“I believe fulfillment is a right and not a privilege. We are all entitled to wake up in the morning inspired to go to work, feel safe when we’re there and return home fulfilled at the end of the day. Achieving that fulfillment starts with understanding exactly WHY we do what we do.” – Find Your Why by Simon Sinek.
I sincerely believe that each of us was put on this earth with a purpose to serve and a contribution to make. Although our purpose is not something we need to look outside ourselves for, most of us fail to see it. It’s basically hiding in plane site. We’re just looking in the wrong places. Or perhaps we are not looking at all. Some of us are looking but we’re not looking at life from the correct angle.
I don’t mean to say that there’s only one angle to look at things, but if you’re waiting for a fairy to come flying down and read out your purpose then you’ll probably spend the rest of your life waiting.
It is essential to keep your eyes and minds open and ready to receive and interpret any signs. And by signs I mean how you feel and react to different experiences.
Just a heads up: I’ll be using passion and purpose interchangeably. What is meant by both is that one thing or several things that you live for, they are the reason you were created. Whatever your purpose is, you should be passionate about it. Hence your purpose is your passion and your passion is your purpose.
The following are some things you could do to discover your purpose.
Want it as Bad as You Want to Breathe
If you really want to find your purpose you must want it so bad that life without it seems to make no sense. That’s basically what the word purpose means. The purpose means the reason and if you don’t know the reason why you’re here on this earth then that what sense does your existence make?
You must want to know this reason so bad that you constantly think about it and link everything to it to find an answer. If you have that approach then you will eventually find it or it will find you.
On the other hand a person who doesn’t care what his purpose is and is ok living without purpose eating, drinking and sleeping doing nothing more than what animals do, that person will never find his purpose.
Keep your Values in Mind
When asking people about your passion many will say that “you should just try all sorts of things and follow your heart”. I only half agree with that statement.
It is important to keep your values in sight. What I mean by this is just following ones heart isn’t correct because we need to use both our heart and brain. Our hearts sometimes urge us to do things that we know are wrong. However, if you were to just follow your heart then you would end up making a terrible decision.
Take for example a man who has been happily married for 10 years with a happy family. This man then meets another woman somewhere and feels an instant connection and excitement of emotions he hasn’t felt in a long time. So far this is ok, these things happen and this maybe due to thrill of a new relationship and someone that you connect with. However, if the man follows his heart and allows himself to grow more passionate about this person then he will end up ruining his current relationship. Remember that he was happily married and trust me these stories happen!
Yes the story I just told isn’t about purpose but the point is following heart and passion alone isn’t a great idea. Use your heart to uncover possibilities and then use your brain and your values to weigh out the situation.
Try Different Things
We already established that your purpose is inside you and not outside. So trying to just think of all the different things that you may be passionate and great at isn’t the best of ideas. You need to actually try these things and see how you feel about them.
Often times, you’d here of successful people wanting to go down a specific route but being led through a different way. However, the important part is they eventually find their passion and they achieve great things.
The worst thing you could do is sit still and wait for enlightenment or revelation because it’s not going to come. You just have to keep going at what’s in front of you and if one door closes then try another door. With action comes clarity!
Listen to Those Who Know You
Many people when looking for their purpose and their strengths tend to keep it to themselves. However, how often do people see in us what we don’t see in ourselves? Most of us have seen talent shows where terrible singers come out to sing thinking they’re great only to find out that the whole audience thinks otherwise.
If you’re not convinced yet then try this little exercise to understand what I mean. Speak and record yourself speaking. Pay attention to how you think you sound as opposed to how you actually sound in the recording.
Trust me it’s not just the recording quality. Even ask someone to listen to you speak and then to listen to a recording of it. They will tell you there’s no difference.
Basically we hear ourselves differently and we also see ourselves differently so it’s always good to get an outside view. They may spot different strengths about you that you didn’t seem to notice.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
I know that I told you that this should be on your mind and that life without this shouldn’t make sense to you. However, that doesn’t mean you either find something today or you might as well be nonexistent.
As long as you’re looking for that purpose then you’re on the right track. Just keep on it and you’ll find it eventually.
Sweating it isn’t going to make you get there any faster so just take your time and keep your eyes peeled and you’ll discover it in due time.
Allow Yourself to Change Your Mind
I think it’s safe to say that, as kids, all of us were asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Now, how many answered with one thing and changed their minds later? Some of us even changed their minds the next day and that’s ok. We were kids, we were still discovering this world and ourselves.
Now you’ve grown up and you still haven’t settled at one thing. That’s also ok because we are very complex beings and understanding ourselves can take time. In fact most of us are probably great and passionate about more than one thing.
The important part is that you should be taking action and the more you move on in life and experience different things and change your mind, the more it will become clear to you.
Just Get Stuck In
So we’ve told you not to sweat it and we’ve told you that it’s ok to change your mind and now we’re telling you to actually just get stuck in. So what does all of this mean?
What I mean by this is that once you’ve chosen something that you believe is your passion and purpose you need to just get stuck in. Forget all those excuses and fears that were probably the reason you couldn’t see it for so long.
Following your passion might not easy. If you think you will discover you purpose and all of a sudden life will all be bright and sunny then you’re dead wrong. This is why once you’ve set your sights at something you need to just get stuck right in.
Persevere and be Patient
We always look at successful individuals, whether businessmen or sports people and we think “I wish I could be so successful doing something I love just like them”. The problem with this is we haven’t seen them in all their bad days. We haven’t seen them when they were just scraping by or when they were so near to quitting because they couldn’t take it much longer. We see the good times and thing that they’re living a life where everything is jolly just because they’re so passionate about what they do.
Following your purpose is going to be difficult. You’ll have to make massive sacrifices. At times, you’re going to want to quit and just live a normal life and work a normal job like everyone else. So if you find that purpose, that purpose that you can make a difference to this world with, then you need to commit to it with all you got and you need to be patient and you need to persevere!
I’ve told you what I believe regarding the topic. Now, I recommend reading Simon Sinek’s book, Find Your Why, which has been essential in helping me find my purpose!
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!