Have you ever wondered what your true purpose in life is?
If you feel you've yet to find your purpose, don't worry, you're not alone. I remember when I was about to turn 30, being in a meeting with a group of women who were in their 40s and 50s, many of whom were senior leaders in their companies.
They were discussing what they really want to do in life. I remember thinking "Haven't you already made it?"
Now I realise that life, work and business is all a journey, there is no final destination to 'make it' to, just every day to enjoy to its fullest.
To do this, you need to focus on what's important to you and on identifying and sharing your passions and talents. This is your purpose, and living it will lead to a happy and fulfilling life.
It may sound simple, but finding your true purpose in life is going to take some time and reflection.
Here are six steps to help you get started...
Pay Attention to What Interests You
Do you enjoy watching a lot of science fiction movies? Do you find yourself doodling during downtime and at meetings? Do you feel drawn to causes on a specific theme? Whatever it is, you’re drawn to it, which means that you have a natural interest in that activity. Take some time to dig a little deeper.
For a long time this wasn't clear to me, but making a list of where I spent my free time made it very evident. Over the last 10 years I've spent time volunteering for 3 women in business groups, and four communication and public speaking groups. Seeing it on paper made my purpose obvious. It's clear to see why, as a business and communications mentor for women, I've never been happier and I wake up every day feeling excited and motivated.
Look into the Past
Consider what you enjoyed doing when you were younger. Think about what you did for fun and entertainment there are often some important clues as to your true purpose hidden in your past.
Try to remember as much as you can about what made you curious and what you imagined doing in the future. Speak to old friends and relatives and ask them what they remember about you as a child - their insights can be extremely revealing.
Write down everything you think of or discover. Is there anything on your list that still resonates with you?
Don’t Worry Too Much About the Future
It's easy to worry about what may happen (or not) in the future, but the truth is that they only way to control what happens next, is to focus on what you do today.
Worrying that you won't find your purpose, or that one thing that will make you happy and fulfilled will only hold you back. Instead, focus on the present; what is happening right now.
Focus on what you are currently doing and explore what you enjoy doing most. If you pressure yourself too much, you'll end up not liking anything.
Try New Things
Sometimes it can take some time and experimentation to help find your purpose.
If you think something is interesting, give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll know it isn’t for you. Continue to try new things until something sticks. Learning what you don't like might also reveal that you are already closer to living your purpose than you thought.
Don’t Follow Others' Dreams
While your parents might want you to follow in their footsteps, if that goal doesn’t interest you, then you need to find out what does. Your purpose could be very different from theirs.
It’s your life, nobody else’s and while you may feel pressure to follow the dreams that others have for you, this is the fast-track to regret and disappointment. You need to carve out your own path and follow that. It takes courage, but it will be worth it.
Your perfect calling isn't going just to hit you on the head. It’s going to take time and a fair amount of trial and error before you find what fits.
By spending the time on yourself and finding out what makes you happy, you’ll gain the reward of knowing how to what is important and meaningful for you - and that's your true purpose.
What's your purpose?
Have you discovered your true purpose? Or have you used any other tolls or techniques to find out what is important to you?
Share your experiences in the comments below.
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