“Find your purpose.”
“Get to know what it is that fills you up, and do it.”
“Learn what you love and don’t stop thinking about it — that is your purpose.”
I am sure you have heard some version of one or all of these statements at some point in your life. And while it can all sound well and good if you’re on the right path, it can also feel pretty overwhelming and empty if you’re not. Worse, it can feel shaming. Like, if you haven’t found your purpose yet, you’re just floating around with, well, no real purpose. (And, by extension, no real point to your life.)
When people talk about finding your purpose, they often take the attitude that, if you just spend a few minutes looking a little harder, it will appear and all will be good. Well, let me tell you that, unless you are one of the few people who have a clear idea of their purpose from an early age, it’s not so easy to find.
So why bother, right? Why not just spend your life pursuing one pleasure after another? The problem is that kind of life leads to something called “destination addiction.” This happens when we reach a goal but don’t pause to acknowledge and appreciate it. We just move the goalpost to a new destination, so it never feels as good as we think it will when we set out to get there. Talk about a cycle of disappointment!
While there is no question that finding your purpose is tough, it’s also definitely worth it. Actually, it is more than worth it. It is life-altering and, in my opinion, the exact reason why we are all here on earth: To find what we were born to do.
So, the question really becomes twofold. How does one tap into their purpose? And then how do they transition to a place where they essentially live from that sense of purpose?
I believe that we are all born with a purpose, and part of life is finding/rediscovering it and then, most importantly, recognizing it. That process is where the magic lives. The journey is often just as (if not more) important than the destination. While on the path to learning your purpose, there are so many meaningful moments, winding roads and twists and turns that actually reveal a lot about yourself, including things to celebrate and things to evolve. The journey, in other words, is what it’s all about.
For me, finding my purpose was all about clearing my mind and letting go of all my external desires and expectations so I could hear what my internal compass was telling me. Only after understanding the direction where it was pointing could I decide where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be.
When I focused my attention on my inner self, yes, it was lonely and even scary at times. But it was also when I got to know myself best. I was able to rediscover parts of myself that had been buried or that I hadn’t visited in years. I was able to look at parts of myself that I didn’t really like (a self-loathing people pleaser) and release them, which made more room for me to see and cultivate the things I did like about myself. Today, after a lifetime of doing this, I am a person who is comfortable in her own skin, who lives by integrity and who is in alignment with her authentic and higher self.
I got to this point by creating a mental road map so I could bring more of the qualities I wanted into my life. It didn’t happen by leaps and bounds. I took baby steps every day to bring myself closer to my true self and, as a result, my purpose, which is to serve others, however that shows up.
I think that living your purpose is the perfect combination of doing what you love while also serving others. When you are living your purpose and doing what you love, you are vibrating off of love (the highest frequency out there), and that just radiates off of you. As a result, you naturally begin to serve others in all sorts of ways.
So many of us are caught up in the daily grind that we become detached from our higher selves. How, in that state, can we possibly be tuned in to our purpose? For me, the key to undoing that habit lies in slowing down enough to tap in to what is serving me and shed what is not serving me. I do this every day, all day. But it is a practice that you can build up over time.
Finding our purpose and living according to it allows us to be in a state of flow which is the highest state one can live in. If you haven’t found yours just yet, that’s okay. It will come if you keep listening to your heart, keep turning inward and keep listening to that small voice or instinct inside you. Trust me, it’s worth it!