One of the biggest questions we ask ourselves is, “what is my life’s purpose?” Is the answer happiness? Is the answer the perfect job? Is it a fulfilling relationship? Is it a place to live? Is it a mental state? Is there even an answer?
Before you start hyperventilating, take a deep breath. Rest assured, in many ways, we do have a life purpose. And, finding your life purpose shouldn’t be as difficult to discover as you may think. The whole life purpose concept can be extremely overwhelming and daunting, but it’s all about perspective…
1. Stop Thinking and Start Doing: Explore
You cannot think your way to your life purpose. You need to take action, explore, experience, evolve and examine. As you start to try new things, allow yourself to listen to your mind, body and soul. What feels good to you? What doesn’t feel good to you? Do you want to keep going? Allow yourself to be uncomfortable and face fear. Allow yourself to determine your likes and dislikes. Life isn’t always about being happy, comfortable or stable. A job, relationship, city or experience won’t ALWAYS make you happy. Your purpose isn’t about happiness; it is about the larger picture of you.
Journal Exercise: If the would could operate exactly how I want it to, if I could control everything, what would my life look like? Write as much as you want at first. Then narrow it down until you can get it to one sentence or two. What does your life look like?
2. Finding Clarity
We live in a world with freedom, choices and options. How lucky are we? Or are we? Choices are great. However, sometimes we are offered so many choices; we simply cannot make a decision. It’s overwhelming. It’s daunting. It’s all too much. The key to finding clarity with your life purpose, or anything else for that matter, is narrowing down your options. Eliminate the negative. Focus on the positive and don’t look back.
Journal Exercise: Start listing things that you think about – travel, work, experiences, health, love, etc. When you are done writing, go back and look at the list and start asking yourself questions. What is important to me? What gives me energy? What depletes my energy? What am I excited about? When do I feel fulfilled? Start crossing off the negative and circling the positive. Narrow your list. Find your clarity.
3. Keeping Your Confidence:
At this point, you have explored, you’ve narrowed down and found your clarity. You are moving full steam ahead. Boom! You get smacked in the face with fear. We all know that life throws us curve balls. It’s hard, it’s messy. Sometimes it’s darn complicated. Life shakes you and you start to question your ability, your skill, your dedication… YOUR PURPOSE. Don’t give up. It’s all about confidence.
Confidence is like a muscle, and like a muscle, it takes time to build. Muscles need to be nurtured and stretched, but also challenged. Take a step back. Take a breather. Focus a little bit of time and energy into something that makes you feel really good, strong, and confident. If you are good at running, go for a run. Build your “muscle.” Then, carry that back over into everything else. Allow the whole process to take place with steps forward and backwards. With ups, downs, rejections and set backs, our confidence can change on a dime. Keep taking care of it. Keep building it.
Journal Exercise: The Success Review – Take a few moments to think about a time you really nailed something. You were the boss! Nobody could take you down. Write your memories, feelings, emotions and thoughts behind it. As you go back and read it, think and imagine how you can do it again!
4. Avoiding Derailment
We have all been here… You start something, you are passionate and excited, and then you fizzle. You get bored. You get confused. You hit the wall. This is normal. You will fizzle, get bored, confused AND hit the wall. That’s ok! The important thing is to acknowledge these things will happen and remind yourself that they will not deter you. They will not derail you. Take a break if you need it. Rest. Breathe. Reset. You will forge ahead.
Journal Exercise: Morning Pages – Every morning write three pages of anything and everything swirling in your head. You are free to write anything; you just need to write every day. The idea is that by doing your morning pages, you will allow yourself to shake off the cobwebs and eliminate any of the self doubt. It will provide direction, clarity and confidence.
Finding your life purpose is a long process. It is a path and it takes time. Explore, find clarity, be confident and stay on track. No matter what, keep going! I am always here to help, but you can and will do it.