignment He wanted to be accomplished before you thought of creating you to fulfill that assignment. You were made primarily for the unique purpose you were created for.
3. Purpose Is Often Multiple
As seen in nature, the purpose of a particular creation can be multi-dimensional. For example, a tree gives oxygen, gives shade, serves as a windbreak, is a raw material for something else, and so on. In the same vein, there are multi-dimensions to your purpose.
This is evident in the fact that you have diverse giftings; each of those gifts will help you fulfill the various dimensions of your purpose. While you are created for one ultimate purpose, that purpose may incorporate many minor facets whose purposes or intents are to fulfill the greater, overall purpose for your life.
4. Purpose Is Interdependent
Nobody and nothing exists for itself. Your purpose is in you but it is not for you. Because of this, you cannot fulfill your purpose in isolation. Your purpose starts from where someone’s ended and will lead to someone else’s purpose.
Also, you need other people to fulfill their purposes for your purpose to fulfill its purpose and other people’s purposes are also dependent on the fulfillment of your purpose. This is so because all our purposes are all working together to fulfill God’s eternal purpose and the overall program of life.
5. Purpose Is Permanent
Your purpose does not change with time. The same reason why God created you is the only reason you will live on earth. Now, you may discover your purpose in phases (and that is how it should be) just like is explained in the multidimensional aspect of purpose but that doesn’t mean God is creating a new purpose for your life— you are only discovering what has always been there (in you) before creation.
6. Purpose Is Resilient
This is a result of the permanence of purpose. Because your purpose does not change, no matter the trials, difficulties, and tough times you face, your heart will always be drawn towards that purpose for which you were created. Purpose lingers! It doesn’t leave or die.
Even individuals in their old age who lived their lives doing something else will still desire the reason for which they were created while their lives end. This is the reason why some parents want to impose their dreams on their children.
Because they didn’t fulfill that longing in their hearts, they think their children will gain fulfillment by fulfilling that longing. However, because purpose is individual, that child will end up feeling unfulfilled like his parent if he chases his parent’s dreams and not his purpose.
7. Purpose Is Universal
No person on earth wasn’t created with a purpose. Our purposes vary but they all exist. While not everyone will become pastors and preachers, in various capacities everyone is created to fulfill a purpose and that purpose is in them already. Never tell yourself you don’t have a purpose; you only haven’t discovered it.
7 Principles of Purpose by Myles Munroe
1. God is a God of purpose
God never does anything without a purpose. While He was creating the universe, He stated why before He created each creation.
2. Everything in life has a purpose
As explained, purpose is universal; everyone has a purpose because God doesn’t create anything without purpose. If there is no purpose for a thing, it will never be created by God, including you.
3. Not every purpose is known
The fact that a thing has purpose does not mean we know it. There are several purposes for which several trees, for example, were created but we don’t know them. Creation has stopped and all purposes have been distributed but we must continue in the discovery of purpose, both for ourselves and everything around us.
4. Wherever purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable
We can only use a thing right when we know what it is for. A test tube and conical flask look alike but the differences in their usage are defined by the manufacturer’s intention/purpose for them.
If one who does not know the purpose of it comes, he can use it for something else (abuse). In the same way, you will most likely “abnormally use” your life doing something else if you don’t know why you were created.
5. If you want to know the purpose of a thing, never ask the thing
It is not in you to define your purpose. No product defines why it is created. If you want to know the purpose of your life, you shouldn’t ask yourself. You are the product so you can’t define your purpose.
6. Purpose is only found in the mind of the creator
God, your creator is the only authorized person to tell you why you are created. You cannot discover your purpose outside God because there is no purpose outside Him. You go to God by first reconnecting with Him as your savior and father, then asking in prayer.
7. Purpose is the key to fulfillment
Until you go to God to show you why He created you and then live that reason, you cannot be fulfilled in life. This takes us back to where this summary started.
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Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.