Finding Your Life’s Purpose
How many times have you been lost in thought and found your gaze fixated on the bare wall? How many times have you made a cup of coffee, and instead of drinking it, found yourself staring at the bubbles in the froth?
One minute, two minutes, sometimes even an hour passes until you’re jolted back to reality as someone calls your name or places a hand on your shoulder.
Were you daydreaming? Were you contemplating? What exactly did you get lost in?
The heart’s longing for a purpose in life!
What Does It Mean to Have A Purpose in Life
In the words of the popular Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoyevsky:
“The mystery of human existence lies not just in staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”
Everyone is born with a purpose in life. Something that energizes them, drives them, forms a big part of them, and is the key to attaining happiness in life.
Your purpose in life is as simple as what makes you happy. However, this is not a regular kind of happiness. It is the sort of happiness that brightens your night after a gloomy day. It is what you turn to, and say YASSSS!, regardless of how tired you are, and without a moment of hesitation.
It is what defines you and makes you who you are.
A simple example of a purpose in life could be to write – to write for the betterment of the world. Whether you write articles aimed at changing the status quo or are an author of books demanding social change; it is words that bring you solace. If you were asked to imagine what comfort looks like – it would be sitting with a cup of coffee in hand, and a pen and paper by your side.
This is what having a purpose in life means. To find comfort and yourself in the activity – enough to make you forget everything else.
Finding the Purpose in Life
How exactly do we find our purpose? How do we determine what makes us happy?
What we must understand is, the journey to attaining life’s purpose is different for everyone.
For some, it comes easily.Yet, for others – finding a purpose is difficult.
There are many individuals who have excelled at everything in life, and therefore have a similar level of interest in many genres. As a result, they feel they aren’t too fond of anything – at least enough to call it their life’s passion or purpose.
Their work doesn’t bring them happiness – but they are unaware of anything else that does.
This is true for many people. They are confused and unaware of where their interests lie and often find it difficult to decipher exactly what their purpose and goals in life are.
If you are one of these people – don’t worry. Your life’s purpose shall come to you, perhaps sooner than later if you follow the steps below:
#1. Explore Yourself
Your purpose in life is intertwined with what makes you tick. Therefore, the first step to discovering it is by exploring yourself.
Sit in a quiet room for some time of solitude. Have an honest conversation with yourself, and ask:
- What brings me happiness?
- What do I love to do?
- In what activity can I immerse myself for hours without even thinking about it?
If the answer comes to you in the flicker of a moment – that is your life’s passion and purpose.
#2. Going Deeper
If you remain tongue-tied and your mind blank – don’t worry. This is simply a sign that we need to go deeper.
Sometimes, our life’s purpose has already crossed our paths in the past but we failed to recognize it. What do we do then?
Go through all the times you can remember – from childhood to today – and identify a pattern of activities that made you happy.
For example, for someone, the highlight of college life could have been the membership of a ‘Go Green Society’. Yet, as college finished they became busy in the search for an industrial job and forgot that the offerings of Nature were what at their heart strings and brought out their productive best-self.
Perhaps, their life’s goal is to begin an NGO aimed at environmental protection. But they could just not see it before.
For another person, the best memory of their life could be furnishing their home. From selecting the paint colours to the type of sofa in their living room, every aspect of home design invoked their inner creative self. Even when the person visited relatives or friends, they always found their eyes lingering from one piece of furniture to another, wondering how they could’ve furnished the interior better.
Perhaps for a person like this – becoming an Interior Designer is their goal in life. A goal, they are yet to identify and accept.
Your life may also be filled with such activities, that were actually signs to guide you to your purpose in life.
What you need to do is listen to those hints as you take a walk down memory lane and put the pieces of the puzzle together.
#3. Listen to Your Heart
Sometimes, knowing what we like and what makes us happy is not enough.
It’s important to remember that our purpose in life is a feeling that leaves us passionate, energized, and willing to climb mountains.
For example, those who wish to become doctors and treat the ill as a life’s goal have to put in about 10-14 years of study, just to achieve their goal. Still, their education and training shall continue as time and medicine progress. To put in such time and effort one needs to be passionate enough, and that will only be possible if that is your life’s purpose.
One way of figuring out your purpose in life could therefore be a simple one – listen to your heart.
Your heart is not just an organ, the heart tells us many things. Whether we call it a sign, a hunch, an instinct, or a good ‘vibe’ – these are all ways the heart guides us towards our life’s goal.
Therefore, pay attention to those little thoughts that pop up in your head, which may seem meaningless, but are in fact, the most meaningful.
#4. Make a Decision
Our life is not a smooth sailing journey. It’s like a bumpy roller coaster ride with ups and downs.
Know that not every decision you make will be at the right time, or be your “best” decision. It may not seem like the most viable one. It might not have the highest probability of success. Just know that life takes us in many directions, and if we continue to wait for the right time and the “perfect” decision – that might never happen.
If a decision appeals enough to you and seems like something you might love doing – go for it.
However, don’t be attached to the outcome. Know that everything in life happens for a purpose. Even the mistakes we make are meant to teach us lessons.
Treat every decision as a gift of endless possibilities in life.
Make a decision and believe in it, for life’s decisions are nothing but a leap of faith.
#5. Remain Steadfast
Once you have looked within yourself and decided upon what could be your life’s purpose – stick to that decision and run with it, or you will continue on the hamster wheel.
In life, there are many challenges, including finding the very purpose. The purpose you find today may not be your purpose a year from now. We can and probably will have many purposes as we grow, mature, and become wiser!
Everyone’s life has meaning, and that meaning will dawn upon us at one time or another. What we must do, is always keep an eye out for signs – from our heart, our mind, and the Universe
It will come to you when you least expect it and it will stick to you like glue. Remember to pursue it. Invest your time and effort in it, and in the end, you will be able to truly create a difference.