Finding your purpose can be one of the most difficult things to do. It’s not like there’s a sign on the wall pointing you in the right direction or even an app that tells you what it is. And as you read, you might discover that a life purpose is not something you want or need.
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” ~ Unknown
What does it mean to find your purpose?
To find your purpose is to discover what you are meant to do and how you are meant to serve. Some call it their dharma or life’s work. Others call it their life’s mission, passion, or simply doing what they were born for.
Your purpose, as most think of it, is what you are called to do in this lifetime. It is not necessarily your job, but something that resonates with who you are and creates the most joy for yourself and others.
“And our purpose is not the amassing of things. It is to discover our deepest and most authentic selves.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Why is finding your purpose, so important?
We are told that when you know your purpose, you align with who you are and what matters most to you. You’re not wasting time or energy on things that don’t fulfill or motivate you.
You find a sense of direction so that you can feel more fulfilled and allows you to express your highest gifts.
When we know our purpose or passion, it becomes easier for us to feel satisfied with what we do each day. It can lead us right into the moments of inspiration where we’re at the top of our game in how we show up in the world.
“You are such a beautiful, powerful soul. You have the potential to change the world. I want you to know that I believe in you.” – Lady Gaga
How can I find my purpose?
There are many ways suggested to find your purpose, here are a few questions you could ask yourself to really hone into where your passions lie.
-The Greek philosopher Socrates famously said, “Know thyself.” This is a great place to start on your journey of self-discovery in order to discover what you are passionate about .
-Paying attention allows you to find what ignites your passions. Keep a journal or log of things that inspire and motivate you, for example anything from the people you meet to the heroes in your life that show up when you need them most. Then notice common themes among all these wonderful moments.
-Sometimes we get too caught up in our day-to-day lives and we miss the big picture. You can look back on how you used to express yourself when you were young because this is often a great indicator of your passions.
-Is there a mission you’ve had, or are currently having that you just can’t let go of? If you can’t seem to stop thinking about it and engaging in it, this is a great clue as to what your purpose might be.
“The only passion that lasts is the passion for what lasts.” – Amit Ray
The questions that will help you find your purpose
-What do you hyperfocus on? What can literally make you forget to eat and poop? If you find yourself fully engaged and can’t seem to let go, this could be considered your current purpose or passion.
-What makes you angry? Sometimes the things that make you the angriest are the clues as to what you are most passionate about in this life.
-What was the best day of your life? The one where everything was absolutely perfect… or the worst? In both cases, what made it so great/awful? Look for connections between these two days and any other significant ones in your life.
-What do you find yourself doing late at night? Is there anything that comes up again and again that you just can’t seem to let go of?
-What’s on your bucket list?
-Ask yourself what would feel like the most fulfilling work or lifestyle for you. What would be the most challenging, but fun thing that you could imagine doing on a daily basis?
-What would you do if you had all the money and resources you need to have an amazing life?
What if I still can’t figure it out?
If you are struggling to find your passion, don’t worry. Finding your purpose doesn’t need to be a linear process.
It is not uncommon for people to get close and then feel as if they are hitting a wall.
Having a sense of purpose can be ever evolving, and sometimes we sabotage ourselves by trying to discover this one purpose that defines our entire life. It’s ok to have a purpose for just this year, the next 6 months or heck, even just have a purpose for this week.
Books on purpose
Pastor Rick Warren
In this book Rick Warren goes deep into the question of what it means to be a person, and what it means to find your true identity in Christ. He looks at the Bible as a manual for life that is intended to teach us about God’s desire for our lives and how we can live with purpose each day.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from – you have been created by God for a specific reason, and he has made all things work together for good. This is an inspiring read which will empower you to take control of your life!
In this book, Jay Shetty shares the wisdom of Buddhist monks to help you find peace and purpose in your life. If you’re feeling stressed or distracted, read “Think Like a Monk” for some practical advice on how to train your mind for greater clarity and focus.
Victor J. Strecher
In this book, the author shares his journey of finding his purpose and how it changed all aspects of his life. The author discusses key principles such as asking yourself if you have a sense of meaning and purpose in your work, what you want to be remembered for when people think about your life, and whether or not you are living a meaningful life.
In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle shows readers how to go beyond ego-based thoughts of worry and guilt, and live in the present moment. And if you’re a person with an active mind who still finds it hard to be present–in other words, pretty much everyone–Tolle offers ways to quiet the mental chatter that prevents us from living more fully.
A New Earth is an inspiring spiritual journey into our human potential for consciousness. The book’s message resonated so deeply with Oprah Winfrey that she chose it for her 2007 Book Club selection—marking the first time she had chosen a nonfiction work since O magazine began publication in 2000.
“A wake-up call for the entire planet . . . [A New Earth] helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be, and to put ourselves in the now.” —Oprah Winfrey
The pursuing of your purpose doesn’t have to lead to happiness
In our quest to find meaning in life, we are told to explore and ask questions that narrow down what makes us happy.
But inevitably, any pursuit is going to come with unhappiness. It’s just life, we shouldn’t always take this as a sign that this is not what we should be doing with our life.
It’s normal to have ups and downs, to get board, to get discouraged.
If you are feeling burnt out, it’s an important time to remind yourself of the why that keeps you showing up because even though we may feel like quitting, there is a part of us that knows this is what we were meant to do.
This can be reassuring as when we hit those low points, it often means nothing more than the fact that we’ve gotten off track and if we could remember why we started in the first place, then it will give us that extra boost to keep going.
@abrahampiper The pursuit of happiness follow-up I promised.￼ 🙏 #existentialism #absurdism #findingpurpose #buddhism #taoism #optimisticnihilism #philosophy ♬ original sound – Abraham Piper
“Acknowledge that a life pursuing anything will be mostly dissatisfaction. And then pursue something so important to you that the ensuing persistent, ongoing disappointment will be worth it, thus flipping suffering on its head by making it a price you’re more than willing to pay.”
The problem with looking for a “life purpose”
It’s easy for people to get discouraged because they don’t always find that one thing that defines their entire life. It’s just not realistic.
And guess what, you might not have one purpose, the whole idea of one path or focus might actually be bad for us.
Instead of doing what society has conditioned us to do (focus on finding your ONE purpose), try focusing instead on the smaller things that make up the larger picture. For example, try to find your passion, or the thing you’re most interested in, for this week. When you accomplish that (and we have faith in you!), choose another one for the next week and so on.
Pixar’s Soul has a pretty profound message about life purposes. Check it out!
If you dedicate much of your life in the pursuit of a single goal to discover it is not what you thought, what happens then.
A recent study conducted among people on the verge of completing degrees in social sciences at a large local university has shown that most are uncertain they are pursuing their calling. Researchers call this ‘purpose-finding confusion’.
“Most of them have spent several years preparing themselves to find their place in life, and for a good deal, it’s not turning out to be the place they expected.”
Gary Vaynerchuk says the problem is we don’t actually spend enough time just trying shit. Try all kinds of hobbies and see if you’re any good at them.
@garyveeAnswer to @yummysauc3 You have to try things, and I mean actually TRY it. Don’t just think about trying, TRY IT! ##findingmypassion♬ original sound – Gary Vaynerchuk
Maybe It’s Not About Finding Your “Purpose”
This idea to find purpose can cause so much stress, and depression, we just end up feeling lost. What if you don’t have a purpose? What if you lose your sense of purpose? What happens if it seems like nothing has meaning anymore? It’s not good for our mental health.
These are all common symptoms that people who suffer from being told to find their passion experience.
The truth is we can all find purpose in anything, it just takes being present, and paying attention to your current life.
Happiness comes from trying new things, nurturing relationships, being grateful for what we have and making a difference in the world to make others happy.
This is how you find your purpose, stop worrying about it so much.
Let go of expectations and just focus on being present in this moment with no judgement or fear. Life will be better for everyone if you do!
Live your best life
It’s human nature to grow and change, and sometimes we need to take a step back and re-evaluate our goals, and our values.
Don’t waste any time trying to find “your life’s purpose”, it’s not important. What is important is that you “have purpose in your life”. You have something currently in your life that makes you want to wake up in the morning.
Even better if you have something that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning like a kid on Christmas morning. Remember those days? Children have a lot of purpose on Christmas morning!
“It’s a mistake to think we have to discover our life’s purpose, fulfill it, and live happily ever after. Life is the process of discovering and fulfilling those purposes-and then changing them. That’s normal. That’s growth.” – Deb Calvert
Viral Society says that people tell you to find your life’s purpose because you need to have something you want to strive for. It gives you a goal and keeps you going when times get tough. But the reality is that it is much more important for us to be able to adapt our goals as we change, grow and develop.
What if you allowed yourself the mental freedom to stop following the idea that you are not whole if you don’t know your purpose? What if your purpose in life was truly about the enjoyment of simply living. To live life to the fullest throughout your journey.
Now, clearly this does not mean you go crazy a toss any responsibilities out the window. You are probably not going to have a happy life if you have no income.
But, if you spend too much time trying to figure out your purpose, you’re going to end up miserable and wasting a lot of precious time in the process.
Instead, look around at what have truly made you happy – what makes your heart sing. Stop reading about finding purpose and just start enjoying your life.
Explore your interests
- -Making Movies
- -Martial Arts
- -Working Out
There is so much out there to do, to achieve, to enjoy. What are you interested in right now? What are things you don’t like right now about your life, that you need to or want to improve.
Choose some of those things, get excited and accept that purpose and meaning for today is all you need!
Remember, It’s ok, if yesterday’s life purpose is no longer working for you.
You need to know that will happen. You are growing every day and your purpose needs to grow with you.
All you really need is a purpose for today, a purpose for the week, the month, maybe the year.
Find something that resonates and ride that motivation for as long as it moves your soul.
What are you going to do today? Quit reading articles on the internet about finding your life’s purpose and go do or learn something fun!