5 Simple Steps to Discover your Life’s Purpose
1. Assess your Values and Goals
They say that life has no inherent meaning– it is up to each of us to give it meaning, and our values and goals are, in fact, the meaning that we personally give to our life. So go ahead, take some time to reflect on your goals, take a peek at what drives you to care about certain events, situations, and causes and not others, and get acquainted with your very own system of values (if you’re not sure how, not to worry– we’ll show you how in an upcoming article) because this is the very thing that serves as the foundation of your unique mission or purpose.
2. Follow Who and What Inspires You
The more you listen, read, watch, and learn from all of the people and things that inspire you, the more you will be in a state of resonance with your purpose, your “why”, your reason for being alive. What inspires you about science, art, dance, literature, technology, education, numbers, or the ocean tells a story– a story of how you came to be who you are and who you are becoming. And what inspires you about other people is something that also lives within you. Otherwise, you would not have the capacity to notice it.
So, as you continue to flow and grow through life, don’t be afraid to take solace in the activities, people, environments, and situations that inspire you. Let them nurture you, soothe you, guide you, and remind you why you are not just alive– but happy to be alive.
3. Let go of the belief that you have to be somebody
The truth is that each and every one of us, in each and every moment of every day, is important. We all influence each other all of the time. So if you want to have a purpose right now in this very moment, let it be to influence the people around you in the most positive way that you can. Let it be to acknowledge your own inherent importance, to treat yourself as the incredibly valuable being that you are, and to then go and do the same for others.
Your purpose is alive in each moment. It is in the way you move, the way you speak, the way you choose to greet and treat yourself and others every day. So every morning when you wake up, tell yourself this: “I know that I have inherent importance and value and that I inherently exercise my purpose in each and every way that I talk, walk, and treat myself and other people.” Then ask yourself: “Knowing this, how will I choose to live my life today?” And let that inspire the energy, enthusiasm, and purpose with which you begin each day.
4. Relax, unwind, do nothing
When you spend time in silence, doing nothing, you’ll have more time and space to hear the inner musings of your soul. Your soul doesn’t scream and shout; it speaks to you in subtleties. An inexplicable urge to do something, a hesitation to not do something else, images that you see around you, experiences that you have, people whom you meet, and conversations that you remember– these are all language forms in which your soul communicates. It’s a language that only you know, that only you can recognize, see, hear, touch, and feel.
When you take the time to simply be with yourself, you will increasingly be aware of the nuances that go on within and around you. You’ll be able to bypass your mind’s chatter and hear the voice of your intuition and the whispers of your heart instead. Among the multitude of your heart’s whispers, you are unlikely to find the whisper of “C’mon, stop wasting time and find your purpose already.” Your heart’s whispers more readily sound like this: “Darling, take your time. There is no rush at all. Just as you were created on purpose, there is no doubt to me that you are always living in your purpose, whether you are accomplishing things, writing books, influencing people, or simply twiddling your thumbs…”
5. Let Your Purpose Find You
What if there were many things that you could do, a variety of things that you could choose from to accomplish your personal mission? And what if the only criteria that you had to meet in choosing something to fulfill your individual mission was that it made you happy? An unconventional idea, I know, but really let it sink in. What if you were born with no purpose but to enjoy life in the unique way that only you can?
What if it didn’t really matter what path you pursued as long as it was one you could pursue with joy and fervor? When you embrace purpose as a way to enjoy life while being yourself, you’ll be keenly aware of those moments when your mood is just right, when conversations simply flow, when your needs are easily met, and when your day goes from great to even better. And that is when your purpose will find you.
I can’t promise you that if you follow these five steps, your purpose will reveal itself to you through an explosion of fireworks in the beautiful night sky or that God or the Universe itself will hand deliver you a note with your life’s purpose written on it. In fact, I can almost certainly promise you that these things won’t happen. But what will happen as you stay open and patient, and remain curious about this thing called your “purpose” is that you will soon find yourself in that ‘sweet spot’ at the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, and what the world needs. You’ll turn around and say “I don’t know how I got here but I’m sure glad I did”. And it won’t have anything to do with how much effort you put into it and everything to do with how much you followed your inspiration, how much you let go, and how much you trusted in your already purposeful essence. So go on. Do that! And let us know how it goes in the comments below.