Are you struggling to find a true sense of purpose?
There are a small handful of people who are lucky enough to be born knowing their purpose. These people can be spotted a mile off; they are motivated, determined, and passionate. They work hard, and are living in their element, reaping the rewards. They know their mission in life, and they celebrate each day, every moment getting them closer to their one purpose.
Most of us though, end up getting stuck like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. With dissatisfaction plaguing us, we move through life uninspired and bored. A new day brings dreariness and all excitement is lost because our heart is just not in it.
When I was in high school, struggling with career decisions, questions would flood my mind -
• "What is the meaning of life?"
• "Why am I here?"
• “What will make me happy?”
• “Where does my life lead to?”
My inner monologue would go on and on, as I tried to find my place in the universe. Although some may view this questioning as burdensome and unnecessary, I believe it was invaluable for me. It enabled me to gain clarity and certainty when making important life decisions. It led me to discovering my purpose and achieving greater life satisfaction.
So how do you discover your life’s purpose?
Here are three tips to help you answer this question for yourself.
1. Follow your heart
It may seem like an abstract piece of advice but it's something we hear time and time again from successful people. Listening to your gut or intuition is a skill that can be practiced and mastered. And if we have the confidence to listen to our heart, it has great potential to pay dividends in the future.
We more often than not know what our heart is telling us; a situation to avoid, a relationship to embrace or a job to change. However, our fears block us from taking any actions. Fear of failure, fear of what others will think, and fear of making mistakes prevent most of us from following our passions.
The inventor of the light bulb, Thomas Edison, said “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Give yourself permission to fail. Only through failure will you eventually find out what it is you love doing.
2. Find out what brings you joy
Our consumerist society gives too much value to possessions over anything else. We get conditioned in thinking that a bigger home, a fancier car, the latest gadgets or simply owning more stuff will make us happy. But more often than not, these things just give some temporary happiness, soon leaving us empty and hankering for more.
Are you spending your time and energy on temporary satisfaction or are you striving for those things that actually bring you long-term joy and fulfillment? Ask yourself these two questions:
• What makes me feel most alive?
• If money were not an issue, what would I spend my days doing?
Answering these is a good start to help you focus on what you are passionate about. These passions don’t necessarily have to become careers, but it’s good to look at your calendar once in a while to assess how much time you're giving to your hobbies.
3. Take action!
You won’t find your life purpose by sitting on the couch watching television. Self-introspection needs to be followed by purposeful action. It could mean carving out 2 hours every week for painting or spending 20 minutes every day doing yoga. You have to take the little baby steps needed to meet your goals.
Martin Luther King Jr. said “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Meaning, don’t let analysis paralysis stop you from getting ahead. Your internal voice will give you a million reasons not to take action. Don’t let procrastination and self-doubt keep you tied to a dreary existence that you are not proud of.
Pablo Picasso said, "Action is the foundation to all success." Success has little to do with your natural abilities - more than anything it requires determination and perseverance. As Edison points out, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to be the best at something in order to pursue it. The one thing all successful people have in common is perseverance.
Live the life of your dreams - so that one day, when you look back on your life here on earth, you are filled with pride not regret.
If you would like some additional support finding your purpose in life, download my FREE 4 Step Guide to 'Get Unstuck'. It contains some quick and easy exercises to help you gain clarity and certainty in your career direction. Enjoy!