Maybe you never worry about finding your purpose, because it’s easy to think you’ve got it all figured out. You have got a good job, a place to live, a good relationship. But somehow, something is missing. There’s a gap that you cannot seem to fill.
Some try and fill the gap with drugs, or alcohol, or even religion. These things might make you feel better, but they don’t necessarily fill this gap – the gap that is caused by not knowing what your purpose in life is.
Purpose is different to having goals. For example, your goal might be to own a big house. A big house isn’t a purpose, it is a physical object.
Your purpose might be to make people feel better about themselves, or to feed the hungry, or to make changes in your local community.
The problem is that nobody can tell you what your purpose is, only you can figure it out. And if you have not got a purpose, it can be difficult to find out what it should be. But your purpose could already be lodged in your subconscious mind…you just need to find a way to release it.
Here are a few exercises you can try to see if you find your own purpose.
Do What You Love vs Finding Your Purpose
The advice to “do what you love” is often given for people looking to start a business or get a job, but in most cases, it is highly ineffective. Doing what you love might not pay the bills and might not make a difference in the world. For example, if you love brushing your teeth, how can you turn that into anything else? Sure, you could become a dental hygienist, but that is cleaning someone else’s teeth!
What if you love collecting stamps? Would you have the dedication to turn it into a full-time occupation?
The key to this is to find out what you love. If you do love brushing your teeth, maybe it’s not so much that you enjoy the process, but you do like the result – you look better. Maybe this would lead you to make other people look better, perhaps as a personal trainer or makeup artist.
Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing, whether they are hobbies, chores, or just things you do.
When you have got at least 8 things on the list, see if you can find a common thread. If not, try and group the items. Carrying on the example above, if you enjoy brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, and trimming your nails, perhaps you shouldn’t look towards being a personal trainer – you might be more interested in pet grooming, and so your purpose would be to look after and improve the lives of animals.
Give it a go, as you may be surprised at the links you can find.
Try this – get a notepad and a pen. I’ll wait.
Now, without thinking about it, write down:
Your 3 favorite movies
It doesn’t matter if you want to change your mind afterward, because you can’t. This is a snap-decision first-thought exercise.
The tricky part comes next. You now need to find the common theme within those three movies, because you’re trying to set your subconscious free!
For example, you may have picked Elf, Rocky, and Shaun of The Dead. Not exactly similar, are they? Except, in a way, they are. The main character in each film is not the best of his kind and fights adversity to better himself, and potentially make life better for those around him. Could that mean your purpose is to do the same?
What if you had a billion dollars in your bank account? What would you do? Where would you go? Who would you be with? What would you do for others?
When there are no limits placed on you with regards to earning an income, you are free to do as you choose. The things you would do are the things that you would most want to do in your ordinary life, and the things you most want to do are your passion and purpose. Finding your purpose when you are already wealthy can be hard, as there are many options open to you. But if you are not yet wealthy, finding your purpose can be as simple as understanding what you would do if you could do anything in the world.
Get outside your own head
Ask your friends and family what they think your interests are – maybe even ask what they think your purpose is. These people see you from the outside. They see what you do, when you do it, and how much you enjoy it. When you start to get the same answer four or five times, you may have stumbled on your purpose.
So, what’s your purpose?