3 Questions That Will Help You Find Your Life's Purpose
"What is my life's purpose?" has got to be one of the most asked questions on the planet. It's no wonder because we don't want to die knowing we didn't live our best life. It has been said time and time again that the biggest regret of the dying is not having lived a life that was a true reflection of who they were.
So, what is your life's purpose?
Well, I can't tell you and anyone who tells you they can is lying...BUT I CAN help you ask better questions so that you can answer that for yourself.
The first half of finding your purpose is housekeeping.
Separate your beliefs from the beliefs of others
The first step in finding your life's purpose is to learn the difference between your beliefs and the beliefs of others. When asked about what they love to do, most people know right away. But when they think about taking that love and turning it into what they do, they say something like this to themselves:
- That doesn't pay the bills!
- You can't make money doing that.
- You're an adult now.
- What will people say if you did that?
- You should stop being a brat and just be grateful you have a regular job!
- You are not that talented.
- Who told you that you were unique?
- That will take you so long to do.
- You can't give up this job to follow a silly passion.
How do I know that these are things you've said to yourself? I know because I've said them to myself. I know because I have never met anyone who didn't do some form of this self-destructive talk on the road to finding and living their purpose. And that's OK, but please do yourself a favor and understand that the things you are saying to yourself are quite possibly not even your own!
Yes, most of these self-limiting beliefs are things you heard as a child and took as true. You were either told one of these about yourself and/or you heard a parent or guardian repeatedly say this to themselves. Most of the time it wasn't meant with ill intent, but it still stuck. Now it's your job to detach it because if you keep carrying it around then what you're really doing is living a life based on the opinions of others.
Admit that you are unique
The more people I meet, the more I see clearly that everyone is unique. No two people are here for identical purposes reached in identical ways. Unfortunately, believing you are unique has become something that is shunned or looked down upon. In reality, believing in our individual talent is the first step in manifesting a purpose-filled life.
Admit that you have a purpose and understand that no one else can do what you do the way you do it.
When and only when you have cleaned up the house, can you move on to find your purpose.
THREE QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP YOU FIND YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE
What wouldn't bore you if you were stuck in a room?
We've all heard the saying, "what would you do if you weren't afraid?" I like that, but I find that it gives me a bit of anxiety when it's time to reply. I'm someone who has a million interests, so the answer to that question could be to become a writer or to become a ballroom dancer or even a super cool coffee tycoon. Instead of "what would you do if you weren't afraid?" I like to ask "what wouldn't bore you if you were stuck in a room learning about it for an entire week?" That helps to weed out so many things. Sure, I love coffee-culture, but would I want to spend an entire week learning about the different coffee beans and the climates that affect them? No.
What did you love to do as a child?
This is a two-part question. It's both about what you loved doing as a child and what came naturally to you. This is often a tell-tale sign of some part of your life purpose. Maybe it doesn't show the picture in its entirety, but if you can pinpoint the feeling behind what you loved doing then you can forge ahead.
The odds are that you loved doing something because of how it made you feel and it made you feel the way it did because you were naturally good at it and you knew it. Our life purpose is always something that is natural for us that isn't natural for other people.
Parents can often tell their child's natural strengths really early on. I have two sons (6 and 2). I already know the oldest one is a natural leader and director. He loves leading, directing, and he uses his above-average language skills to rally people behind him. His purpose is tied to leadership because he's a natural at it and he knows it. My youngest loves to get what he wants and he will not quit until he does. He is resilient and when you think he has forgotten to get something you are wrong. His purpose is tied to persevering because he knows he has above-average will.
Go a step behind what you loved doing as a child to find the feeling behind it. For instance, you loved playing with LEGOs, playing sports, or playing teacup party. Those things might translate to finding solutions, competing, and bringing people together.
Find the feeling!
How can you be inspirational to humanity?
This last question is perhaps the most powerful one in defining your purpose!
If you are coming up with life purposes that serve no one else but you, then you aren't defining your life's purpose. A real life purpose ultimately inspires humanity - whether that be the humans in your own world or the world at large.
Going back to the examples of my children. The oldest will inspire others to be leaders in their own right. The youngest will inspire others to never give up until they have accomplished their goals.
When people die, we never talk about what they did. We talk about how they inspired us by doing what they did best. What can you inspire us to do by just being yourself?
That's it! It's that simple.
- Find something that could never (or minimally) bore you
- Remember what you loved doing and what you were naturally good at as a child
- Figure out how you can inspire people by just being yourself
I hope these exercises help you to get a little closer to finding your life's purpose.