You are no different than every other individual on Earth in that whether you realize it at the current moment or not, you have a purpose to fulfill and a path that will take you there. Some are fulfilled through their careers (lucky), others find fulfillment through volunteering, being a parent, creating social change, or something else entirely. Either way, you have a purpose and it’s time for you to find it. Here are some ideas that might help.
Sit down and make a list. Writing down everything you love to do is one of the best and easiest ways to identify your passion. At first, the list may not make much since, but everything you enjoy doing is part of your path in some form, so just start writing. Include food, experiences, travel, and activities that you enjoy. By getting it all down on a piece of paper, you will have a clear list of what it is you love. Then, take a step back and see how all the pieces might fit together. You may find that your passions connect in a way you would never have dreamed.
What comes easy? Something I took from a recent conversation between Rich Roll and Mike Cotty is that often our purpose is looking us right in the eye, but it comes so natural, we don’t even consider it. What you do easily in your every day life is likely connected to what you are meant to do every day. I guarantee that just because something is easy for you doesn’t mean that it’s easy for everyone. Don’t overlook these things. Find what comes naturally and strengthen those abilities to help others.
Take a look back. The struggles you have moved past can become part of your purpose. Your past experiences give you perspective that is unique to you. Use that perspective to guide others that are at the beginning of a path that you have already traveled. Is there a part of your life story that you feel passionate about? Use it.
Remember your childhood. Adulthood gets in the way of a lot of things and it seems like the first thing we kick to the curb is our imagination. When we’re kids we let our heart and imagination guide us. Anything was possible. When we tap into our inner child we allow ourselves to dream big again. Get out of your head for a minute and look into your heart. You may surprise yourself with a “lightbulb moment” that leads to a big idea.
Do what makes you happy. I don’t care if it’s writing, singing, drawing or building things. Just go do it. Do you like teaching, running, or planning events? Good! Do them all. Your purpose in life doesn’t have to be one thing. We have multiple interests by nature and to limit ourselves to one thing strips us of the freedom that we are looking for in the first place. Life has a lot to offer so don’t limit yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s easy for us to be blinded by what comes easy to us simply because we’re too close to connect the dots for ourselves. Your friends, family, and other acquaintances see you in a way that you can’t. Don’t be timid in asking someone close to you what it is they see.
When finding your purpose is a struggle it helps to get back to the things you love so that you can make a difference in others by doing those exact things.