We have all been there. To that space where you stare off into space and wonder “why am I here?” “What am I supposed to be doing with my time on earth?” “What will make me happy?”
These may sounds like adolescent existential crisis questions, but the reality is that these are questions that are so common to all of us who are having a human experience that they deserve our focus and attention.
The drive to feel that you are living a life of purpose means that you are awake and alive. I personally believe that the journey this drive to find meaning stimulates is A PART of the purpose of your life - the time you spend learning, growing, searching, reaching and questioning are all filling your life “tool box” with the exact tools you will use when you are inhabiting your place of purpose here. That is why going on this journey is important.
So, if you are at the beginning, in the middle or near the end but not quite there on your journey towards finding your purpose in life (or your purpose for this portion of your life) here are some questions you can ask yourself to help push you along and steer you in the direction of your souls desires.
1. What Did You Love To Do As A Child? When you were a small child, did you have any obsessions? Did you love playing with dirt and mud? Did you love dancing to music? Did you sit in school and day dream about playing on the swings after school? Whatever it was that you found yourself wanting to do when you were small is something that you should rekindle now in your adult life. This is not because every child to loved to dance should be a dancer, or every child who played in the mud should work construction. What it does mean is that by engaging in these activities that you loved as a child, you will be re-connecting to a portion of yourself that is fully on purpose. When you were a child you did what was most natural to you. You had not yet been trained to do socially acceptable things, you had not yet been conditioned to fit any mould. Often times the things you think you must do to fit into society are at total odds with what you must do to satisfy your need for purpose. So get down in the mud and connect with your inner child. The more you do this, the more you will be able to break free from what you think you should do, and will be able to connect with what you must do.
2. What Do You Do So Easily You Take For Grated? This is a question I love to ask my coaching clients when they are searching for meaning in their lives. So often I have seen people who are literal geniuses at very specific things - like making flow charts or baking cakes - but because they find these tasks so effortless, they assume that the skill is unimportant or not a skill at all. This is the kind of thing that sometimes takes a little digging to discover, and sometimes talking to a coach can help you uncover these skill sets. I encourage you to take a few minutes today to stop and think about the things you do naturally, and then consider that perhaps that it is not that the task is easy in and of itself, but that perhaps it is your expression of unique and special talent!
3. What Do People Come To You For Most? This point is similar to the previous one. There are things that all of us do so naturally, that we become the person those in our lives think of when they need that particular skill set. A few examples of this could be that you are the person your friends always call when they are having relationship trouble, or the person they always call when they need a dinner idea. These are your little areas of expertise that other people have picked up on. Again, it is really easy to brush these things off as unimportant, but the truth is that the things you do naturally, the things you do for others for free could very well align with or at least point you in the direction of your purpose. You may discover as you go along in this journey that you believe that your purpose has to be hard, that it has to be a struggle and a fight. But in reality, when you are living your purpose you will most likely discover that there is a sense of ease - that you wonder why everyone isn’t doing what you are doing because it is just so much fun! Take some time to ponder what you are called on for most. You can also actually ask those around you what they feel are your inborn abilities, and what they would call on you for.
4. What Would You Do If You Never Had To Work Again? Just for a moment I invite you to suspend reality and imagine that you have just won a tax free lottery of 50 million dollars. That you then decide to invest in a mutual fund which means that your wealth will only continue to grow as it rests in your bank account. You never have to work again! Now, from this place, after you let the thrill wash over you - picture what you would want to spend your days doing? I know at first lying on a beach reading books is going to sound like all you want to do, but eventually that is going to become boring. You are going to want to do something. So, what would you want your day to look like, if you could do anything you wanted? How would you prioritize your time, what tasks would you be happy to do? What tasks would you be happy to delegate (remember that you now have the money to employ others if that is what you want to do) Really consider what you would want to do if you did not have to do anything, but could do anything you wanted.
5. Who Are Your Idols? Finally, take stock of the people you look up too. Do they all have a few things in common? I know for myself all the people I look up to are teachers in some way. I believe this is because I have teaching as a part of my highest purpose here on earth. Think of the people you respect and start looking at the things they have in common with one another. This will give you some clues as to what your purpose is, because you will value the skills you are seeing demonstrated by your heroes.
Where do you feel you are at on your journey towards your highest purpose?