A frustrated young man
went to see the wise man in his village.
“I don’t know what to do
with my life. How do I find my purpose?” the young man asked.
“Follow me,” said the old
Silently, they trudged
together to a far away river where they found dozens of prospectors panning for
“There are three types of
prospectors here,” the sage said.
“What do you mean?” the
young man inquired.
“There are those who
strike gold straight away. Excited, they take their plunder, cash it in and
live comfortably for the rest of their lives. Then there are those who pan for
years. They know that there is gold here and they have seen others strike it
rich, so they persist until they too find the gold that they’ve been searching
“What about the third
type?” asked the young man.
“They are the individuals
who get frustrated that they haven’t found what they are looking for, so after
a day, a week or a year or more, they give up, walk away and never find gold.”
Slightly confused, the young
man asked, “What has this got to do with finding my purpose?”
“Aah yes, the age-old
question.” the old man smiled and looked his companion in the eye. ”There are
those in life who look for their purpose and seem to find it almost
immediately. From a young age they have a clear sense of purpose and pursue
their dreams with energy and enthusiasm. Some others have to look a bit harder,
perhaps for many years, but if they persist and keep looking, they will find
something to live for. Finally, there are those who want to know their purpose,
but they become frustrated with the search and give up too soon, returning to a
life of meaningless wandering.”
“Can everyone find their
“Is there gold in the
river?” the wise man responded.
“So, how do I find my own
“But how do I want to
find it quicker?”
“Son, there are no
guarantees that you will be able to find it quickly, the only guarantee is that
if you give up and stop looking for it, you’ll never find it.”
The young man looked despondent,
feeling that he had wasted his time with the old man.
He felt a reassuring hand
on his shoulder, “I can sense your frustration, but let me assure you, if you
can find your true calling in life, you will live with passion, make the world
a better place, be richer than you could imagine and feel as though the very
face of God Himself is smiling upon you. That may happen next week, next year
or in the years ahead, but the search will be worth it and your life will never
be the same again. So for now, your purpose is to find your purpose.”
“Oh, and there’s one
other thing that I forgot to mention.”
“Just as those men and
women need to get down to the river with a pan to find their gold, so we need
to remain active to find our purposes, we don’t find it sitting around at home
It was getting late, so
the too men turned for home and began their long walk back to the village.
As they walked, the young
man was deep in thought about what he had just learned, and the wise man smiled
to himself, knowing that conversations like this were an important part of
living his purpose.