How to find purpose in your life. Finding purpose-of-your-life and finding purpose-in-your-life, are two very different things.
Let me first clear a big Myth about purpose. Many of assume, that once we find our purpose and start moving towards it, our life would become meaningful. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
The absolute truth is that, All of us are evolving constantly. Our needs, wants, meanings, aspirations, dreams and priorities are constantly changing.
We are also changing physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, awareness-wise.
When all these changes are taking place within us and in our lives, then our purpose too needs to be redefined and readjusted, on a continuous basis.
To clarify further, Purpose-of-your-life, DOESN'T CHANGE, but Purpose- in-your-life, do change, with your own transformation and metamorphosis.
If you measure your contentment levels in your all essential elements of life, like your professional, personal, career, relationships, your perception about your future, happiness, emotional and mental health etc etc – chances are that only 1 in 100s of thousands may feel truly blissful and blessed.
So What is the meaning of this word "purpose" – Purpose is your internal and subconscious [and many people may not even aware of these consciously] immutable needs, wants and cravings – that drives us every-day, gives us the required energy-enthusiasm-perseverance, to move on – in spite of life's every-day knocks, upsets, crises, obstacles, challenges etc etc. Day after day.
Finding our purpose could be both easy or most exhausting task.
For many, finding purpose becomes lifelong chase of mirage, that would mean, chasing something, that we think is our purpose – but feel dissatisfied and emptiness on accomplishing that. Then restarting again.
The danger of being unconscious of your life purpose is that you may confuse it with your worldly goals, such as career, making money, and being successful.
Mark Twain said these famous words -The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
Understanding Your Why is critical for everything you want to Do, Be and Have – and answer to these whys is Your Purpose.
Finding your life purpose is a life-long journey, It is okay to take it one step at a time. It's normal to pause and reevaluate regularly. Because nothing worth doing is ever going to be easy.
You are going to encounter frustrations and challenges and, on Some days, you will feel stuck, without any solution and answers, that too is alright.
The Japanese call it Ikigai & The Hindus call this Dharma & The Christians the Righteousness Living -the meaning is same, that is , what makes life worth living, the right way of living, and the path of rightness.
Now about Purpose-in-life => the changing ones, following examples can clarify
- When were children - fun, exploration, and curiosity [learning] were the dominant purposes
- During teenage years and early twenties – identifying and building our personal & social identity, connecting with our peers, choosing career/profession becomes main focused pursuits
- In later life family, status and success are most important
- Then happiness, leaving a legacy, building meaningful relationships, health etc takes priority
While all of the above are needed to make for a full life, they may, or may not connect to your life purpose.
How to find your Purpose of life
- Finding opportunity in purpose as well as purpose in opportunity. Finding purpose in need and understanding the need of the purpose. Finding story in your purpose
- First understand, that many times the word Purpose and Passion are synonyms of each other and sometimes they could be as different as day and night
- Ask Yourself and your Team and all your stake-holders, before you start a new project, Do we want to do this at all, if The answer is a resounding yes – then only ask why should we do it
- Don't just ask why, but also why not
- Give your absolute best, no matter what you do
- Experience - Heightened experiences and support other people enjoying the best possible heightened experiences
- Be suspicious of what you want – do Why why analysis till you get something that gives you a AHA feeling
Get into doing what you feel is right, for this to happen, you need to be clear about what are your core values
- To understand your core-values, you need to look back and identify the feelings and times of intense dissatisfaction, after you did or did not do something – if you can identify doing what makes you feel bad & doing what makes you feel great about yourself – you have identified your core values
- All your core values, when followed will fill you with extreme happiness
- But when these are disobeyed, will make you feel miserable
- Ask your-self the following, are you living life as per your peer's and society's expectations – are you a housewife because that si what your friends ae doing, are you in a job by giving up on being a artist only because everyone else is doing this,
- Always Question your harsh disappointment
- Disrupt *Re-organize and restructure your life
- Pay attention to when your heart breaks
- Look at where your heartfelt commitment lies
- Besides looking at your dreams pay attentions to your nightmares also, these are significant indications also
- Consciously examine the values of your culture, peers, and family. If they put pressure for you – then they may not be your values
- Be aware of the power of money and status distractions from your life purpose
- Stop accepting mediocre, embrace excellence
- Understand Your Life Purpose Is Not Your Ego, The majority of people never become aware of their life purpose because they are too busy trying to become products of their ego. Ego loves prestige and glamor
- Trying to rebalance lost confidence and self-esteem through egoic pursuits can send you on a long and dangerous journey away from yourself
- Identify in which aspects you are already living part of your life purpose
- Commit to expressing yourself, freely
- Ask yourself these three simple questions - What subject could I read 500 books about without getting bored, What could I do for five years straight without getting paid, What would I spend my time doing if I had complete financial abundance to do anything
- Identify - Anything that gets your blood racing, There are a lot of things worth doing that will never bring you money
- Create a list of the people you are jealous of and identify what you are jealous about them, Ask this question, who do I envy the most due to the work they do
- Note down what you hate doing
- Most successful people, the ones that are most passionate about their work, are almost never defined by a single skill. Steve Jobs was not the world's greatest computer engineer, entrepreneur and financial wizard. But he was uniquely good enough at all of these things, and wove them together into something far greater
- Identify among people you know, whose hobbies or passions interest you, ask to spend some time helping out, or giving them a try
- Experiment with new activities, whether it's a new sport, learning a language, or trying a craft, as much as possible.
- Ask your friends for advice
- Remember what you loved doing as a child, What hobbies did you enjoy doing before life got in the way, Would you enjoy those activities now OR imagine that you are very old. What do you wish you had spent the last 20 to 30 years doing
- Create something brand new, "Don't worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
- Be brutally honest with yourself about all your unhappiness and all your frustrations and all your dissatisfactions and all your shame-areas – and do some serious introspections and soul-searching
- Ask yourself, how can you be fully yourself
- Slow down and listen to yourself- when We work more, play less and neglect the very reason we strive for success in the first place: to experience joy in life
- Reframe your story that you tell yourself in a positive way
- Identify and accept what makes you unique, understand that No one else has your unique blend of talents, wisdom, strengths, skills, and creativity
- Focus on the fun
- Push past your big fears - When day-to-day actions and reactions stem from fear and from focusing on all the things we don't want to have happen in life, it not only has a negative impact on the body, but also creates a division between mind and soul
- Dig deep, recreate and re-Map your future
- Happiness begins from the moment you do something for others. Those who consistently help others, are happy, and are less stressed – ask whether this true for you
- Ask ask ask - Why do you want to find your purpose in life
- Learn to get outside your personal bubble - This fear of being uncomfortable is also why we get anxious at the thought of meeting strangers, Because we don't want to look bad, we are afraid of failing, We procrastinate because of this fear of failing, this fear of discomfort, When someone does or says something, we relate that event with how it affect us, and this can cause anger or pain or irritation, We expect people to try to give us what we want, and when they don't, we get frustrated or angry, Actually, pretty much all our problems are caused by this bubble
- Understand Everything sucks, some of the time
- Ask WHAT IS TRUE ABOUT YOU TODAY THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR 10-YEAR-OLD SELF CRY
- Note down HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SAVE THE WORLD, then just do what you can, with what you have
- Find a problem you care about and start solving it
- Ask IF YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO DIE ONE YEAR FROM TODAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO AND HOW WOULD YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED
- Surround Yourself With Positive People
- Start Conversations With New People
- Explore Your Interests
- Consider Injustices That Bother You
- Cultivate awe, gratitude, and altruism
- Listen to what other people appreciate about you
- Find out what energizes you
- Find out who you want to help
- Find out how you want to help
- Explore the Things You Love To Do & What Comes Easy to You
- Ask Yourself What Qualities You Enjoy Expressing the Most in the World
- Conduct Your Own Passion Test – a tentative list of questions, My life is ideal when I'm being of service to massive numbers of people, My life is ideal when I'm helping people with their vision, My life is ideal when I'm speaking to large groups, My life is ideal when I'm being part of a spiritual leaders network, My life is ideal when I'm creating a core group of ongoing trainers who feel identified with my organization
- Think About All the Times You've Experienced the Greatest Joy In Your Life
- Identify by asking, When have I felt most fulfilled
Answer to these questions, will give you the following – which in turn will take to towards finding your purpose
- What you are missing
- What you need in your life to make it fulfilling
- What you need to stop doing
- What you need to start doing
- What you need to change in yourself
- What you need to give up