How Can You Find Your Life Purpose?
How Can You Find Your Life Purpose?
For me, finding my purpose happened naturally. But for many people – and you may be one of them – it can be a challenge. But if you’re itching to discover what your life will be about, here are three tips for finding your purpose.
If you follow my blog, you know that I’m all about fulfilling your purpose in life. What can I say? It’s burned into my genes.
I’ve told the story about my grandparents, who moved from Italy so they could be part of the American dream. And I’ve talked about my dad, who walked away from a management job to fulfill his own dream as an entrepreneur.
We’ve always “dared to be great”… or, to hear some of our relatives talk about it, dared to be crazy. And I’m sure my boys will be the same way.
In our family, we’re lucky because we tend to fall into our purpose early. For instance, I was always interested in health and food – and I always knew that I wanted to write. From the time I was seven years old, I prowled around with a notebook and pen interviewing anyone… even my Ken and Barbie dolls.
These days, I’m blessed to be living out my purpose as a naturopathic physician, a certified nutrition consultant, and an author. So for me, finding my purpose happened naturally. But for many people – and you may be one of them – it can be a challenge.
If so, guess what: You have lots of famous company. Julia Child could barely boil water until she moved to France in her 30s and fell in love with French cuisine. Mother Theresa didn’t get her calling to leave the convent and care for the poor until she was 38. And Laura Engells didn’t publish the first book in her Little House on the Prairie series until she was 64.
So don’t worry – there’s plenty of time to make your mark. But if you’re itching to discover what your life will be about, here are three tips for finding your purpose.
1. Understand yourself.
To find your purpose, you need to know yourself. So think about these questions:
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your values?
- What are you good at now, and what are you willing to work your butt off to master? (Because trust me: Achieving your purpose will be hard work.)
- What people do you admire, and why? Which of their characteristics do you want to emulate in your own life?
- Do you believe you will fulfill your purpose through your career, through your personal life, or both?
If your purpose is hiding right now, maybe it’s just waiting for you to stumble upon it. And you may find it in the unlikeliest of places.
For instance, who could predict that a bunch of young guys in Jamaica would become the world’s most famous bobsled team – or that a 76-year-old farm wife named Grandma Moses would switch from embroidery to painting one day, and wind up exhibiting her work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art?
So actively seek out your purpose. Try new stuff – a lot of it. Go to new places. Meet new people, read new authors, watch new shows, explore new ideas, try new food, play new sports, and listen to new kinds of music. Because you never know what’s going to open your eyes and make you say, “This is what I was born to do.”
3. Be willing to fail.
I know this is a cliché. But that’s because it’s true. Often, people never find their life purpose because they’re too scared to try.
For instance, there are a million people out there who’d love to write the next great American novel. But they’re afraid that they aren’t talented enough, that people will make fun of their efforts, or that a publisher will reject them. So that novel never evolves from a passing thought into a purpose. And a lot of great novels never happen.
Don’t get me wrong, because I know how these people feel. I’ve fallen on my face plenty of times in pursuing my purpose, and it hurts. But closing your eyes to your vision can hurt even more.
So think big – even if it scares you. If you think you might find your purpose as a writer, write – and submit what you write. If you think you might have what it takes to be the next Armani, take a class in fashion design. Put yourself out there and see what happens.
And One Last Thought…
Once you do get an idea about what your purpose is, think about expanding it. Find people who will share it. Find new ways to express it. Never stop thinking, “How can I take my purpose to a higher level?”
Or, as my father would say: Dare to be great.
Keep thinking big and living bold!