How to Find Your Purpose in Life?
This question has been asked by people many times, “How do you find and know your purpose in life?” It’s a question I’ve asked myself too. I’ve asked during times of emptiness or restlessness. I’ve also asked during times of joy and excitement.
“Do we really have to have a purpose in life?” A friend thoughtfully pondered when I expressed I have been meaning to write an article regarding this topic.
“What do you mean?”
“You know, do we have to know our purpose? Can I just live and enjoy life and make that my purpose?”
“Hmmmmm…” I stopped in my tracks and time stood still for a few seconds. “That’s a good question. Well, I believe that the intention to live life with enjoyment is wonderful. When we use the word ‘purpose’ it means we want to find a reason for our existence or a reason for living. And whatever we have chosen to do or be we must enjoy it.”
She became silent. I don’t think she was convinced.
I also don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to enjoy life.
But I believe there must be something more. So I go back to my question, “How do you find your purpose in life?”
A Personal Inventory
To guide you in finding your purpose in life, make a personal inventory by asking yourself these two questions.
Personal Inventory # 1: What do you love to do?
Personal Inventory #2: Where do you excel?
It's not really complicated. But you need to know who you really are to be able to identify your passion (what do you enjoy doing?) and your potential (what do you do well?). Knowing yourself will help you find your life's purpose.
What Do You Love to Do?
The first question that you must ask yourself is what do you love to do? What is that one thing that you feel so passionate about that when you do it you feel joyful and wonderful, you feel in the zone, whole and complete? You know there is fire in your belly. You know with a certainty that this is something that you are born to do!
But this is not the only thing that you should ask yourself. Partnering off with this first question comes the second one.
Where do you excel?
Observe the one area that you excel. For sure, this is connected to something that you love doing. If you do something often enough and with passion, you begin to excel in that one thing!
I believe that all of us have a special gift and this is connected to your life’s purpose.
A parent of one of our former students called me asking if I would like to receive donations for our preschool. She had some toys, magazines and play mats. “Yes, of course!” I replied. One of the things that she gave us was a huge ball with a handle. It was the first time we saw such a toy.
“Wow, it’s big!” We gushed.
“How do you use this?” One asked. None of us knew. It was a flabby kind of ball. It was also too big to roll or throw. The ball ended up in the corner of the room unused.
One day, some kids entered the room. One of them saw the ball. She asked if she could play with the ball. She then took the handle and sat on the ball and began bouncing around the room.
We were all laughing. So that was the purpose of the ball with the handle!
How many of us are like this ball? If we do not know our purpose, our greatness will not come out.
Some More Things You Can Do
- Take time to listen to your inner voice.
- Be aware of the things that give you joy.
- Make a personal mission statement.
- Recall your past and your experiences that have molded you to become the person you are now.
- Believe in yourself.
- When you are prodded to do something, move. Act.
- Make a dream book or a vision board
A friend shared to me how she started working with kids, left and worked in an HR department. After several months, she remembered a quiet discontent that was nagging at her. A few days later, she saw a couple of her students walking in the mall. It suddenly dawned on her that she missed the kids. She decided she will no longer renew her contract. Just as she was about to resign, she got a call from her former employer. She happily accepted the offer. Today, she now co-owns and manages a preschool with me.
Another good friend recalls as a child she always loved to perform in front of people. As she grew older, her passion for the arts won her many awards and led her to Manila where she trained with a top director. In the course of her training, she discovered her passion for directing and training. Daisy shared, “I have known my passion and purpose since I was young. But I have seen how it has evolved through the years. I found out that my core gift is training and it gives me much fulfillment to empower people.”
It was only a few years ago that I discovered my purpose in life and it has given me deep joy. As I look back, I realized that all the things that have happened to me have prepared me for this purpose. I recognized the skills I have acquired are now being used. I also know that there are more skills I need to hone but I could feel the excitement through this process.
The Purpose Driven Life
One Last Note
For those who are still trying to find their purpose in life, we often wish that someone will tell us and reassure us. But no one else can reveal your purpose to you. Only you can discover it. So start making a personal inventory today.
Don't despair. Just continue to know yourself and love yourself more. If you are spiritual, pray and meditate about it. Find a friend whom you can talk to. Find your core gift. Discover your passion and potential.
Blessings in your journey to discovery.
By: Michelle Simtoco