How to find and live your purpose
For a long time, I wondered how to find and live my life’s purpose. I searched for the one thing that I could do to bring me ‘success’ and joy and make me feel like I was fulfilling my purpose and potential. I thought that when I found that one thing that I’d ‘get there’. Wherever that is.
The problem is that it became a game of postponement. I thought that once I got that ‘next thing’, then I’d feel fulfilled and successful. Then when that didn’t really work, I thought the next thing would make me feel that way, then the next.
Over the years however, I’ve realised that it’s by pursuing what you love and are passionate about that you fulfil your life’s purpose. It’s not by playing safe, ticking the boxes, being a ‘good girl’ or a ‘good boy’ or doing what you ‘should’ do in your career or life.
Sure - there’s certain rules and laws that we need to follow in life in order to uphold civilised society and keep things ticking.
But when it comes to your career and life circumstances, including what you do every day, the relationship you’re in (or whether you’re in one), where you live, who you surround yourself with and so on, the worst thing that you could possibly do for your happiness and fulfilment is to follow others’ rules and norms of what you ‘should’ be doing.
If you stay stuck in situations that you dislike or even outright hate, that’s when you’re not fulfilling your purpose.
When you stay stuck in situations and circumstances that you resent, you are handing your power over to others. Living others’ dreams and pursuing their goals.
This is when we start to feel resentful, confused, unaligned with our values, and unable to see what it is that we truly want to do with our lives. Fear, resistance and procrastination LOVE us in this state because it means that we won’t take any risks and will stay stuck right where we are.
Are you in a place of feeling stuck, unfulfilled and lacking a sense of purpose or vision? If so, you’re not alone. I have been there and I’ve stayed there for months, if not years, before taking action.
Only YOU know if you’re pursuing your passion. Only YOU know if you are moving closer to living your purpose, or if you’re staying stuck in fear and overwhelm.
If you’re in this place, here’s a few steps to help you start to shift the energy towards what you DO want - not what you DON’T:
Write down everything you LOVE to do. Don’t worry about whether you could actually make money from these things. Right now, the goal is to identify everything that lights you up. This could be anything from yoga to horse riding; from writing to solving complex financial problems; from creating new projects from scratch to helping others get organised and checking all the boxes.
Of these, what would you be happy to spend the energy turning into a business or career? For example, I LOVE yoga but I want to keep it that way - as something that I love to do for passion, rather than to make an income. This may change but right now, I’d rather focus my time and energy creating other projects rather than turning yoga into an income stream.
Now, highlight which of these people may pay for? If people don’t pay for what you’re selling, then you have a hobby, not a business. A business must do one of two things (or both): it must solve a problem for people (e.g. saving them time, marketing their business, making them more money, doing their taxes, washing their car) or it must bring them joy or status (e.g. a designer handbag, jewellery, a holiday, a new car)… Out of the things that you love to do, what might people actually pay for? And forget the competition - if there’s an existing market out there, that’s a great thing. You can create your own unique business that serves clients that are ideal for you.
What would you actually love to do? Creating a business is NOT easy, but if you love what you are doing then it’s absolutely worth it. If you love dogs but would hate to walk them all the time, then it’s not a good idea to aim to generate a full-time career as a dog walker. Sounds obvious, right? Sometimes the most obvious things can be elusive, though. Ensure that if you’re starting a business that it’s something that you’d be happy doing all the time. Save the other stuff for passion projects and hobbies.
Get started. Once you’ve made a decision about pursuing something that you’re passionate about so that you can find and live your purpose, get started today. If you wait for the right time, it’s never going to come. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve put off starting new projects and pursuing my passion because I’ve been waiting for work to calm down, or to have more free time, or to feel more energy or clarity. This will all come when you get started pursuing what you love to do. Once you decide to get started, the right teachers will appear and books will pop up at the right moment with the message you most need to hear now. The next step will appear when you take the first.
You may worry that you don’t have the time and energy to pursue your passions and life’s purpose, but this pursuit will bring you energy and it’s going to ultimately give you back your life. What could save more time than that?