“Finding your purpose”… how do you do that? Some people may think finding one’s purpose is idealistic… who has the time? Others may think it’s impossible, too late, or even pointless. No matter how you feel about finding your purpose, today I am challenging you… no, I’m “triple-dog-daring” you to STOP. Re-examine your goals. Find your purpose.
Finding your purpose is about finding your ideal state of existence where you are striving to be the best at what you do, where you have clarity about where you are headed with your life, and how your existence adds to the greater good of others. When you discover your purpose, you will have a sense of excitement and exhilaration because you will be very clear about what you were born to do; why you are here on earth at this given moment. Whatever higher power you ascribe to, having clarity of purpose is possibly the single most empowering point that will guide you along the path to the rest of your life. Most of us believe there is a reason we’ve been placed on this earth, a reason why we exist. If you believe there is something you were meant to do during your time here on earth, it is a good idea to figure out what that is while you are still living and breathing, and still have the strength and ability to get it done.
Consider this: what do you wish you could wake up and do every day? What are you passionate about? When you check your internal compass for direction, where do you always land?
When trying to figure out your purpose, you really have to shut off the voices in your head that are telling you things like it’s too hard, it’s too late, you can’t do it, etc… You have to separate yourself from everything you’ve been told you should do. Rise above the things that have caused you to push your passion aside. Ignore the things that have stood in the way of you exploring the possibilities that could bring you the fulfillment you want.
So how do you actually begin? We’ll share a practical two-step approach with you that is simple and easy to do.
Step One – The Process:
- Set aside some time and lock yourself in your room, away from any distractions and interruptions.
- Get a pen and some paper, or if you prefer, open your word processing application on your computer.
- Clear your mind of what everyone else wants, and start writing down what YOU really want to do.
Do a brain dump of all the things that are coming to mind. These should be the things that you’re really good at; things that come naturally to you; things that make you feel valuable; things that make you feel like you’ve done something good.
Step Two – Review:
Now look at this list. Which items make you smile? Which ones excite you? Which ones make you feel most valued? Which ones can you see yourself doing at age 30, 40, 50, and every minute right up until retirement? Congratulations! You’ve found your purpose. This purpose will make you feel like you’re being completely honest with yourself, and doing the thing you were meant to do on this earth while you have life. You will no longer be marching to the beat of other people’s music, or giving in to the social pressures of what others think or what you think you need to be for the rest of the world.
So what’s the catch?
Well, don’t expect to get this done in a single session or in one day! Although the steps are simple, you might find yourself going at the process repeatedly for a while before things start taking shape. Expect to feel frustration. Expect to experience moments when NOTHING seems to be coming through. But look at the bright side. If you stick to the task, you will eventually discover your purpose.
Resist the urge to give up too soon, or to think you’ve found it too soon! Don’t worry about how long your list is getting. Actually, the longer the list is, the higher is the likelihood that you will land on your true purpose. The most important thing here is to be honest with yourself about what’s right for you. If you don’t, you will only find yourself back at square one in the short run.
We all evolve as individuals. So over our lifespan we may discover that our purpose also evolves. At the end of the day, you will find that whoever you are today, your true purpose carries a theme that is consistent with your personality.
So what then? Should you not pursue opportunities if they don’t fall neatly into your life purpose? Absolutely you should! Often times it is those opportunities that really shed the light and give us clarity of purpose. If a job opportunity finds its way to you, and you see it as a great opportunity, go for it! This does not mean that you’re copping out. Rather, it may be a step along the path you are destined to follow.
“Show me the money,” they say. At the end of the day, whatever your purpose, you need to be able to make a living doing it! It’s not necessarily about being selfless. Your purpose may not lead you to great earthly riches, but at a minimum you should be able to eat and stay indoors. This purpose is something you must cherish and keep with you at all times. Try not to get distracted “when times are tough”. Don’t stress. Channel your energy into the joy you have, knowing that you are working on or with something that excites you while at the same time being important. Finally, keep a physical reminder of your purpose around you – on the wall in front of your work space, as your desktop background or screensaver, inscribed on your ceiling about your bed, everything short of (or including…if that’s your thing) tattooing it to your forehead—you will feel its strength whenever you doubt yourself, and find the confidence to keep moving forward. This is your life’s work, after all.
Links you might like:
Lupita Nyong’o’s example of what finding your purpose can mean to you and to others
Some people know what they were born to do really early in life.