Do you feel like you’re just going through the motions on a daily basis? Do you want more for your life but feel like you have no direction on where to start? I wish there was something given to us at birth that tells us what our mission on this earth is. Gosh, things would be so easy that way, right?! As much as I would like that, I also think there’s beauty in not knowing. It means that we hold the power. We get to dictate our own lives.
Because we hold the power, we can design our own life. We can find our own purpose. If you’re struggling to figure out your purpose on this earth, then I want to share some things that can help. Keep reading for hacks to find your life’s purpose. We all deserve to live a life we love. We just need to know what that looks like.
1. Think About the Last Time You Were Truly Happy
Was there ever a time in your life when you were genuinely happy? Maybe it was your high school years. Maybe it was going to college in a different state (this was the case for me). Maybe it was when you bought your first pet home. If you want to find your life’s purpose, start by pinpointing times in your life when you were happy.
What about those times that made you happy? Was it a person, place, or thing? Whatever it was, how can you incorporate more of it into your life? Our life’s purpose should make us happy. With that being said, why recreate happiness when we can leverage it from our past?!
2. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Change your scenery. Attend networking events alone. Volunteer. Do things that make you uncomfortable, but you know they’ll benefit you in some way. I know it can be scary to charter into unknown territory, but it’s another great way to gain a great perspective on life. Not to mention, nothing great happens from staying safe. No risk. No reward.
Every time a new client signs up for 1-on-1 financial coaching with me, I always ask how they feel. Usually, the answer is “I’m nervous but excited”. I always say that being nervous is a great sign! It means you’re doing something different and getting out of your comfort zone – and that’s where the magic truly happens!
3. Set Meaningful Goals
As you work towards goals that matter to you, you will learn more about yourself. You’ll learn what is worth working for and what isn’t. You’ll learn what is important to you and what isn’t. These are important things to know when you want to pinpoint your life’s purpose.
Set goals in all areas of your life. This will ensure you’re looking at every area of your life and getting clear on the direction you want to move in. As you can predict by now, that’s a necessary step in finding your life’s purpose.
4. Read Autobiographies
Autobiographies give us insight into how people maneuvered throughout their life, or throughout a particular time in their life.
If there are people who you admire and look up to, autobiographies can give you guidance on how they accomplished what they did. Whether their insight can be applied to your life or not is irrelevant. Learn from other people’s experiences and it can help open your mind to different ways of doing things.
5. Journal the Legacy You Want to Leave Behind
I think an important part of finding your life’s purpose is to think about how you want people to remember you. What mark do you want to leave on this world when you’re gone? This can be a tough question to dive into, but it can shed so much light on what matters most to you.
Perhaps you want to set your children up for a better life. Maybe you’d like to donate your organs to someone who needs it. What legacy, big or small, do you want to leave behind? When you can identify that, you can start doing things that help put you in a position to leave that legacy. One additional note – it’s okay if the legacy you want to leave behind changes over time. Just continue doing the things that help you make it a reality.
6. Uncover Your Passions
If you want to find your purpose, then a great place to start is to go looking for your passions in life. Passion is the feeling you get when you do something you enjoy, or maybe even love. The strongest purpose often comes out of passion. We can get lost when we think “I’m not particularly passionate about anything”. But that’s probably not true. What’s more likely is that your passions aren’t so obvious, deep down you question whether they are valid, or you worry you can’t monetize them or make a career out of them (and so you dismiss them).
To figure out your genuine passions, it can help to take away the burden and ask yourself:
- If money were not a factor, what would I do with my time?
- When I was a child what did I love doing most?
- If I had only one year to live, what would I want to do? How would I spend my time?
- What do I do now that makes me totally lose track of time?
If the only answers that come up seem more shallow pursuits, then dig deeper behind them. For example, you may love hanging out with your friends. But is that because you are naturally sociable and a good communicator? Perhaps these are your real passions.
7. Let Go of Perfection
If you want to achieve anything worthwhile, you need to let go of perfectionism. And this includes letting go of unfair expectations for yourself. Perfectionism is a mental trap. We all know that there’s no such thing as perfect, but we still go looking for it. There is no ideal life waiting for you if you could only find your purpose. You don’t need to be perfect to live a fulfilling life. To give up on perfectionism, start by asking yourself: What would happen if I didn’t hold myself to impossible standards?
You might discover that there are certain things you’d be more willing to try. Being less focused on the outcome might encourage you to pursue certain avenues you’ve mentally closed off.
8. Stop Trying so Desperately to Find Your Life Purpose
Why is it so hard to find your purpose in life? I think one of the reasons is the pressure we put on ourselves. Which only then serves to cut you further off from knowing. Questions about life’s purpose are wonderful. But the problem is that this question can also quickly lead to overwhelm, which is the absolute opposite of what you are looking for.
Rather than thinking of your life purpose as one answer you need to seek, I think it can help to think of life purpose a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. Firstly, stop thinking of this as an answer that you need full access to right now. Think of it more as an unfolding path that will be revealed to you the further you walk along it. Life purpose for most of us is not presented as a conveniently packaged complete answer, it is a puzzle. And you need to start putting the pieces together before you get a picture of the finished image. Imagine each piece of the puzzle is one small action. As you experiment with these actions you are simply seeing how they fit into the bigger puzzle.
Instead of trying to work out what the complete image is when you only have jumbled pieces in front of you, just start putting them together, one by one. Carefully focus only on each individual piece. These pieces that you are putting together are your desires, your interests, your talents, and your gifts. Little by little, the picture is revealed.
Putting Yourself First
What’s your number one goal at the moment? Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for? To finally start that side hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day? Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in? Whatever your goals are, there’s a hidden trap in how you set them. The trap is this: You’ll only experience genuine life satisfaction when your goals are aligned with your values. Because when values and goals are aligned, you enjoy the journey much more. And this makes achieving your goals much more likely.
Finding your life’s purpose is no easy feat. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the work to figure it out. Hopefully, the hacks above can help get the mental wheels turning! Spend time really thinking through this, it matters. Do you know your life’s purpose? What helped you figure it out? Share your comments in the section below!