There are myriads of methods you can try to discover your purpose.
Type the words in any browser and you’ll get articles and videos on the subject. To find your purpose, however, you have to start by asking yourself the question – what is a purpose?
What does it mean?
The dictionary definition of purpose is:
1. the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
2. a person’s sense of resolve or determination.
All of us exist for a reason. Each of us has something to give to make the world we live in a better place. It’s why we do what we do and why we do it. It’s a decision we make, one which we aim to see through with determination, with resolve, until we have achieved it; a goal, a target, a dream.
Anything that you may want to be, to do and to have is to provide you with:
Security, Peace of mind, Fulfillness and, above all, Joy and Happiness.
In one sentence? The purpose of your life is to enjoy your time on earth, to love being alive every day, to have joy.
What’s not so simple is how you’re going to accomplish that. Things start to get complicated when you start looking at how you want to attain that level of joy. This is where you start to look at what you love to do; what is that thing, that if you did it as a job and career, would bring you joy? You look at what your natural talents and abilities are. What skills you possess. What is that something that when you start it, you enjoy doing it and time flies without you realising it. The list of questions is endless.
At the same time you have to take care that you don’t get carried away “searching” for your purpose and end up doing nothing.
You must also take care, because when you get too drawn into the “searching”, you loose focus of moving forward and you feel as if you are lost. You may start to feel down, because you haven’t “found it” yet. It is at this point that you should take a break and relax. When you start getting stressed you are stopping the natural flow of your life. You are putting up resistence and you might as well say, “I don’t want to know”.
As always, the key is to relax into it and let it happen. It’s about letting go of trying to control everything and allowing life to take you where you want to go.
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
To figure out what direction my life ought to take, I looked into my past. I thought of when I was at my happiest, the times when I felt free, joy, happy and at least enjoyed what I was doing. I’d spent my life up to that point doing work that I thought I should be doing, following advice without stopping to think if it’s something I really wanted to do.
As Steve Jobs would say, I was living someone else’s life. That single revelation came as a shock to me, because I had not realised that is what I had been doing all along. By this point I’d forgotten what I truly loved to do.
Up until now, I have amassed a list of skills, talents, abilities and qualifications, none of which I fully use.
I had to dig deep to figure out my next step. I looked at all the situations in my life when I felt joy and looked for similarities and differences – what was it about each of those circumstances that was the same or different; the place, the work, the people! What I did outside work? I asked myself as many questions as I could. More questions appeared, but, slowly, questions turned into answers and clarity begun to come. This took time. And it will for you. Be patient. Don’t force it – force creates resistance. You push and the universe pushes back.
Another approach was to look at the subject from the opposite end and ask, “What do I dislike to see? What is it that makes me angry or upset in something or some event or circumstance?” In this question arise your morals and your ethics, those beliefs within you that you are not willing to let go of; for nothing and for no-one. They are the beliefs that define you. Can they be changed? Of course they can. Every belief can be changed. It’s a choice to do so or not.
Even though your morals and your ethics are environmentally constructed, as a result of what you are told and your experiences, there will be something that you are passionate about and want to do something to help make that change.
Anything you do will be based on providing a service to others. So ask yourself, what can I do that will provide a service and achieve the changes that I want to see in my life and the life of to others?
At this point, another two questions arise (these were the first two questions I learned from the legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar):
Ask them in order of:
1. Is what I am about to do fair to everyone involved?
2. Is it taking me further or closer to my goal?
If the answer to the first question is “No”, you stop. If it’s “Yes”, go to the second question. Stop to a “No”, act on a “Yes”. In this way, what you are about to do fulfills two critical points – being fair and just to all and it moves you in the direction you want to go in.
Allow me to ask you a couple more questions that may trigger your memory:
- If you knew, really knew, that no matter what you did you could not fail, what would you do?
- If you were told to imagine your perfect world, what would that looked like?
- Go forward 10, 20 ,30 even 40 years – what are you doing? What have you done in your life?
- You are on your death bed – what one regret do you have?
It’s not about finding a purpose. Remember that your purpose is to lead a joyful life. It is about figuring out how you want to live your life and then going out into the world and doing that. It’s your life and you have the right to live it as you ought to. Any service that you can provide, that is good and beneficial to other people, and brings you joy in doing it, is the key to a fulfilled life.
There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s all about what makes you feel joyous. It’s your life and you have a right to live it the way you wish to design it.
Don’t just aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.
Photograph by: Antti Pajari