How to Find Your Life’s Purpose

Fall leaves with part of the image in focus and part out of focus - How to Find Your Life's Purpose

We look to psychics more than our financial advisors for life guidance.

I read this in an article last week and I couldn’t help but laugh.  I visited a psychic with friends a few week ago … and I haven’t talked to my financial advisor in a few months.  

What does this say about me, us … our society?

We have an insatiable desire to learn more about ourselves and we’ll look anywhere, even to the supernatural, to discover insights!    

Self-awareness is a never-ending journey.  Lately, I’ve been talking to many people about one particular topic related to this: finding purpose in life.  Too many of us are going through the motions of life and now, at this stage in our career, we’re catching our breath and wondering if the energy we’re giving to work, to others, is unmoored from a deep-seated passion we know is inside of us … but we’re not certain what it is.

We’re saying bullsh*t.  Enough.  We know how precious life is and, more importantly, we don’t want to spend another day feeling disconnected to things that matter to us.

The problem, though, is that we just don’t know how to go about finding what our purpose should be.  We just don’t know!  And while it’s easy to look around, outside of ourselves, to find hints and clues, the treasure trove for self-knowledge isn’t external to us – it’s found within.  But here’s the catch: TURNING INWARD IS SO HARD.  

It requires us to be deliberate about slowing down, reflecting, and being uncomfortable when thoughts and ideas don’t come to us immediately.  There are times, too, when we judge ourselves for not having a sense of our direction or purpose – we’re all adults, after all.  Weren’t we supposed to have this figured out by now?

Turning inward is a process, not an event – like going to a psychic, or following someone’s unsolicited guidance on what our purpose should be.  It takes time, so grab your patience and commit to doing the work.

To turn inward, here’s my best guidance:

  • Make the commitment.  Developing your purpose is a decision … followed by reflection.  Reflective activities are walking, or talking out loud to a trusted friend, coach, or counselor.  Breathing, exercise, meditation, or even attending church are reflective activities.  Make the commitment to spend some quite time with yourself so you can reacquaint you with you. As you learn, determine what is uniquely important to you – not something someone told you.
  • Be curious … don’t judge. If you’re fascinated by animals, lean into that. If you want to be a nurse, but have an accounting degree, explore that.  Don’t judge, dismiss, or write off an idea just because it might seem out of left field or impracticalIf you find that you want to spend more time painting, don’t think about the realities of that in context of your life now … be curious to why that might be.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.  When you see people doing cool things and on fire with their passion and purpose, don’t say “I want to be doing that, too.”  Don’t look to others for information about your preferences … don’t get envious for what others have (and you think you want).  Remind yourself that you’re on your own path.  Your ideas will come to you … be patient.
  • Believe what you discover.  When you slow down, you do get a few bread crumbs that help you gain a clearer understanding of your passions, preferences, and even personality.  Believe what you learn – you’re doing the work.

What can a kaleidoscope teach you about your dreams and vision for you?  Check out this YouTube video I put together that helps you dream better … not bigger.

I’m with you on this journey to finding purpose.  I’m so amazed by what I’m learning about myself each and every day … and while I love some of the glimpses of what the psychic had to share, what I love even more is the relationship I’m building with myself.  That relationship is priceless.


Posted in ,