There are only two mistakes on the path to truth – not starting the path and not going all the way to the end. But where do we begin? Learning how to discover your purpose in life can lead you to a new and invigorated point of view on life. This post is aimed to help guide you towards your North Star.
At the core of our lives, whether we realize it or not, is our purpose. Why do we exist? For what reason are we here on earth? These are some of the big questions in life that require a lot of introspection. Sadly, some people don’t make it to the point in their lives where they are deeply pondering on these questions. But for you, congratulations – you’ve not only in the game, you’re playing to win!
When our purpose is discovered, everything in life seems to “synchronize.” If you know your purpose, then the next step is to set up the discipline so that you begin to support your deepest “reason for being.”
The Benefits of Finding “Our Why”
When you discover your purpose, your core desire in life, every moment of time you spend on it becomes a full expression of what you are seeking. As time goes by it doesn’t feel like work anymore and we enjoy the time and energy invested into the end goal.
Each purpose or mission is meant to be fully lived and experienced. When we seek to understand our purpose, we need to deeply put the intention out into the universe. Then pay attention. It won’t always happen immediately. Often weeks or months may pass, but if we are genuine in seeking and wanting purpose it will be revealed.
When we engage in our true purpose in life, every moment, every instance is filled with the power of your heart and mind purpose. No longer are you simply going through the motions hoping for a means to an end – instead you are living the “truth of your life.”
Lean Into Life With Curiosity
Since I can remember, I’ve always been a curious individual. Throughout my life I have pushed, poked, and prodded to understand “Why.” Our Why – is what should make us get out of bed each day. It should be the center of our purpose and what motivates us to push onward. Even when we hit apparent roadblocks and difficult times, it is the fuel and empowerment that can bring us back toward our calling.
All of us have it – some just know it with deeper conviction. “The Why,” is our power – without it we have no meaning. We have to put out the intention and do the work. Those that seek truth in earnest will be rewarded. Those that look for the quickest and most readily available sources are often misguided. There are repercussions for closing one’s eyes and hoping the world passes by, while we just simply live our lives. Ignorance is not bliss…
Finding our Way Through our Why
Many of us have a hard time finding what our purpose is. In a previous blog post, I helped try to search deeper in your discovery of self.
The key is to find the sweet spot where we can:
- Do what we are good at for a profession
- We happen to love what we do for that profession
- What we do meets the needs of the world and others around us
- And we can monetize this profession to keep bring more to those in need of our services
There are numerous books dedicated to ikigai, but one in particular is considered the most definitive: Ikigai (What Makes Our Life Worth Living) published in 1966.
The author, psychiatrist Mieko Kamiya, teaches that as a word, ikigai is alike to “happiness” but has a subtle difference in its meaning. Ikigai is what allows you to look forward to the future even if you’re miserable right now. The key is to keep pushing onward, sending out mental intentions of wanting to have your focus and reason for being brought into light.
THE JAPANESE PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THE SUM OF SMALL JOYS IN EVERYDAY LIFE RESULTS IN MORE FULFILLING LIFE AS A WHOLE
Ikigai – A reason for Being
As you work your way around the diagram you can see some examples of where many of us often times fall into places of comfort, but lacking fulfillment of some sort. When we recognize these shortcomings, it can tee up the possibility for some self-exploration and search for more meaning in our lives.
Where the needs of the world and your talents intersect, therein lies your vocationAristotle
I love this quote from Aristotle. It challenges us to seek our truest purposes in life based off our passions and levels of impact they can make in the world. When we can effectively bring our life into focus in this manner, we will feel more purposeful and the truths that we need to discover in order to continue to keep our lives in alignment with our purpose will continue to be brought before us.
I have found this to be the case in my life as I work closer and closer to my passions and my purpose. There is a certain type of synergy and synchronicity that I discovered when I bring my life and work into alignment to my purpose and mission. It is also very invigorating and motivating to watch this process happen because it is reaffirming that you are on the right journey.
Writing your Purpose Statement
I like to think of three main areas of focus when we are aiming to discover our life purpose and mission. These three buckets are what we can use to help us frame up our purpose, Ikigai, or reason for being. It correlates purposefully to our W.H.Y. – our reason for being:
- World needs this
- Heed your talents
- Your passions in life
- Make a rough draft at least – y0u can refine it through time. Once you feel you have a good rounded out purpose statement, print it and post it somewhere you’ll see it everyday. Or print a small copy to keep on you daily. It will keep you reminded and grounded in your goals and daily work.
Make a rough draft at least – y0u can refine it through time. Once you feel you have a good rounded out purpose statement, print it and post it somewhere you’ll see it everyday. Or print a small copy to keep on you daily. It will keep you reminded and grounded in your goals and daily work.
Next ask yourself if you can find a way to make a living while your work to discover your purpose. If you are not in a position to earn a living doing this, seek ways through your current employment to see what possibilities may exist. If your passion is the earth and environment – see how you can bring this awareness into your employer. If your passion is around empowering the youth of the world – see if you can get involved with an organization of your employment. If one doesn’t exist, see if you can start one.
You will be surprised how often you can bring your passions and purpose into your day job and make significant impact. If all else fails you can certainly look for new careers in which you could begin to fulfill your purpose. Just don’t allow fear to creep in – it will tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t explore new opportunities if you allow it.
Allow Your Life to Flow
Remember the teaching of Japanese Ikigai and even if you find yourself within a career or position where you feel you do not align with your purpose, look for ways to still make impacts that do align with your personal truths. Perhaps you find that new doors within your company open up for you to better align with your purpose. Maybe new positions will be brought before you that you can take up. There is always the possibility as well that you find yourself in a career or job change for the better.
While venturing down your path, just know you can only make two mistakes. If you have begun down the path, you are well on your way. The only other mistake is giving up. There are no other rights or wrongs – simply take the step and never stop. Keep seeking your passions.
When you turn your life over to your higher self and allow the flow to take place, you begin to see the magic take place. You begin to discover your purpose.
Keep living with an “ungraduated” mindset as you seek to find your way – through your why.”