3 Steps to Discovering the Purpose of Your Life
Figuring out what our purpose is in life can be one of the hardest questions that we as humans must try to answer. Without a life’s purpose, it can be difficult to know which direction to take or which decisions to make. You’d be going through life subject to whims. In this article we will be going through a step-by-step process, exploring your feelings and options, and by the end, you should have a fairly solid tool you can immediately put to use in your life, to help give it a meaningful direction!
There are three steps to the process of discovering the purpose of your life:
Understanding the principle of choice
Creating your “underlying principle”
Aligning your life with this underlying principle
Understanding The Principle of Choice
Choosing which principles and values matter to you most is a conscious activity.
Norman Vincent Peale has this to say about the power of choice. “The greatest power we have is the power of choice. It is an actual fact, that if you have been groping under unhappiness, you can choose to be joyous, instead. And, by effort, lift yourself into joy. If you tend to be fearful, you can overcome that misery by choosing to have courage. The whole trend and the quality of anyone’s life is determined by the choices that are made.”
“Choosing” is the most important activity your mind can make, because by making a choice, you are announcing your desires to your subconscious mind. Once the subconscious mind gets to know your desires, it is going to do anything it can to make your wishes come true. The choices you make in your life become your goal. And, if you are sincere in pursuing your goals, there is no reason why you should not accomplish them.
Indecision, on the other hand, not only creates frustration and anxiety, but can also confuse the subconscious mind about what you want. It is important that the choices you make are made by you, in accordance with your true desires, purposes and gifts. 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 own wishes. What is right for someone else may not be right for you, and the only real way to know this is by listening to what your heart says.
To begin, make a list of things which interest you; things which you have always enjoyed, which make you feel better, which inspire you to surge ahead, no matter what obstacles you face. Do you like doing something creative, or something artistic? Do you enjoy nature? Do you like the sea? Do you enjoy helping others? Do you get pleasure out of making a difference in other people’s life?
Whatever your interests are, write them down and answer these questions:
● What things do you love to do?
● What is it that you love about this activity and why?
● How could you do this for money, and make a living out of it?
Creating Your Underlying Principle
The next step is to examine the list you just made and find out if there are any recurring themes. Maybe, it is that contribution to society keeps coming up, or a desireto seek out or give love, or helping your parents cope with old age. 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 Underlying Principle
The final step in this journey is to map your path to your ultimate purpose and to begin making changes that help to align your daily life with your underlying purpose. By making these little changes in your lifestyle, you will start to be able to begin living this principle out each and every day. It might take a few days, but by becoming aware and intentional of this underlying principle of your life, you will certainly start to feel the difference in your enthusiasm for life as a whole. If you realize that you love being in nature, plan out your holiday. Maybe an outing with your friends or family 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 get a part time job, or start a business that is more in line with your mission.
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, “You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.” - Steve Maraboli