The only way that you are going to determine your life purpose is by eliminating “what” from your thought process in your pursuit of happiness. You must begin to think in “whys” and “hows”.
“What” is a self-limiting term. Unfortunately, society has conditioned us to think this way. From the time you were little, people have constantly thrown “whats” at you when asking you about your future. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What do you want to major in college?” “What industry do you want to work in?” “What do you enjoy doing?” “What do you do for a living?” Because of this constant rotation of often unanswerable noise, we have subconsciously rooted “what” into our psyches and gotten sucked into living dull, monotonous lives that give us little to no joy.
We become a society of extremely lost people. Directionless. Confused. Living paycheck to paycheck, unsure of what we really want out of life. The word “what” has made us saftey-dependent instead of fearless. We are too afraid to ride off a constructed path and take chances in fear of failing or finding ourselves in a space in which we are unable to survive.
“What” only provides you with one answer: “Doctor, biology, health industry, heal patients”. It doesn’t open you up to your life truth: the reason why you are.
It’s time to shake that out of your system. We are all blessed with certain talents and are meant to utilize them in a way that benefits others. If you are truly determined to live your best life, it is important to determine what your life purpose is – what have you been called to do during your time on Earth? What will you give of yourself to the universe? How will you serve the world?
It is important to note that your life purpose is not definitive and should not be. It will not give you a job title or industry you should work in. Rather it is a phrase that boldly embraces your talents and skills and shares how you will use them to leave some light in the world. It is your guiding force, the little voice in your head that will begin beeping when something that you are doing just doesn’t feel right and is not aligned with your internal beliefs.
You need to understand your life purpose in order to start living in this world.
First, find a quiet place where you can reflect and grab a sheet of paper. Make sure you are calm and your thoughts are clear. If you need to meditate or pray before doing this exercise. It will help you free your mind of any clutter or conditioned thoughts that may prevent you from thinking for yourself. It is important in this exercise to see yourself and think for you. Not what your parents think you should do for your life. But how you think of you.
Then, on the top of your paper write down the things you love doing. This is called your free-flow. What gets you excited? Photography? Fashion? Psychology? Allow your self time to jot down everything that comes to mind, across the top of your paper.
- Don’t forget to include verbs. Do you enjoy reading? Counseling others? Hiking? Leading others? Empowering? Take action by including these types of words in your free flow.
When you are done, examine your free-flow. On top of them, in a different color pen or in a place where you have space, write down five words that summarize the passions that you developed in your free-flow. These summarized phrases will come in handy later.
Next, write down the following three questions and underline them: Who? Why? How?
Under “who”, list who it is you feel that you are called to help in the world. People? Businesses? Developing nations? Institutions? The Wealthy? Animals? Plants? Be natural and let the answer flow.
- Now get specific. If you write down people, then aks yourself “who are these people?” Are they young? Minorities? Tall? Do they have disabilities? The same with anything else. If it’s “businesses”, then what type? Financial services? Start-up companies? Record labels? You get the gist.
Under “why” explain what it is about the “who” that makes you want to help them. This is your “Why: Part 1”. Write down a problem in the world that you see this group experiencing. What about this group is so problematic that you want to fix it? Then, explain why you desire to help them. This is your “Why: Part 2.”
Lastly, list under the “how” section the five terms you summarized from your free-flow. These words will help you determine how it is you want to serve the group you listed in your “who” and for what reasons (your “whys”).
Step back for a second. What do you notice?
Now piece it all together for yourself:
“I want to help/serve _(who)_, through/by _(how)_. Often _(why: part 1)_, and I want _(why: part 2)_.”
This statement is your mission, your guiding purpose for being here. Write it down and stick it in a place you will see it every day. When you come upon a new opportunity, when you begin to debate pursuing higher education, or changing careers, look at this statement and ask yourself – Is whatever I am pursuing in line with my purpose or why I’m here? By doing so, you will be able to root out the things that you don’t need to be doing and begin to build stages towards your own success and personal happiness.