Do you feel lost in life? Are you struggling to find what’s meaningful to you? Then it can be helpful to find your purpose in life.
Having clarity about the direction can give you motivation and allows you to bring passion and joy to every day.
But not having clarity or any idea of where you want to go in life can give you a tremendous amount. That’s where it comes in handy to find out what your purpose is.
What’s The Purpose Of Life
Seeking to find your purpose in life is a bigger subject than ever before. The reason is that many things around us are being automated and the 20-century jobs disappear with rapid speed.
We no longer have to hunt for our food, which destroys our deepest purpose of basic survival. Everything you need is basically accessible on your phone today.
So what’s the purpose of life?
Because the world is changing with such rapid speed, it becomes very important to think about what is meaningful to you.
However, there is one main thing that has always been in our communities and that’s the question: how can you contribute?
Back in the day, this was a contribution to survive. Today, it’s a contribution to adding any form of value to other peoples lives.
And think about it, we’re the only species in the world that can choose how we contribute in this world.
Opportunities Are Everywhere
Many people are losing their jobs and many other jobs are under threat of disappearing in the near future due to the rapid evolution that we’re in.
On the other hand, there are many new opportunities every single day and the internet allows us to step in any of these opportunities.
The internet has also brought us online learning, with which you can now school yourself and develop any skill that you desire. You can now become anything you want!
The question is, where you do start?
You Must Have Clarity
Clarity is what’s going to give you direction. If you’ve direction in life you can move towards something and as we know; emotion means energy in motion.
When you’ve got something to move towards to, you’ve got a feeling of value and meaning. You can become productive in your contribution to society.
And a feeling of fulfillment derives from your contributions.
So, then can you do anything as long as you’re contributing?
Yes, you could. However, a contribution is focused on the world around you and the bigger picture. There are many ways in which you can contribute today.
Besides, you’re the engine of this vehicle, which means that if you break down and feel exhausted, you won’t produce any longer. Your contribution comes to a halt.
But what if you can combine…
Passion & Purpose
What if you can contribute in a way that also ignites your personal fire. If you can keep contribution in a way that you feel passionate about.
Something that you want to wake up for early in the morning. Something that you never want to retire from, even if they would give you all the money in the world.
Now, that’s real fulfillment.
The world is opening up with more opportunities to live our passion and purpose. This is a great moment in your life to decide what gives you true meaning in life.
You’ve already got specific skills and experiences in life that no one else has. What have you learned? What could you teach others? How could you contribute?
If you’re still not convinced why you need a purpose, watch this TED talk from Simon Sinek.
How Do You Find Your Purpose In Life?
A purpose is not the end of the line by any means. Merely, view this as a guideline to live by.
This guideline can give you clarity and direction in life. It makes the process of decision making easier. You’ll find out what you want to learn and who you want to connect with.
Of course, you should be flexible in your approach and try out different things. Having an initial purpose helps to get you started out sooner. Don’t be afraid to change directions at some point in your life.
First, let’s find out what you’re passionate about.
What Would You Be Doing If Money Wouldn’t Be An Issue?
Let me guess – you would like to travel the world, buy a big house and a luxurious car? Or would you give some money away to family and friends and invite everyone to a party or holiday on your costs?
But what would you do once the initial rush fades away, how would you spend your time?
What would give you meaning in life?
A good way is to look back at your life and look at the moments where you found the most joy. What were you doing?
Do you’ve good habits that empower you and could you turn this into something to help other people?
An alternative is to look at your life’s challenges and difficulties. What kind of challenges have you overcome yourself?
Are there any bad habits that you’ve changed in the past and how could you help others overcome theirs?
Wouldn’t that give you a whole lot of satisfaction?
Make a list of the ideas and things that would give you a long-lasting sense of fulfillment. A good way to look at it is by asking yourself the question; what did you do in the past, that you still feel fulfilled with today?
Exercise To Discover Your Purpose
What determines your purpose? You do. Pick something that suits you and work on it. Pick something that gives you the right feeling in your gut.
Of course, it’s much harder than it seems. Let me guide you through the process that I went through myself.
You’re going to find your purpose based on your life experience, interests, and stories. As discussed earlier, this could either be positive or negative.
Have a look at the stories in your life. Write all the stories down that you can remember. Think about your childhood or some activities that you used to do, that excited you. What do you do when you’re alone?
Do this exercise now.
After you’ve written down your stories, list the 5 stories that are most significant to you. These stories should stir up some strong emotions. These emotions indicate how much a story has had an impact on your life.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to look for common element the different stories. What is an element that keeps coming back?
List the elements from most important to least important. When you’ve got a picture of the most important elements in your life, make your first statement of your purpose.
Make sure that you let your heart guide you through this process, not your brains.
How does this statement feel to you? Don’t worry if it doesn’t feel perfect yet, it’s just a draft.
Try to play with different words to get a statement that inspires you.
If you find it difficult to come up with a statement, you can use Simon Sinek’s approach; “To… so that …”. The “to” area describes your contribution and the “so that” describes the impact of your contribution.
I used Simon Sinek’s approach to find my purpose. But even though I felt like I had the right statement, my gut didn’t agree with me yet.
Don’t worry if you feel the same way, you’re on the right path.
Now let’s try to find out what qualities you’ve got.
- What could you contribute to the world to make this a better place?
- In what way could you empower the people around you?
- What brought you the greatest joy in life?
The Final Question
By now, you should have a general direction of what your purpose is.
If not, don’t stress.
It doesn’t matter if you’re purpose is not a 100% accurate. Start working towards something and be flexible.
I had been on the journey to discover my own purpose for a couple of years. But the technique that I’ve described above, accelerated my search.
Within 2 weeks after applying the above questions I had my own statement.
Whether you feel close to discovering your purpose right now or feel even further away than ever, answer this final question:
If you would pass away right now, how do you want other people to remember you?
2 Things To Accelerate Your Search
Could you come up with anything? If not, there are 2 things I want to leave you with.
- Be Patient
- Write Everything Down
Although it may feel like being patient and accelerating your search contradict each other, it’s really not. Allow me to explain this.
You must take your time to find your purpose. You didn’t finish school in 1 day, you did it in a couple of years. Your purpose may be much more important, so why are you trying to rush it?
I’m not telling you that it takes you years to find your purpose. In fact, you can find it within a minute. But don’t get frustrated if you don’t find it immediately.
Enjoy the process and don’t take it so seriously. Yes, this will help you but your life doesn’t depend on it.
Besides, it comes easier to you’re not too stiff about it.
Another thing is to lay it away and then review it the next day. This way you bring a fresh thinking mind, which will definitely help you.
This isn’t only going to reduce frustration, it also accelerates you in getting to your true mission statement.
Write Everything Down
I cannot stress how important it is to write things down. If you’re not tackling your purpose with paper and pen, you might as well have skipped reading this article.
Not only do you need to write the things down so that you can later review it, you also have to write things down because it helps you to think.
When you write things down, you give your mind the ability to think about something else. This way you can be creative with it, without forgetting your initial thoughts.
Even if you already know your purpose, write this down! If not, you’ll slowly start to forget or deviate from the initial statement. This can cause a lot of frustration later on.
Technology is the trend that is changing the way we live and work. Therefore, more people are looking to find their purpose in life.
Your life’s stories are unique and will play an important role to find your purpose. Try to find out which stories move you deeply on an emotional level.
Write down the statement for your purpose. Start to play around a little bit until it gives you the right feeling in your gut. Don’t think too much during this process.
When you find your purpose be sure to write it down and review it regularly. Don’t worry if it doesn’t feel 100% right yet. Keep adjusting slightly until you can describe your true mission statement.
When you’ve found your purpose, this will ignite your passion and allows you to contribute to the world in meaningful ways.
It’s time to set some goals to align your life with your purpose and start living fully!
I hope you have done the exercises for yourself and feel empowered right now. If not, I can recommend you this book by Simon Sinek. It’s a tool I used to discover my own purpose in life.