Finding our purpose in life matters because we all sense that we have one but often have trouble figuring out what it is. Clearing up the confusion with a comfortable method can lead to greater happiness, all around.
by David Stone
for Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
Getting Started, Finding Your Purpose in Life
The first question people usually ask themselves when confronting their purpose in life is “What am I good at?” It’s not a bad question and it may be helpful to take a look at your past to figure it out. Think back about school or work projects, jobs you’ve held, and personal interests that have made you feel the most satisfied.
Let’s say that over the years of working on different projects in school, your grades were less than great except for one class where you got an A+. And with work, you’ve had jobs where you hardly speak to your coworkers or there were no opportunities to use the skills that you want to use. And for personal interests, maybe you like taking pictures but never took time outside of work to develop your skills. All these things taken together can create a picture of what it is that makes you satisfied and excited about life.
You should be thinking about things you are passionate about, not necessarily what makes money. When I first started to figure out my purpose in life I thought that only jobs that make money would make me happy. After all, it’s nice to have money, right? The thing is though, passion for work drives income. Once you figure out what you’re passionate about, money should fall into place. Balance matters, and sometimes, compromise opens the door to satisfaction.
How do I know what I’m passionate about?
It’s pretty easy to figure out. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
– What makes me feel the best when doing it? This is different than feeling satisfied. Satisfaction comes from completing something like washing the dishes or getting a degree. When I feel the best is when I am learning something new, problem-solving and working with other people to figure out how to get things done.
- Do I lose track of time when doing it? Oftentimes if you can’t remember what happened during an activity then it’s likely that you were truly absorbed in it. You may not be able to put your finger on why you feel a certain way but just trust your gut and go with that feeling.
- What would I do for free if I had the chance? If the thought of doing something without being paid excites you, then it’s probably worth pursuing as a career.
- What am I good at? This should be simple enough to answer. Thinking about the past and what you’ve done will give you a pretty clear picture of your skills and talents.
The other method that people use is looking into your childhood and finding the things that made you happy back then. Sometimes we do activities as children because they’re interesting or they make us happy and we don’t even think about why we enjoy them. It’s good to go back and look at those things now as adults and see whether we still like doing them.
I use the first method which is looking at my interests and how I feel when I’m doing certain activities. For example, when you are doing something you are passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work because it’s fun. I have always loved learning new things so what I tried to do was find a career where I could continue learning things.
What can I do with my purpose in life?
That depends on your interests and what makes you happy. Once you figure out your purpose in life it’s your job to look around you and see what needs are not being fulfilled.
If you have an interest in helping people do something, then maybe there is a need for making websites so that other people can use them to learn things too! Maybe you’re good at woodworking or sewing? You can make products that help people in your community which again, makes you happy.
This part is important: don’t just think about what can gain from figuring out your purpose in life but, also, what you’re willing to put into it!
If you are passionate about something then chances are there’s already some knowledge that you have about the subject. Think outside the box and be creative! I find that when people come to me and say they want to do something but can’t think of a way to make money, it usually isn’t because there is no way. It’s about opening your mind and thinking in ways that you haven’t thought about before.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort at first. Just think about your interests and start exploring whether there are any needs out there. Talk to other people, read books, buy courses online. Do whatever you need to do to figure out what’s missing in society so that you can use your strengths to fill that gap!
What if I don’t know my purpose in life?
That’s alright! If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. What I mean is that it doesn’t matter if all the options are open to you because at least one of them should be interesting or exciting enough for you to pursue it. Now, remember – this article isn’t about doing what makes other people happy but rather doing what makes you happy.
For example, one person may have no idea what to do for their career so they go online and buy a few courses on different subjects. If nothing piques their interest, then it’s not for them! They shouldn’t force themselves just because someone else thinks it would be good for them.
This is important: take the time to find out what your purpose in life is. If you don’t then one day, you may regret that you didn’t make enough effort to figure this out, and now, it’s too late. You can’t go back. Even if you end up doing something that’s not part of your purpose in life, at least try to make yourself happy with it!
Research has shown that people who are happy with what they do for work tend to be more satisfied with their lives as a whole. There are many ways to be happy with your daily activities and by looking at what you enjoy doing, you can find a career that satisfies those needs.
What do I need to know?
If you’re young, then think about what interests you and makes your life worth living. What gets you up in the morning. We all have things we love to do but as we grow older responsibilities start piling up on us, and we have to give up the things we enjoy because of it.
This is what I mean by saying that you should take advantage of your youth. If you want to spend a few years figuring out what your purpose in life is, then go do it! It doesn’t matter if you’re 60, 70 or 80 – each year burns off twelve more months, so it’s never too early or too late to do what you want.
But here’s the kicker: don’t just think about what your purpose in life is – act on it! I know that sounds like common sense but don’t forget one important thing: by reading this article, you’ve already taken your first step towards finding your purpose in life!
What am I supposed to do now?
Now that you know what your purpose is, the next step is simple. Actually doing it might be difficult but knowing what your purpose in life is will give you more confidence and help you to go for it.
The first thing you need to do is find out whether your purpose in life is something you can make an honest living out of. For example, if your purpose is to write the next great philosophy book then good for you! But writing books isn’t a very profitable job so you might need to figure out how to do it without failing to pay rent and keep food on the table. Maybe it comes down to being a weekend warrior.
The second step is to start building up your plans to achieve it. For example, if your purpose is to become a successful author then you might need to start writing now, building up an audience, so that when you publish your first book you’ll have at least some people already willing to buy it.
But what if I don’t know how?
If you’re still young then you have the benefit of time on your side. That means that when you discover something that doesn’t work out is not really what you wanted, you end up with plenty of time to work through it without the need to rush into anything.
But if you’re older, remember not to worry! If what you’re doing now doesn’t fulfill you, it’s never too late to try something new, as long as it makes sense.
You might need to spend a few years studying before starting work at something completely new but this is still better than wasting the rest of your life doing nothing! Remember that as long as you’re alive and healthy there’s no reason to waste even a day doing something that doesn’t give you satisfaction.
Why is this so important?
Frankly, knowing your purpose in life can affect all areas of your life. If you know what makes your life worth living then it becomes easier for you to prioritize and achieve your goals.
For example, if you want to have a successful career, then knowing why you chose it will make it easier to keep going towards that goal even when things become tough. On the other hand, if you’re just doing something because of what others expect from you, then achieving that goal might become impossible!
Why do I care?
Because I want you to enjoy your life!
I don’t know about you but my purpose in life is to help people achieve their dreams. This is what I do when I write articles for this website and it’s also the reason that makes me get up every morning. Knowing that there’s something that I can offer to other people gives me a reason to keep going even when I feel miserable or frustrated.
If you don’t know what your purpose in life is then it becomes harder for you to decide what actions will lead you towards that goal. But knowing your purpose gives focus and makes each step easier so that your dreams can become reality!
Once you know your purpose in life, you’ll be able to start focusing on achieving it, and slowly but surely it’ll come true. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of knowing that your hopes and dreams are finally coming true so don’t wait any longer – find what makes your heart happy!