What is your true purpose?
For many, their initial response would be one of duty, success, responsibility or accountability – to be the caring mother, the successful son, the high-performing employee, or the beloved lover. Whilst all are of course purposes, they demonstrate only one facet of the question asked.
Some authors have suggested the existence of an inner and outer purpose. Renowned spiritual author Eckhard Tolle describes outer purpose as our jobs/responsibilities and our inner purpose is living authentically moment-by-moment without dissatisfaction. More often than not, many of us struggle to align our inner purpose with our outer purpose.
Before we delve into the fundamentals of defining our purpose, I feel it is imperative we first consider why we should even be finding our true purpose in life in the first place? Well… if you don't know what your purpose is then you don't know why you are here in the first place; therefore, it can be hard to keep going. Ask yourself the next four simple questions to help you discover your true purpose in life.
1. Who: Know thyself
Every person (including you) is beautiful, smart, funny, kind, and unique. You are more than numbers on a scale, a price tag on your latest handbag, the percentage at the top of your math test; or even the number of followers you have on Instagram.
Truly finding one’s self can be a lifetime adventure — an adventure worth exploring and it is this process of exploration that is as important as the answer itself. Do you know the things that excite you, the things that make you uncomfortable, your strengths and your weaknesses?
The questions created during such a process provide enlightenment and thus empower us to understand more of ourselves. As we truly know ourselves, it is easier to ensure that decisions we make are in line with our core values and beliefs – the right choices. This knowledge is key to living a more fulfilled life.
2. Why: Find your purpose
Regardless of who you think you are, you exist; therefore, there is a purpose to your existence. Have you ever asked yourself why are you here? What is the meaning of your life? Is there a reason? Should there be one? If you haven’t yet figured out your purpose in life, you must create it or you must find it, and most importantly trust that you will find it.
Everybody has a “calling” of some sort and there’s an old trick to help you find it out too. Just ask yourself “What would I do if I only had one month left to live?” Once you know the answer to that question then you ought to be doing everything you can right now to steer your current life in that direction. Colloquially speaking “put your ass where your heart wants to be”.
3. How do you know you are on the right track?
The simple answer to that is: you just know. It's like knowing your true love. Author Caroline Myss says you know it when you are not put in a position where you don’t have to negotiate your sense of integrity. In other words, you do not have to compromise who you are because it feels right.
The telltale signs of knowing whether or not you are doing the right things are: you will feel valued, you will feel a sense of self-worth, you don’t feel confused, or you don’t feel drained. Granted you can be tired after a day’s work, but you don’t feel like you are losing “life” and/or losing yourself.
Remember that every choice you make will either lift or drain your spirit. If you feel depleted, then you slowly but surely are losing yourself. My sincere advice is to put your foot down and get out! Don’t be afraid, the divine force of the universe has got you.
4. Now, what? Do something meaningful and valuable.
If you have defined your life’s purpose or have an insight of what that is… Congratulations! Now start applying your talents, passion, and your best traits to create something amazing. Be the best at your trade. Be it baking sponge cakes or teaching underprivileged kids or coding, do the best job you possibly can.
Oprah Winfrey says, “When you do something well, people notice". Not only will this give rise to opportunities but also put you in the “flow” of life. When you are in the state of flow, it is like living in a moment-by-moment bliss, self-fulfillment, and lasting satisfaction.
Believe in yourself that you already have got what it takes, learn to trust the process and above all, learn to trust yourself. Of course, your best will vary every single day depending on your mood. Despite the circumstance, try your best anyway so that you have no reasons to judge yourself. Be phenomenal.
Now that you’re a bit closer to knowing what gives you a sense of purpose and what doesn’t, make it a daily priority to take a few quiet minutes (perhaps before or after bedtime) to think about these four questions. Even if you don't find the answers right away, which is very likely and common: allow the thought to marinade, be steadfast and you shall find it. All the best! May your questions be answered, may your hearts be healed and may your souls find their true purpose.