“How do I find my purpose?”
This is a question I hear frequently, when a person feels lost or isn’t enjoying their current work situation. They know they don’t want to be where they are, but they don’t know what they want to do either. In life, everything is a process. Rarely do we jump from one situation to our ideal situation. It usually involves steps. The first thing to do, is to stop beating yourself up because you haven’t found your purpose yet! Many people don’t find their purpose until later in life, and the more of life I’ve observed, I’ve come to realise that purpose very often finds us.
However, if you are eager to move forward in your life and let go of all the things that aren’t serving you, I would suggest that you change the question “How do I find my purpose?” to “How do I live my life on purpose?” This is going to help you change the way you feel about your current situation. If we’re not happy right here and now, we’re not necessarily going to be any happier when we arrive “over there”. Many people are working in fields they’re not enjoying, but feel unable to leave because of financial commitments or no experience or training in another field. Wherever you are at, begin to notice the things you do enjoy about your situation, because nothing is ever all-bad or all-good. Make a list every day of the positive aspects of your job or situation – it may be something as simple as a comfortable office chair, having a good cup of coffee at your desk, or another staff member being helpful. The more you focus on the positives and feel gratitude for them, the more the Universe will send you to be grateful for. This attitude of gratitude is going to not only create a change in you; it’s going to create a change in your environment!
When you have some quiet time on your own, grab a pen and paper and do the following:
- Make a list of everything you love to do – something or things that when you are doing them, you feel complete joy and happiness and lose track of all space and time. I call this “being in the zone”. We all have a gift or gifts. Many of us were not encouraged enough to explore this part of ourselves in our childhood if it was not something our parents valued, or perhaps got the message that we could it enjoy it as a pastime, but to choose a career that would keep us employed and earning money (“don’t even think about earning money from something you love to do because that’s not work!”).
- Write another list of things you know you’re good at (chances are at least some of these things you love to do!).
- What are your strengths? Make a list of these and ask your friends and family (people whose opinions matter to you) what they think your strengths are and make a list of these as well. Once you have these answers, you should be getting a pretty good idea of what it is you’re meant to be doing.
- Now ponder this question: If you could give something to the world to make it a better place, what would it be? (eg. peace, an end to poverty, happiness).
- Now create a loose “mission statement”: For example: “Through my gift for creating beautiful spaces and my strengths of a positive attitude, kindness and patience, I will contribute happiness and harmony to the world.” (this person is on her way to being an interior designer).
Once you have identified what you’d like to be doing, ask yourself some questions:
- Is it ok for me to have this?
- What am I prepared to give up for it?
- How is it going to affect the important people in my life?
- Is it in my highest good and the highest good of all?
Some research will be necessary on what is needed to become that person. It may be that you need to re-educate, and if you’re reliant on your day job, you may have to fit it in after hours. No one said this is going to be easy! But staying in a job that feels unaligned to your soul, and giving most of your waking hours to it, isn’t easy in the long run either. Sometimes I hear “but there’s no money in it!”. Follow your passion, my dear, and the money will follow. It may not be as much as you’re earning as a chartered accountant (or it may be!), but you’ll find you won’t need as much because you’ll be happy, less stressed, and not needing all the expensive rewards we tend to give ourselves when we’re unaligned to our work. We are meant to be following our “dharma”. By becoming the best version of ourselves, we give a gift to all those around us and we raise the vibration of the earth.
“The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” said Lao Tzu. Knowing what you’re meant to be doing is the first step to creating the life you want.
Bill Gates told us “People tend to overestimate what they can do in the short-term and underestimate what they can do in the long-term”. Think long-term! Have patience with yourself and your dream. Make a vision board and put on it pictures and words that depict your ideal outcome. Look at it often and remind yourself you are on your path. Visualise being this person who is living their life purpose until you are in the “feeling” state of it. It’s the feeling state that attracts to us that which we desire. Actually “be” that person you’d like to be! We are all creators and we all have the capacity to create the life we want.
In my next post, I’ll be writing about how to stay on track when making a transition.