by Linda-Ann Stewart
So many people seek their purpose in life. They ask themselves, “What am I supposed to be doing?” or “Why am I here?” They believe their purpose must be a job, work or calling that gives them joy, and their life meaning and fulfillment. They’re looking for some occupation which will make them feel satisfied. But to find their purpose, they’re looking in the wrong place – outside themselves.
Your purpose may not necessarily be a vocation. It’s possible that your purpose will find expression through your job, but not be the focus of it. For instance, if you want to be of service, you could fulfill that desire through being a waiter, shopkeeper, clerk or in customer service. Or you could want to express your caring, and be a nurse, CNA or hospice worker.
Each of these careers has the opportunity to impact others in a positive and transformative way. Someone in a service or caring profession could say or do something to lift the mood of someone who’s having a bad day or dramatically change the course of a customer’s life.
Finding Meaning in Life
Don’t fixate on your purpose being your job. Volunteering at an animal shelter or working with model trains might satisfy you at a deep level. You can find meaning in any job, if you seek a positive or useful way to express yourself. You may want to share more love with the world. Or your mission could be to wake people up to their greatness. You can do those in virtually any work environment.
Your value has nothing to do with the size of your impact on the world. Many people work with little recognition, with no one noticing that they keep the infrastructure of life together. For instance, the custodians, utility workers and mini-mart clerks are necessary to keep the world functioning. They keep the foundation of society running smoothly. And although they work mostly in obscurity, their contribution is vital.
Be the Change
Your purpose generally isn’t a task you’re to accomplish in the outer world or for others. It may be to expand your inner world. Learning new languages, or exploring philosophies may be your passion. Sometimes, people are persuaded by others that they have to share their knowledge or gifts with the world. You may not have the drive to go out and market your gift to others, but choose to use it to only improve your life, which is perfectly valid.
If you do want to make a living through your purpose, the best way to get there is to start sharing it where you are now. Incorporate your purpose more and more in your life. Find ways to weave it into the work you’re doing currently. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Only by fulfilling your purpose in the present, will you be able to expand it to the public.
Living Up to Your Potential
When you’re “on purpose,” you’re living up to your potential. You may seek to simply live your life more authentically or to explore your creativity. To find your purpose, look at what draws you, what you feel strongly about, when you feel most fulfilled, and remembering when you feel the most alive. Your primary mission in life is to discover and become more of who you are.
It’s a mistake to tie your purpose to your vocation. Living on purpose is more internal than it is external. Some people can merge the two, but most often, your purpose is how you want to live in your life. Your purpose is so much bigger than what you do for a living. It’s more about being true to yourself and nurturing your inner self. That is your true mission.
I’m being Divinely guided and directed to my purpose in life. When I’m on purpose, I feel fulfilled, satisfied and at peace within myself. I realize I can fulfill my purpose through any job, work or vocation. I open my mind to new possibilities on how to do so. My inner being knows what my purpose is, and now aligns me with it in a joyful way.