First, let’s be clear about the concept of purpose. The question is not about “How can I best use my skills?” It is the much more basic questions of “Why am I here?” and “What am I meant to do with my life?” and “Who am I meant to be?”
Many of us want the answers to these questions. We want to be able to look back at the ends of our lives and know that we did what there was to be done and did our best on it.
Understanding your purpose is extremely important. When you know what the right path is for you, life itself becomes different.
Purpose gives you direction, it helps you feel fulfilled and joyous. You will feel more powerful and inspired.
When you are following your purpose, life goes well and one positive action tends to build on another in an amazing positive spiral. Life just starts to “click” in ways that are not always rationally explained.
I believe the questions of purpose in life are some of the biggest questions each person can ask themselves. There is no right time to start to address this in your life – some teenagers look at it, many of us come to it as young adults, even more in midlife or later.
What actually happens for most people is that they work into an understanding of their purpose in stages. It begins to be clear, you take action based on your understanding, and even more clarity arises. Your true purpose is when you find the path for yourself that will have the maximum impact possible in the world. It is this expression of optimization that is the key to purpose.
There are a variety of techniques to help you move towards your real purpose – the best results come from combining several of these. Find the ones that are calling out to you at this point in your life and see what you can discover.
1. Schedule regular time for thinking.
Many of us are rushing so much these days we don’t have a sense of ourselves. Find a way to add quiet time to your schedule so that you can think about yourself and your direction.
2. Review your life to date.
Think about times in your life when you felt the most fulfilled. See if you can connect the dots and see in your history some of the aspects of your purpose.
3. Track your energy.
As you go through your days and weeks, pay attention to how you react to your life. You will naturally find tasks and situations that energize you and those that drain you. Collect information about what brings you alive.
4. Be open-minded.
Many of us make mistakes in finding our purpose by ruling ideas out too quickly. Don’t get immediately practical – instead of thinking right away about how something will or will not work, keep yourself open to the possibility that there may be creative ways to make anything work.
5. Experiment with the new.
This is the trial and error method of finding your purpose. Dabble with a variety of different things. Stick your toe in the water in many different pools. See what lights you up and makes you want more.
6. Connect with your own inner wisdom.
Use meditation, prayer, dreams, journaling or active imagining to tap into your deepest wisdom. Be sure to keep notes of what you discover even when it is something unexpected.
7. Think about your legacy.
Try the Native American tradition of thinking about the next seven generations. Look for actions in your life that can have an impact over that type of time period. Think big.
Work through one or more of these tips carefully taking your time to see what you discover. Let your purpose come to you. Once you have it and begin to work towards it, your life will shift in wonderful ways.
How much do you know about your purpose now? Tell us in the comments what your purpose is…
Photo credit: © Dawn Hudson | Dreamstime Stock Photos