Does my life have a purpose?
Have you ever asked yourself: How do I find my purpose in life? We have set out below a few tricks and tips that will help you to answer this question.
1. Ask yourself what your purpose in life is.
Clear your mind, and find a quiet place to think. Ponder the question – what is my purpose in life? The purpose of this exercise is not to come up with the best or right answer, but rather to explore all possibilities. Consider the following: What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What is your most cherished memory? Who have you loved, and why? What was your greatest success? What is the greatest gift you have ever given to another person? What you have done in the past to make your life more meaningful? Write down the answers to all of these questions, in as much detail as you can. Examine your document carefully. This should now be a roadmap of sorts to finding your true purpose in life, and a guide to how to spend your time in a meaningful way.
Spend time with people who have a similar purpose to you. Take the responses that you came up with in the question and answer exercise above, and transform them into purposeful activities that you can experience with like-minded people, as well as on your own. Keep asking yourself – is what I am doing meaningful? What is the best and most purposeful use of my time?
Evaluate your chosen activity. Are you fulfilled and happy with what you are doing? Does it feel purposeful and worthy? If the answers to these questions are yes, you are moving in the right direction. If not, repeat the writing exercise. Try to isolate what you are most passionate about and go from there.
2. Do for others.
While you are entitled to focus on yourself, you cannot do that to the exclusion of focusing on anyone else if you want to lead a life with purpose. Consider what you can do to make someone else’s life better. There is nothing more fulfilling than engaging in acts of selfless charity. This may be as simple as taking the time to listen to the problems of a close friend, calling a relative that you have lost touch with, carrying someone’s groceries, paying someone a compliment or baking or cooking and bringing the food to a local fire station. Create a plan and follow it – something like a commitment to do one small act of kindness per day for the next two weeks, or 20 small acts of kindness over the next month.
Beyond just the simple acts, also take on a larger charitable project, that actually requires some level of personal sacrifice (not monetary). For example, commit to volunteering every Tuesday evening for a year at a local food kitchen, and make sure you follow through. Remember that helping others is its own reward and can give your life meaning and purpose.
3. Learn from the examples set by others, and be a good example for others to follow.
Consider who you admire most and why, and try to emulate their behavior. Don’t limit yourself to one person. Establish mentoring relationships with individuals that have different skills who can help you grow in different aspects of your life. Learn from all of the things they do best, but also from the mistakes that they have made. Consider what skills you would like to develop and goals you would like to achieve, and select a mentor accordingly.
Don’t discount the effect and influence you have on others through your behavior. Recognize the importance of being a positive role model. By striving to set a good example for others, you are holding yourself to a high standard which elevates your own personal growth.
4. Play to your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Consider what your best qualities and skills are. Let your strengths help in guiding you towards determining your purpose in life and making the most of your time. Think you don’t have any? Your strengths are whatever you are best at – it does not matter that others may be better or worse than you at the same task. This is just about what you can do and your abilities. If you are still not sure, you can give taking a self-assessment a shot. The very purpose of these assessments is to help identify the areas in which you excel. It is important to be aware of your weaknesses as well, but that should not be your primary focus. Think of it this way – any time and energy spent fixing weakness could have been instead spent on improving on your strengths! What seems like a better and more purposeful use of your valuable time?
5. Take a risk.
Is there an activity you have always thought you would love, but were never brave enough to try? Now is the perfect time! Challenging yourself to do new and unfamiliar things broadens your horizons. It can give you a boost of confidence and opens your mind to new experiences, leading to individual growth. Try any of the following:
– Learn a new skill.
– Attempt a new activity that you have never tried before.
– Work on being more genuine and honest.
– Try being spontaneous.
– Improve your physical health. Embracing a healthy lifestyle is good for you both physically and mentally.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes on your path to discovering your life’s purpose. After all, you learn more from your errors that you do from your success.
6. Be relentless.
Ask yourself every day: What could I be doing better? How can I help someone else today in a meaningful way? Am I present? Am I happy? Am I being genuine? What are my goals for today? Am I currently pursuing the best purpose in life, or should I be doing something else?
Asking questions of yourself help to sharpen your focus and stay on target. They may also enable you to see things in a different light and have a fresh perspective.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis This philosophy is key in your quest to find your purpose in life.