Some people are born with a definite sense of a life purpose. From the day they can articulate their dreams and wishes they tell the world “I’m going to be a doctor,” or “When I’m president…..”
These people usually succeed in their aims because they have a plan for their lives and they execute it.
Aim, shoot, bull’s eye.
But for most people it’s not that straightforward.
Fact is, life seems empty and pointless without a purpose. A life purpose gives meaning, and that meaning comes from serving something beyond yourself.
But how to discover that, if you were not born with it?
There is a way.
The answers to these thought-provoking, weird questions have the power to unlock your purpose in this life that has been hidden from you until now.
1. What were you passionate about as a child?
The games we played as children are often a gateway to our potential to excel at something when we grow up.
Think about your Barbie dolls. Did you dress them, or did you make clothes for them?
Think about your trucks and cars. Did you race around with them, or did you construct a town, complete with streets, houses, trees, shops and garages?
What did you play for hours? Can you still relate to that? If you can, how can you incorporate that into your adult life now?
Were you advised that you should forget your childhood dreams, and do something practical with your life instead? Did you go on to study something other than what you really wanted to in university?
Do you wish that you went a different route instead?
Hidden in our childhood passions, are our gifts, the things we are naturally good at. Think back and see what treasure you can find there, which can hold the key to your life purpose.
2. If you didn’t have a job, how would you choose to fill your hours?
Here is something to ponder. If you didn’t have to work and you weren’t allowed to stay at home and do nothing, how would you choose to fill your time? Where would you go and what would you do?
Let’s say you use some of the time to relax and unwind and some to exercise, what would you do with the rest of your time? Would you spend the day doing something active like exploring the town, would you go to a museum or visit art galleries? Would you read, volunteer somewhere, take a class? Where would you volunteer? Which class would you take?
When money isn’t an issue, and you can devote yourself solely to your passion, what would this passion be?
3. What makes you forget about the world around you?
Is there something that you really, really love to do? Something that makes you lose track of time?
If you have ever been completely absorbed in an activity you will understand the state of “flow” where you lose your sense of time and are completely caught up in what you are doing.
We have all experienced it. For some of us it’s the process of creating something, for others it’s organizing an event, for others it’s taking care of other people’s needs.
When you’re completely caught up in the “flow”, you forget about time, food and drink or where you are. Being in the flow, you are intensely focused and concentrated, and there is a sense of ecstasy. There is sense of inner clarity, and and you have complete confidence in your skills. All your worries are gone, and you are completely in the present moment. Yet you can lose track of time. This sense of flow is a source of joy and a reward in itself.
When last did you experience this?
4. What issues do you hold close to your heart?
Is there a cause that you feel strongly about? What topics do you like to read about? What topics on the news do you follow, what issues do you keep returning to? What kind of websites attract you? What topics do you discuss with family and friends? Are there any that you get worked up about, that you want to do something about?
When you are passionate about something, then the work you do for this cause will be meaningful and rewarding.
5. Who do you spend time with and what do you talk about?
Most of us spend time with people who share our interests and outlook on life. There might be a clue in there for you. Are you spending most of your free time with cycling buddies or just drinking buddies? Do you talk mostly about your shared passion for cycling and improving the sport or do you just chew the breeze with some friends at the local bar?
Do the people you spend your free time with give an indication of your real passion?
What do you talk about? Do you find people ask you for advice? Why would people ask you for advice? Do you have any specialized knowledge? How did you come by that knowledge? Is it something that you feel is what you were meant to do?
The answers to those questions could be very illuminating.
6. What is on your bucket list?
What do you want to accomplish before you die? This is another exercise that could be very illuminating. Creating a bucket list crystallizes your thinking on what you desire most in life, what you really would not like to miss out on. There is passion there. Why wait?
7. If you had a dream, could you make it happen?
Give this serious thought. Even if you have had a dream and never attempted it for whatever reason, it’s still a valuable window into what you regard as somehow achievable, otherwise it would never have entered your mind.
Think of the many people who made seemingly impossible dreams become reality and take heart from that.
J.K. Rowling was recently divorced, on government aid, and raising a baby on her own when she wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. She was initially rejected when she first sent out her manuscript to publishers.
Ludwig van Beethoven did not allow his bad hearing and later on, complete deafness, to stop him from composing some of the most beautiful and influential music in the world.
Helen Keller was deaf and blind from the age of 19 months. Yet she was able to be educated, and became an author and educator herself.
Who do you look up to? What is it about them that inspires you?
You can make steps towards following your life purpose right now.
Ask yourself, what is really stopping you?
There’s help everywhere. You don’t have to know everything yourself and you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can get help to make your dream come true.
Think it through. That dream and your life’s purpose is probably one and the same thing.