Defining your Purpose
Discovering your purpose can be done in various ways and methods. Type the words in any browser and you’ll get articles and videos on the subject. However, the first step to finding your purpose is to ask yourself what does purpose mean.
According to the dictionary, purpose means “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists, as well as a person’s sense of resolve or determination”.
Each of us exists for a reason and has something to contribute to make the world a better place. It’s a decision we make with determination to achieve our goals and dreams, which provide us with security, peace of mind, fulfilment, joy, and happiness.
Anything that you may want to be, to do and to have is to provide you with: Security, Peace of mind, Fulfilness 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, and have joy.
However, it’s not always easy to accomplish this, and things can become complicated when we start looking for ways to attain joy. To do so, we need to identify what we love doing; 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 do you possess? What is that something that when you start it, you enjoy doing it and time flies without you realising it?
Don’t get Lost
While “searching” for our purpose, we must avoid getting carried away and losing focus.
When you get too drawn into the “searching”, you lose 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’s 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 and creating resistance. You feel like quitting.
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. – Joseph Campbell
Look Into the Past
To figure out the direction our lives should take, we can look into our past and think about the times when we were happiest, felt free, and enjoyed what we were doing. Sometimes, we spend our lives doing things we think we should be doing without considering what we want to do.
Therefore, we need to engage in purposeful thinking and figure out what we want to achieve, what we want for ourselves, and what we truly love to do.
I had never actually thought. Like many others, I had never engaged in purposeful thinking, never sat down and thought purposefully what I wanted to do with my life, what I wanted to truly achieve, what I wanted for me. Subconscious beliefs have a big part to play in this.
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 that is what I had been doing all along. By this point I’d forgotten what I truly loved to do.
Sometimes, we need to dig deep to figure out our next step. We can analyse the situations when we felt joy, and find similarities and differences among them, such as the place, the work, the people, and what we did outside of work.
What was it about each of those circumstances that was the same or different; the place, the work, the people? What did you do outside of that work?
We can ask ourselves many questions, and slowly, questions will turn into answers and clarity will come. This takes time. And it will for you. Be patient. Don’t force it – force creates resistance. You push and the universe pushes back. Sounds like a cliché, but it’s not.
Another approach is to look at the subject from the opposite end and ask what we dislike to see, what makes us angry or upset, and what morals and ethics we hold that define us. Which of those morals, ethics and values are you NOT willing to let go of?
They are the beliefs that define you. Can you change them? Of course you can. You can change every belief you have. 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?
Ask yourself …
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 the following order:
- Is what I am about to do fair to everyone involved?
- 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 fulfils two critical points – being fair and just to all involved, and it moves you in the direction you want to go in; towards your goal.
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 look like?
- Go forward 10, 20, 30 even 40 years – what are you doing? What have you done in your life?
- You’re on your deathbed – 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, as you want 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.
Don’t just aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference. – Denzel Washington
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