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I know I have touched on this topic before, but circumstances have brought these questions back to the forefront again…
I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing – you lose someone important (parent, child, spouse, friend) and you start asking questions –which you may have asked and answered in your life—about your purpose and your goals.
So here I am –doing a quick deep dive again.
Are You Where You Want to Be?
It’s hard to set goals when you aren’t even sure what you want out of life.
Plenty of people stumble around and wing it. For some of those people, that could work. They love the spontaneity and are usually categorized as free-spirited. However, for others, they want a bigger purpose in their lives but don’t know what that could be.
To determine what you want, dig deep within yourself. What is it that you dream about all the time? What kinds of successful people do you read about? Do you want similar success to those people or would you like to model different characteristics from multiple people? You can also ask your friends and family how they see you, i.e., what type of person they think you are. Then you can determine whether you like that person or if you would like to try and change.
After you discover your defining purpose, you aren’t locked in. You are free to change anytime you believe it wasn’t what you thought it would be. There’s nothing to stop you from having multiple purposes either. If you’re a doctor, perhaps you want to become a professional golfer as well. It’s up to you!
It’s Not Just About a Job…
This search isn’t just about what kind of career you have. You may define a purpose that includes helping others out in a way that isn’t at all related to your job. You could find organizations that need volunteers and sign up to help. This often leads people to branch out into areas of their lives they never imagined they would experience. It also sets you up to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t have. You will see different experiences and viewpoints that can help you with your purpose.
It’s not easy for people to determine their purpose, and it’s not something that’ll happen after an afternoon of soul-searching. It can take a lot of time and it often requires going outside of your comfort zone to have a better realization of purpose. Sometimes it can be within our reach but we don’t come to realization until a life-changing event occurs. It is something that evolves which is what makes it scary and exciting at the same time. Once we have a good feeling for what we want our purpose to be, we can then proceed to map out goals as to how to achieve it.
3 Questions to Help You Find Your Purpose
What Am I Good At?
Start by making a list of everything you are good at. It’s much easier to pass on a skill or work in an area that you are experienced in. For example, you may be great at planning meals and living frugally. You can pass that knowledge on by helping low-income moms in your community stretch their food dollars.
Don’t limit yourself to what you’ve learned in college or where you excel at work. Instead think about all the little skills you’ve taught yourself in your spare time. Don’t forget about hobbies. Those woodworking skills you’ve acquired over the years can come in handy when you’re building nesting boxes or are creating an after-school club for at risk youth. No skill is too small or insignificant when it comes to living with purpose and making an impact.
What’s Important to Me? What Do I Value?
Another great starting point is to consider everything that’s important to you and that you value. Maybe it’s climate change, maybe it’s making sure that children in your community have enough food, or maybe it’s insuring the safety of abused women.
Start with your values and see what opportunities there are in your own community, or online to get involved in. While you can certainly start your own organization or do something on your own to make a difference, it’s often easier to start by working with people who have experience in the field.
What Needs Do I See in My Community?
Finally, look at what’s going on in your community. This can be your local community, or an online one that you’re a part of. Start to pay attention to their needs and see if there’s something you can do to help.
These needs aren’t always obvious. Be prepared to read between the lines. By simply paying attention and starting to look for a need that needs to be filled, you’ll quickly find opportunities to make a difference.
Above all, keep your mind and eyes open. You’ll come across your purpose. It may not be exactly what you had in mind to begin with. It’s a journey and a process, but that’s also what keeps life interesting and full of surprises.
Have a great week!
Loving Life—The Reboot!