Why are you here? What are you here to do? These are the kinds of questions that leave many people scratching their head or just frustrated. In fact, determining what our purpose is in life can be one of the hardest questions that we ask ourselves. Let's discuss the process of finding the best ways to explore your feelings various paths that are available to you or that you create. In this way, you can figure out a framework you can use as a tool to immediately use in your life to help give it a meaningful direction!
There are 3 steps to take to finding and carrying out your life's purpose:
1. First understand the meaning and the power of choice and decisions in your life - know the HOW
2. Then understand and create your motivation and reasons for what you want to do - understand the WHY
3. Last, use this motivation to make choices and align your life with this set of values - create the WHAT
Understanding the Power of our Decisions
The power of choice in terms of what we think and feel, and ultimately what choices we decide for ourselves in our life is what creates success and happiness. Even in the most dire circumstances, the power of choice is what distinguishes us. We are not helpless, and knowing that we have power over our decisions gives us the knowledge that we do have power over our lives. As Tony Robbins says...
"Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant."
— Anthony Robbins
A decision is the difference between studying for a test or not. It's whether to go to the gym or not. It's whether to accept that text from someone who ghosted you 2 weeks ago. When you make a solid choice in your head, those decisions become the spark that gets things rolling in your mind, because you're telling your subconscious mind what you intend to do and what you want to create for yourself. Once the subconscious mind gets to know your desires, it is going to do anything to manifest them in your life. The choices you make in your life become your goal. And, if you are sincere in pursuing them, there is no reason why you should not accomplish them. When you start making decisions for yourself based on your values and what you really want to accomplish, you're on the way to doing it.
"Your personal thoughts carry so much power. It’s important to be mindful of what you spend your time thinking about. Make sure that your thoughts aren’t defeating you or your purpose in life. Fear, doubt, and a negative attitude will continually hold you back. Your journey may be a bumpy one, but I encourage you to never give up! Giving up only does one thing: It keeps you from ever knowing what could have been. Don’t allow your uncertain attitude to be the reason why you don’t succeed. It’s a very sad thing to live your life with regrets. So therefore, giving up is NOT an option for you. Don’t even entertain those thoughts. KEEP MOVING FORWARD, no matter what!"
— Stephanie Lahart
Likewise, indecision, on the other hand, is what many of us struggle with on a regular basis. Overthinking. Worry. Fear. Where does all that indecision lead? Depending on the person, it could lead to outright frustration and anxiety, procrastination or resistance, and even self sabotage. But that's not all. Way worse, is that it can also confuse the subconscious mind about what you want.
OK, that part makes sense, no? But that's not all. Sometimes we don't make the decisions we want to, but we do it based on other factors. Sometimes, we worry that we'll be judged for doing what we want. Maybe other people would laugh at our goals. Maybe we worry our partner wouldn't support our dreams. Maybe we worry our colleagues would mock our dreams to do more or have something better. In general, given the uncertainty in today's job market, it can be even more stressful.
But it is important that the choices you make are made by you, in accordance with your true desires, purposes and aptitude. A lot of us let others make choices for us, or make our choices according to what we think is ‘correct’, even if that means that we go against our wishes. What is right for someone else may not be right for you, and the way to know this is listening to what your heart says.
"One good wish changes nothing. But one good decision changes everything. Your power to choose, to make a good decision, spells the difference between wishing and making real life changes."
— Steve Goodier
Figuring out Your Purpose in Life
For most of us, this is harder than it sounds. Sure, we have jobs. We have hobbies. But is accounting our purpose? Is painting our purpose? Or a hobby? This is easily confused by many people. We have people in jobs that they're not interested in at all, showing up for work because they get a paycheck and benefits. We have other people studying subjects they're just interested in with no intention of making them part of their purpose or career then end up having to take another job they have no interest or passion for simply to make ends meet- that's not the point either. Purpose has to be something that fulfills you and serves as a way for your life to be better as a result as well.
For starters, make a list of things that interest you; things that you've always enjoyed, things that make you feel better, things that inspire you to push you forward, no matter what obstacles you face. Things that make you happier, calmer, feel whole, and nourished.
- Are you the kind of person who likes creative activities, or maybe something artistic or musical?
- Are you the kind of person who enjoys nature and the Great outdoors?
- Are you the kind of person who enjoys the ocean?
- Are you the kind of person who enjoys helping others in life?
- Are you the kind of person who derives pleasure out of making a difference in other people’s lives?
Reflective exercise: Ask yourself the following questions:
- What things or activities do you love to do?
- Why do you love doing it and why and how does it feel when you do it?
- How could you do this for money and support yourself doing that?
Evaluating Patterns to Create Your Mission Statement
What patterns emerge? Do you notice anything? Where do these things show up in your life? Now that you've done this step, it's time to see if and whether there is a theme. Do you notice that contribution keeps showing up or helping people? Whatever it is, try to identify the central theme of the things you love to do, and try to put it in a short and precise statement.
This will be your ‘Mission Statement’. It may even be a quote by a famous person, or a philosophy that has influenced you. Of course, as you grow up, this statement could evolve, but its soul will remain the same.
Now, write down your Mission Statement......
Aligning Your LIFE With Your Mission
OK you've got your mission and you understand the power of choice. As a last step, you need to change. You need to up your standards and align this purpose with your daily life. You should be asking yourself every decision you make - does this help or hurt my mission in life in terms of getting what I want with my life's purpose?
As soon as you start making this commitment to make these little daily changes and understand that by making small, deliberate changes, they lead to big changes, and big changes lead to a different life. You will meet new people that support this mission, you might lose others who don't support it and that's ok. Not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever.
It might take a few days to get used to this new habit and life, but you're on your way.. But by becoming aware and intentional of this underlying principle of your life, you'll undoubtedly start to feel the difference in your enthusiasm for life as a whole.
What do you love?
How do you enjoy spending your time most? Notice i didn't say 'wasting time'. Wasting time chilling out after work watching TV or playing video games is not a passion. It's a relaxer. Not a joy. It's an escape.
If you realize that you love being amidst nature, plan out your holiday. Maybe an outing with your children could be enough to recoup with your energy. If you discover that you enjoy helping those in need, start to look for opportunities to volunteer in your community.
On the other hand, you might even want to change your job, or start a new business that is more in line with your mission.
So there you have it! By following along with the steps outlined above, you will be on your way to finding and living out your purpose.
And, as you go through this process, just remember,
'A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step," Lao Zu (ancient Chinese proverb)
Are you interested in looking into what your true values are and how they show up in your life?
Do you feel stuck like you need a bit more exploration and clarity of where you want to go? Get in touch with me and book a 30-minute discovery call.
ANDREA HUNT - Online Transformational Life Coach & EFT Tapping Practitioner based in Munich, Germany
I'm an accredited transformational life coach from Animas Centre for Coaching UK and a member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Level 2 practitioner in EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and a member of AEFTP (Association of Emotional Freedom Technique Professionals).
If you're not sure where to start transforming your life, you can download my free ebook on How to Start Your Personal Growth Journey.
Are you ready to change your life, let go of old beliefs, empower yourself for a mindset shift to move forward? Mark Batterson says: You're always one decision away from a totally different life.