The topic of people finding their purpose is one that’s often brought up in motivational speeches and self-help books. And while there are many great tips for people to seek out more meaning in their career and personal lives, they may be going about it all wrong.
Maybe you’ve been living your life as planned, when all of a sudden, you just know in your gut that there’s more to life than what you’ve been doing. You feel like the life you’re living isn’t the one you want.
If you’ve thought about it and realized something is missing, then it’s possible that you haven’t yet found your purpose – or at least, not the way it was meant to be applied by you.
Your purpose in life is something that can be difficult or easy to sort out. It’s more than just sitting with your feelings and having an aha moment. You have to dig deep and consider all possibilities before you may hit on a concept that will truly bring you personal satisfaction.
Has Finding Your Purpose Been a Struggle for You?
Having a purpose can help you live a life that you feel is worthwhile. When you don’t have a purpose, you may feel adrift, like you don’t really know what you’re doing or what’s truly important to you.
If you listen to all the advice available about finding your purpose, you’ll notice that a lot of people try to make finding your purpose sound so simple. You might be shocked to learn that and think there’s no way it could be true.
But it can be. For some people. There really are people that don’t struggle to find their purpose. Instead, they just know – and for them, it’s an easy thing and happens automatically.
They know what they want to do. They know how they want to live their life. Sometimes these people may even have this realization in their childhood and grow up to live out that purpose.
While that’s nice, finding a purpose doesn’t happen like that for everyone. Finding your purpose can be a time of confusion and even fear. This is because so much advice has made “finding your purpose” sound like once you find it, you’re locked in for life.
But that’s not what a purpose is. You might get some clues early in life about what your purpose may be. For example, there are some kids who love to write. Others love to design things.
These kids may carry that desire over into their teenage years and beyond. For them, their purpose will be found in a creative field, and they’ll feel like it’s what they were meant to do.
You might not know what your purpose is at the moment, but one thing you can do is look at what makes you feel positive emotions. If your creative endeavors bring happiness to others, which makes you feel fulfilled, then that’s a clue you can use toward your purpose in life.
It doesn’t have to be just one thing. You can have multiple interests that serve as your purpose. If you can spend hour upon hour doing something and it never feels like work, that’s a good indicator that this could be a fitting purpose for you.
You can also look at the things that make you angry. For example, if you can’t stand to see people struggling in life financially, this could be an avenue where you find your purpose.
You may feel strongly about helping those people get their lives back on track. A purpose for this could be as a crisis counselor for the homeless, an entrepreneurial leader or a debt counselor or author.
Your purpose doesn’t necessarily have to be a job. It can be whatever moves you to act, including volunteering. Some people just want to have a purpose for life in general. Others feel strongly about wanting to build a business around it.
That might be you, but you’re feeling frustrated because you don’t have any direction.
It’s purpose that fuels the decisions you need to make. Ask yourself why you want to build a business. Once you uncover your why, you can start to take steps to live out your purpose.
Purpose Can Be Broad and All-Encompassing
Finding your purpose can be something that has more than one perspective. Most people have a wrong idea when it comes to finding their purpose. They believe that they have to be specific and that the purpose is one thing that’s all-encompassing.
By believing this way, they’ll chase a purpose and end up pigeon-holing themselves.
You don’t have to strip down a single purpose. It can bloom and like a tree, having many different branches.
It’s better to have a purpose that offers you different possibilities to choose from. You might be someone who wants to help others deal with depression. Maybe you’ve encountered family or friends who struggled in this area and it ignited a passion within you that made you determined to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
If you pigeon-hole yourself, then you might think that the only way you could help others dealing with the depression would be to become a psychiatrist or a therapist. But if you did that, then you’d leave behind so many other avenues that could play a role in your purpose.
Helping others in this area as well as in other areas could mean that you choose to become a life coach. Or, you choose to mentor people one on one and walk through their depression journey with them.
Let your purpose be broader than you imagine and your scope of purpose as well as your ability to help others will be magnified. For example, you might choose to become a therapist, but you could also combine that purpose with other areas, such as writing books on the topic that people could use as self-help resources.
This increases your reach and opens up your purpose in a bigger way. You could choose to create a membership where you help people deal with depression and share how they can not only live with the condition, but thrive with it.
Any purpose that you have in life, whether it’s general, business, personal or whatever should never be narrowed down, but instead added as a potential option to include in your journey.
You want to leave room for that purpose to grow. Your purpose could be broad in that you simply want to do something or be someone who makes a difference. You want to bring positive change to the world of others by using the talents that you have.
When you use a broad purpose to enrich the lives of others or just in general, you always end up rewarding your own life as well. When you allow your purpose to be broad, it expands the number of experiences that you’ll have.
You’ll live a life that’s full of more opportunities and growth than if you were to narrow your purpose down to one specific thing. If you’re someone who wants to build a business, but you’ve been feeling frustrated because you don’t know your purpose, it might be that you’re too focused on trying to identify a single path to take.
Or the opposite may be true and you may be struggling to find your purpose because the business path you’re on requires more than one branch and you feel overwhelmed by having so many options.
What you need to do, regardless of whether you’re searching for purpose in general or in business is to let yourself be open to exploring whatever avenue opens up to you. Don’t be afraid to take off in different directions, even at the same time.
For example, just because you start a membership course for your business doesn’t mean you can’t also do something like a joint venture or create a workshop or start an eBook empire.
Let your purpose be free to unfold – whether it’s on a large scale, as in helping other people or changing the world – or if it’s for a small circle of people or for you alone. By choosing to let your purpose be broader, you can live a life of passion without limits.
Finding More Purpose and Doing Things With Purpose
Finding your purpose is something that can give your life direction. You might be someone who’s living out that direction already. You’ve found your purpose and you believe you’re on the right track.
But maybe there’s that small voice inside of you that won’t be silent. It keeps bugging you and asking the same thing over and over again. That voice wants to know if this is it.
Is this is everything that your purpose should be? If you’re someone who’s found your purpose and you know without a doubt that you have, then this voice could be making noise for a good reason.
It could be that you’re questioning yourself because you’re starting to realize that your purpose is ready for some growth. When you realize this, it means that you can expand on your purpose.
You no longer have the challenge of finding out what your purpose is. Now, it’s time to find more purpose. In order to do that, you need to look at three things. First, look at what area you want to find more purpose in.
Then answer the question of why you want to find more purpose in this area. Knowing your why is what connects you to the purpose. For example, it might be that the area you want to find more purpose in has to do with your children.
Maybe you want to strengthen your relationship with them. The answer to the why in this realization would most likely be because you love your children and want to spend more time with them.
The third and final thing you would look at to help you find more purpose in this area would be to answer the question of how. You would need to know how you were going to spend more time with your children.
This might be something like establishing a game night with your family. It could be taking time off work to go on vacation. Or it could be establishing a no-technology rule at the dinner table so that everyone could have conversations instead.
For many people, they already know their purpose. But if you find more purpose in the things that you already do and you choose to do these things with more purpose, then it enriches your life.
Your life automatically becomes more meaningful and you find a greater satisfaction in how your life is going. Sometimes in life, when you’re not looking to deepen your purpose by finding more, you end up just going through the motions.
You could be doing what you know you were meant to do, but you can end up just doing the minimum. While you can still be happy, you would be missing out on what could make life even better for you.
This is why you need to do things with purpose. This applies to all areas of your life. Your professional and personal life can benefit when you purposefully carry out tasks or do your projects.
You can end up building better, strong relationships. When you act with purpose, you’re putting more thought and consideration into your actions. This automatically leads to growth in the area that you’re concentrating on.
When you seek to find more purpose, you’ll quickly discover that every task matters – even when before, it may have seemed trivial. You’ll come to realize that the impact of the task or the steps you’re taking are going to be greater.
When you find more purpose, it elevates that level of engagement you have with whatever you’re working on – whether busines or personal. You’re putting more of yourself in the effort because you know that what you’re doing is contributing to your life by way of purpose.
Expect Your Purpose to Evolve Over Time
The purpose that you have in life won’t necessarily be the same thing that someone else experiences. The journey that you’re on could take you on a completely different direction, even if you start at the same place as another person.
For example, you might decide early in life that you want to be a dancer. Your high school friend decides the same thing. Then decades later, she’s a dancer while you run a business.
That’s because what you go through in life and how you react to your own unique experiences will often shape your purpose. Many people get confused about the timeline of purpose.
They mistakenly believes they have to stay on a single, steady path throughout life. Sometimes, purpose will go on the same for years before time passes, interests and obligations change, and you feel like your path needs to be altered.
For example, when a person is young, it might be that they wanted to be an athlete. Maybe they felt like their purpose in life was to become a basketball champion. So they followed athletics from high school into college.
Maybe they even had an athletic scholarship. Time kept marching on, however and that person then reached the age where they just got too old for that purpose – or found another interest.
You’ll often see this when you see people in their thirties retiring from a sport. Either their body could no longer handle the sport, they got tired of it, or their life’s purpose is now taking them in a different direction.
Sometimes, people go through a time in life where relationship changes alter their purpose. For example, it could be that the person gets married. Or they become a parent.
That can quickly change your life purpose. What seems like a tried and true purpose for a single person will often not be the same as a married person, because you have someone else to consider and you’re meshing two lives into one.
Maybe you’ve worked at a business or a career and you’ve established yourself as an authority figure. Others look to you for your expertise. This can also feel like your purpose – to provide guidance.
As time continues, you start to realize that you need to move into coaching and helping others with their personal development. This too can feel like a purpose. Your life will go through various phases.
What might be your purpose right now may not be the same six months from now. You might have a new purpose – a unique one that time is waiting to unveil. Your purpose will continue to fluctuate and each time it does, you can encounter more opportunities and end up with life changes that are rewarding.
Finding your purpose is a task that should be flexible, yet something you’re committed to at the same time. You don’t want to keep changing course so that you never achieve any of your intended goals.
But once you find a path you’re fairly sure will fulfill you, take time to spread your wings and see what potential it has. For example, if you loved animals as a child, you may have had a desire to work at the zoo, which could mean cleaning cages.
As you grew up, you might have dug deeper and decided to be an animal trainer or a veterinarian. Then you wanted more – and chose to pursue a zoo animal surgeon. Maybe you decide to open your own animal rescue or write books about caring for pets.
Recognize the opportunities, give each one consideration, and take it to a level that will satiate that inner desire you have to do more, be more and give more to the world. Never settle for less than what you want.