Millions of people have asked the question “Why am I here?” Here are some ways to find your purpose and passion in life and some guidance on how to live the answer to this age old question.
- Make a list of the things you do for fun, or that you really enjoy. Include in the list the parts of your job that you really like, the things you volunteer for, sports, the arts, reading, etc. Imagine you’re a billionaire with no worries about money, how would you choose to spend your time? Add those things to the list, even if you don’t do them now. This list is of your passions; the things that you love to do, or would do simply for the pleasure they bring you. Being happy in life makes you feel like you belong on this planet!
- Write down the names of people that you admire, and why you admire them. For example, you might admire Patch Adams for choosing to step out of the traditional role of medicine and creating new ways of healing and connecting with his patients while also having fun. You might admire the band Green Day for living out loud and on purpose, creating the music that they love and speaking their minds. You might admire Oprah Winfrey for choosing to reveal her truth, at a time when concealing is the norm. Name as many as you can think of. When you’re done, look at the list and know that what you appreciate about others, is also in you. You are attracted to these qualities, because they speak to you, and they speak to you, because they are a part of your path. If this was your list, Stepping out of the box, telling the truth, and living out loud would be action steps that would take you toward your purpose. Adopt these admiration’s of others as a way for you to show up in the world. These are your actions.
- Make a list of the things you do naturally without even thinking about it. (You may want to ask others for feedback, as it’s common for them to see talents in us that we don’t see ourselves) Such natural talents may be: an eye for detail, a great sense of humor, a nurturing side, the ability to focus intently, or being playful. (Consider also, the things you’ve done that have gotten you into trouble–oftentimes if you turn them around and look at the positive aspects of it, you’ll find a gem of a natural talent that you previously hadn’t appreciated) These are your genius. Genius comes easily and profoundly, without needing to expend a lot of energy. Some people are geniuses at math or music; but there are lots of other types of genius as well. There are genius mothers, genius teachers, genius listeners, and genius independent thinkers. We are meant to use our genius in service of our Life Purpose.
- Look at your Passions, Actions, and Genius lists, and spend 10 minutes each morning doing something from one of the lists. Draw, sing, dance, tell the truth about something you’ve been concealing, organize a drawer, thank someone you’ve been appreciating silently, take a risk and call that girl or guy.
- Notice how you feel. By definition, if you’re living your life purpose, you’ll feel exhilarated, excited, happy, and alive. If you’re not feeling these things, go back to your lists, and see if there’s anything you forgot to write down, or do the one you’ve been avoiding because it’s so scary.
- Feel your fear and do it anyway! It’s normal and natural to feel scared when stepping into your life purpose. Fritz Perls said, “Fear is really just excitement without the breath.” So, keep breathing, and take the next step. If it’s worth doing, you’re probably going to feel a little scared doing it. Just think of the fear as the energy you need to take the next step.
- Keep in mind that often, we find our purpose along the way. It is often stated after one’s life has ended that they had a purpose, based on the events and choices of one’s life.
- We often look at our Purpose as a way to answer everything right now or something that can only be fulfilled way into the Future. While one’s life purpose may ultimately be fulfilled far into the future, find ways to start NOW: is it a side project, is it one of many aspects of your current job, can your purpose be expressed in the way you interact with current relationships.
- Look at ways to incorporate your Passions, Actions, and Genius more and more into your life. As you do, your life purpose will begin to unfold. Could you bring your attention to detail into your job? How about spending your lunch hour writing an article teaching someone else how to do something you love to do?
- As you increase the amount of time spent fulfilling your life’s purpose, you’ll notice it’s easy to make decisions in life as you ask the question “Does this opportunity fit in with my passions, actions, and genius?” Over time, you’ll spend more and more of your days living your life’s purpose, and you’ll feel happier and healthier than ever before.
- Sometimes its better (and easier) to know what you don’t want than to know what exactly you want. Eventually you hit your aim.
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