How Do You Know Your Purpose?
What would you say if someone asked you, “what is your life’s purpose?” Have you considered that question before. Chances are you have – in some form or another. You may have used different words like “why do I want to get out of bed in the morning” or “what motivates me to do what I do?”
Do you usually have the same answer? If you have the same answer 99% of the time, and it makes you feel good, then your probably already know your purpose, and don’t need to read any farther. However, if that answer bounces around a lot or if you are feeling like it’s more of a grind than a gift, please continue reading.
There are too many people who can barely drag themselves out of bed to drive to a job they don’t enjoy. It wasn’t the plan, it just happened. It was easy to take the well-paying job that wasn’t exactly the right fit, but didn’t seem so bad at first. After all, the money was good, and you had bills to pay and maybe even a family to raise. The years pass, and you receive a promotion or two. You work your way up the ladder and are known by your work. You buy a house, have kids, it all looks great on the outside. It looks good, but it doesn’t feel good, and it seems that you’ll be stuck in that job forever.
This is what happens when you are living a life that doesn’t fit your purpose.
Now let’s consider this scenario: Wouldn’t you love to jump out of bed in the morning, ready to go? You just can’t wait to tackle that list you made up last night for today? Your planner is full, and so is your heart. You’re working super hard, but you don’t mind. You feel good about what you are doing. That’s because it fits your purpose.
Living your life’s purpose allows your life to be filled with excitement and happiness. But how do you find it?
It’s possible to find your life’s purpose and earn a living from it, even if you’re past the age of 30, or 40, or 50 – well you get the drift. There’s still time!
Vera Paley was sixty two years old when she started teaching yoga. She taught for over thirty years! It’s never too late to find your purpose and live it out.
Try these techniques to help find your life’s purpose:
- Write it down. This method has been shown to be very effective. Take out a notebook and a pen. Write “my life’s purpose” at the top of the page and start writing whatever pops into your mind. If you think, “This is a dumb idea,” write it down. Did you think about how mad you are that the Knicks blew it last night? Write that down, too. There will be a lot of mental garbage until you get to the good stuff. Just keep writing until you’re done.
- How will you know you’ve found it? You just might cry – or at least get really emotional. When a simple idea can make you cry, you’ve stumbled on something meaningful.
- Ask yourself how would you spend the last year of your life? You probably wouldn’t watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island or sit around and pout. You’d live! What would you do? It would be a mix of fun and meaningful activities. What are the meaningful activities that you’d do during your last year alive.
- What did you dream about doing as a child? Did you want to be a doctor? An animal trainer? Have you ever heard a child state she wanted to sit in a cubicle all day and underwrite insurance? Get in touch with your inner child and think about the things that excited you as a youngster. You might be able to put that information to good use.
- Volunteer. But don’t just go out and randomly volunteer down the street. Look at all the volunteer opportunities in your area and choose the one that appeals to you the most. Contributing to others gives you a mental break from your own problems. Your life’s purpose might reveal itself to you.
- If you were given the mission of saving the world, how would you do it? What world problem is most meaningful to you? How could you contribute to solving it? Start small, but get started. You might find a lot of meaning in doing something that benefits everyone.
- Ask yourself. Find a nice, quiet spot, preferably outdoors. Ask yourself, “What is my life’s purpose?” Listen to the answer you receive. Continue asking until you get an answer that resonates with you. If you don’t get an answer, state the following, “the reason I was put here on this earth was to ____________.” See what word or phrase fills in the blank. If you still don’t know, it’s okay – sometimes it takes awhile to find it.
- What are you good at doing? What are your natural talents? Ask others for their opinion. At the end of the day, you must make your own choices. But ask your friends what they think.
- What are you willing to do without getting paid? How do you spend your free time? Do you love to restore cars or play the piano? Imagine if you could earn a living from something you’d do for free!
- If you were locked out of your house on a Saturday from 8AM to 8PM, and could do anything you wanted, how would you spend your day? You might be stuck in a routine of hanging around the house all day. What would you do if that weren’t an option? What activities would appeal to you? Maybe you could start doing some of them now.
Make today be the day you determined the course of the remainder of your life. You don’t have to be stuck in a rut. You have the power inside of you to make the change and to love your life.
It’s possible to live your life with passion and excited expectation. Do the work required to find your purpose. You’ll be glad you did.
Find you purpose – find your joy!