Do you know what your purpose is? Loaded question, yes, but it can feel isolating when everyone else seems to know what they're doing and where they're headed while you're left feeling lost.
Finding your purpose can help you get that direction you've been craving, a bit of structure, and a clear goal that you can spend a long time working toward, your whole life even! While a purpose can come to you at random, you can also do some investigating to find it yourself.
Taking that leap into discovering your true destiny can be scary, especially for those who already struggle with their self-esteem. Are you tired of letting doubt and worry get in the way of your growth?
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Whether you call it your life's path, your calling, your meaning, your destiny, or your purpose, there's a general idea that we're put on this Earth for one overarching 'reason.' It takes time for us to see this reason, but it tends to click within us, and then we shift our lives so we may dedicate it to this one, divine purpose.
But that sounds pretty intimidating, right? Finding one's purpose isn't always that easy, some have to work for it rather than it being dropped into their lap. If you've been feeling that itch and want to find your designated path, there are five questions you can ask yourself to help narrow it down.
1. What Are Your Passions?
Let's start with a broad question, one that some people find easy while others find it immensely difficult. What are your passions?
What are things you feel passionate about? Most people turn to hobbies, but hobbies can be hard to maintain between work and taking care of a home or a family. There are other places you can turn your passions toward, and other things you can feel passionate about that don't take up all of your free time.
Here are some investigative questions that might help you come up with an answer or two about your current passions.
What are things that you're interested in? Would you say you have a favorite among them? What gets you excited at the mention of it? What are you excited about lately? What are some things that you love doing? If you let your thoughts wander, where do they go? If you had an unlimited amount of money and didn't need to worry about work, what would you be doing with your time?
2. What Are Your Core Values?
Your core values are different from your passions because your core values dictate who you are. You use your values to judge things, be they situations or people, and form your life around these values so it best aligns with what you consider to be right or important.
They're more of an instinctual thing if you don't spend a lot of time thinking about them, so they can be hard to figure out if you're trying to define them for the first time.
Hierarchy Of Wants
Less questions this time, but here are a few thought experiments to help you determine your values.
Think about all the things that you consider important. Above all those things, what do you consider the most important? Now think about general areas of life, such as family, work, creativity, community, etc., which of these areas mean more to you? Why do they mean more to you? Maybe your values lean political, think about common political issues and meditate on your opinion of them, decide if that issue is important enough to you that you would think differently of someone if they shared the opposite view.
3. What Are Your Strengths?
Though we all wish our passions were our strength, that's not always the case. You can be very good at something you don't care for while being terrible at something you love. There's no wrong or right way to enjoy things.
You also certainly have talents that aren't related to passions at all, more regulatory skills or knacks for certain types of communication. Knowing your strengths is key to knowing where you can help out regarding your purpose and how best to contribute to the things you care about.
Flex Those Skills
There's a bit of a different approach for strengths relating to things you enjoy and strengths separate from that. For the former, ask yourself these things to identify them.
What tasks make you lose track of time because of how much you're enjoying them? What could you spend all day doing, having a good time, and not feeling burnt out at the end? What tasks fully immerse you, creating a bubble between you and the outside world?
For the latter, ask these questions instead.
What are some skills you've been complimented on in the past? Where do you excel in your work place, or what has your boss given you positive feedback about? If you had to write a resume today, what would you list as your most notable skills?
4. What Is The Problem You Need To Solve?
A purpose is a singular cause, it's something you dedicate your life to, so in order to figure out what that purpose really is, you have to pick an issue in the world that you feel strongly enough about to spend years fighting for it.
This seems very daunting when phrased that way, and it kind of is. There's no rule saying you can't change your purpose down the line, but it's still expected that you dedicate a good amount of your life to your initial cause.
The Most Important
So, to find out what problem is important enough to you and grand enough to commit yourself to, ask yourself these questions.
What issues sadden you to your core? They could be social, environmental, workplace-related, political, so long as it bothers you deeply. Which of these issues keep you awake at night, or could if they popped into your mind? Which of these issues has you feeling the angriest, the most fired up, the most vengeful? What would you want to see changed for the future generation?
5. What Is The Legacy You Want To Leave?
Lastly, you need to think about the legacy you want to leave. After all your fighting is done, after you've left this world entirely, how do you want people to think of you? Do you want to be remembered as a loving, kind community member that made their home a safe space for everybody? Do you want to be remembered as someone who fought tooth and nail for positive change?
This can be hard to pin down since it's all speculative, so if you don't know yet, that's okay. Sometimes your desired legacy creates itself when you're in the midst of doing what your newfound purpose asks of you.
What Your Future Has In Store
Your purpose and your legacy don't have to be this grand, awe-inspiring thing. Your purpose can start at home, it can be as small as helping your children grow up to be healthy, happy adults. Or, it can be much larger than that, being at the forefront of a social issue you think needs to be addressed by society.
No one purpose is better than any other, and not everyone is cut out for large-scale battles. All that matters is that you had something, you had drive and motivation toward something you felt strongly about, and that's a lot more than what many people can say of their lives.
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