Purpose – Our driving force

What is it that gets us out of bed in the mornings? What initiates our desire, and what, or who, do we identify with??

These very simple questions are the basis of everything we are. It is our ‘purpose’, our driving force, which determines the people we are, and moreover the people we will become. It is ‘purpose’ which separates one person from another, and often the reason why we live or die.

Have you ever heard of really successful business men retiring from work at 65 years of age (because retirement at this age is expected!) Following a life of exceptional health – only to be dead inside a few years? Why is this, and why are these stories so recurrent? The answer is lack of purpose…. These people had lost their sense of self, and their ‘breadwinner’ purpose which was essentially the reason they got out of bed in the mornings for the last 50 years. There are of course many other cases where retirement symbolizes a new beginning, so I’m not saying that people should never retire, it’s merely a tool to get you thinking.

Quite often a lack of purpose will occur following a loss- for example, retrenchment from a job, divorce, the kids moving out, physical impairment (loss of a limb for example or a stroke) or any other position whereby a person loses a large part of their self-identity, and as a result their self-worth.

With the end of one thing always come the dawn of something else. In this, purpose is never lost, it just needs to change form, to transcend, and this is where our inner essence – the true us – needs to re-identify with something else. This may even mean to start identifying with the true ‘us’, which we have omitted for so long as we constantly crave acceptance & worth from others to make us feel good about ourselves. If we examine our purpose, it’s ordinarily tied in with others for example….. My purpose is to be a great mother to my kids, or my purpose is to provide for my family, or my purpose is to help others in need etc. The purpose in many cases is driven by the desire to make others happy, and in return, feel better about whom we are. This is not to denote negativity about being a great mother for example; it’s just to demonstrate that our need for self-identity is very often attached with others.

And this is what i have been leading to………….

When everything around you (and all you identify with) is gone, the only thing left is you!

The only one constant in your life is you.


In conclusion, I ask everyone reading this article to allow the process of self-identity, and to not see yourself just for your physical representation. Your true self, or inner essence, must be honoured in order for your personal transcendence to a happier ‘me’. You will always have a genuine purpose when you identify with who it is you actually are.



Please leave any comments you may have in the comments section below.

Leave a comment or question

  • Jodie S

    Ok, so every mother and wife reading this has probably just had their heart ripped out. What are your suggestions for trying to find their true self, when a lot of their purpose is willingly tied to their children and families?

    • http://shannonbrenton.com/ Shannon Brenton

      Hi Jodie, Thanks for your comment.
      I understand your response, and before I go on please let me assure you that my wife and I sit in a similar position to any of you reading this, in that we have two very young & very dependant girls.
      I am so happy for your reaction, as this is exactly my point. I am sure at some point you experienced a life without children and the selflessness that parenthood entails. My suggestion is simply to find small amounts of time for yourself in amongst the madness, and connect with the true ‘you’; Not the mum, wife, employee etc that we often judge ourselves by. Life requires delicate balance for inner happiness, and this can be achieved even at stages of our lives which leave us begging for an 8th day in the week.

  • Kylie

    Hi Shannon,

    I have reread this a couple of times, just as a reminder for me to do right by myself. As a busy working mum of two, plus running my husbands business and a volunteer in both school and sporting communities. I do get distracted looking after others before myself.

    I went to see Michelle on Thursday, another motivation to be my own purpose. In order for me to be the best mother, wife, worker, community volunteer and anything else I take on. I firstly need to make myself my first purpose.

    I think we all need reminding of this every once in a while.


    Kylie Bevan

    • http://shannonbrenton.com/ Shannon Brenton

      That’s awesome Kylie!
      So pleased to know this article has helped with your direction.
      It’s sad we need such reminders, but as the pressures of life mount we tend to become busy just ‘doing’.
      Thanks for the feedback.

      Best Regards,

      Shannon Brenton