by admin

November 11, 2021

Do you know what your true purpose in life is? This may not be something you think about every day. However, it helps to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, whether it’s minor everyday choices or large life-altering decisions. No matter your age or current situation, it’s sometimes helpful to consider or reassess your purpose. 

Are You Living Your True Purpose?

How do you even know if you’re in alignment with your true purpose? There’s no simple answer as this is something that fluctuates for most people. Some days, or in some moments, you feel more in tune with your purpose than at other times. Here are some criteria you can use. 

  • Do you know where you want to end up? No one knows exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow. But it’s nice to have at least a general idea of where you’d like to be. People with a strong sense of purpose usually have goals or a vision of what their ideal life would look like. 
  • Are you a clock watcher at work (or when running your business, or doing whatever takes up most of your day)? If you’re constantly looking at your watch because you can’t wait for the day to be over, you’re probably not spending your day in an optimal way.
  • Do you frequently compare yourself to others? One sign that you aren’t aligned with your true purpose is that you envy others, whether celebrities, friends, or neighbours you consider more successful. When you’re aligned with your own purpose, you don’t feel the need to compare yourself to anyone. 
  • Do you often get lost in your work or hobby? This is the opposite of being a clock watcher. When you’re so engrossed in what you’re doing that you lose track of time, it’s a strong sign that you’re doing something that’s consistent with your purpose. 

How to Find Your Purpose

If you’re not certain what your purpose is, there are ways to help you identify it. Some people can sum up their purpose in a single word or idea. More often, it’s a more complicated mix of ideals and actions. Here are some questions to ask yourself that can clarify your purpose.

  • What would you still do if there was no financial reward involved? Or as Alan Watts, the famous philosopher said once: “what would you like to do if money were no object?”. Write down a list of as many things as you can think of. Then cross out anything you do purely for survival or to escape (e.g. have a beer while watching TV to relax after work). What remains are clues on what you’re truly passionate about.
  • What comes naturally to you? Identify any abilities that come easily to you. This could be sports, talking to people, music, writing, learning languages, fixing things, learning computer programs, or anything else. Your natural abilities are usually connected to your true purpose. 
  • Who are your heroes? Think who your heroes were as a child and who you most admire today. They can even be fictional characters. Consider the qualities your heroes possess. 
  • What world problems or issues do you consider most important? This may have to do with whom you donate money or volunteer, organisations you belong to, or simply issues you think about. This is a strong indication of your values and the kind of contribution you’d like to make. 

Steps to Live Your Life Purpose

Many people feel that they’d like to find and live their purpose but are limited by practical concerns. For example, you may dream of being a rock star, professional athlete, or astronaut but need to make ends meet by working at your current job. Here are some tips to help you move in the direction of your purpose.

  • Don’t try to change everything at once. What counts even more than achieving goals is moving in the right direction. As long as you take actions every day that align with your purpose, you’re making progress. 
  • Learn about yourself. It’s never too late to get better acquainted with yourself. Certain personality tests, such as Myers-Briggs, can be helpful for this purpose. 
  • Track how you spend your time. Lack of time is probably the single biggest excuse people give for not pursuing their dreams. Start paying attention to how you spend your time. Use a time tracking app or keep a time journal. 
  • Identify time blocks that could be better utilised. For example, if you spend 3 hours every day watching TV or on Facebook, that’s time you could be using to pursue a more goal-oriented activity. 
  • Learn to say “no.” When you start to make changes to how you spend your time, you may have to refuse certain requests and invitations. Be firm in your resolve to follow your own path even if it means you can’t always meet others’ expectations. 
  • Step outside your comfort zone. Making changes of any kind is uncomfortable and there’s usually an impulse to return to your accustomed routine. Force yourself to take small steps that are outside your comfort zone. This could be making a call, taking a class, or attempting a new task. 

Living your purpose isn’t something you decide to do once. It’s something that requires your commitment every single day. No one is on purpose every second. What counts is that you pay attention to your overall momentum so you’re moving in the right direction. 

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