Tons of people get hung up on finding purpose.
Why are they hung up on something that, on the surface, sounds pretty freaking simple?
Like “Which way is the sun?” simple.
It’s about attitude. A simple shift in approach. A small tweak.
The obstacle is that they (if we’re being honest and you took the time to read this far, let’s assume “you”) are waiting, hoping to “discover” life’s purpose, “finding” it under the Christmas tree or in the post or under a rock behind the shed. Or in a fevered vision, like some sort of enormously lucky prophet, guru or wizard.
Instead of searching, here’s a simple way to figure it out pretty quickly (grab a notebook, brainstorm, and write down your answers):
What activities bring you the most joy?
Okay. Now which of those activities can be shared with others in some way?
And, of these, which would you still be passionate about doing, even if you were homeless or in prison or dying of cancer?
That is your purpose (for now, at least).
Half of the people reading this are thinking “Wow, that really was simple! Thanks!”
The other half are thinking “I don’t know. Maybe nothing?”
For the first half: I’m glad you found it! Start working on developing your Daily Practice so that you can live your truth every day. And remember that as you get more living under your belt, your purpose can evolve, shift, or even change entirely.
And that’s totally okay. Don’t be too specific, either. Specificity is a symptom of living your truth; not a truth to live in itself.
For the second half: Wasn’t so simple, huh?
Assuming you’re not suffering with depression or stuck on a self-image that doesn’t fit the amazingness that you secretly are, there are ways to solve this riddle.
Think back to when you were a kid.
What activities made you happy? What games did you like to play? What experiments made you more curious about the world? What projects did you share? What made you beam with pride and bubble with excitement? What activities made the world melt away and gave you mysteries to solve?
This is the first clue. Make a list if you have to. Really, grab a pen and make a list.
“What was awesome when I was a kid?”
Now, make a list of stuff along the same lines that you can do as a grownup. You might not know how or where to start, but for now, make a list, even if it sounds ridiculous.
Research every item on your list. Experiment. Play. Try things out. Allow yourself to get excited.
Don’t be afraid to fail or look ridiculous. Be a little afraid. Heck, be terrified, because you’re entering rare air — “figuring it out”. But don’t let the fear stop you or slow you down.
Who cares what people think about you if you feel like you have no purpose in your life? It’s better to have an amazing purpose and have people think you’re crazy than to feel lost and hopeless and have people think you’re sane. Think about it.
For 99% of the people reading this, you have the answer or the tools to get your answer.
Congratulations! Life is about to get way awesome-er!
If you’re still here, without the answer or a notion on how to find it, read my “How to Turn Your Life Around” post and follow each step. With one addition: on Step 4, have a follow-up session a few weeks later with the intent (and be sure to say it out loud, BOLDLY, in some sort of invocation or prayer at the very start) of finding your purpose.
For some reason, you are stuck and need to get un-stuck before you can even think about contributing to the world in a meaningful way.
There’s nothing wrong with that — unless you decide to wimp out and give up.
But that’s okay, too.
Just less fun.
Recap: Don’t “find” your purpose.
Decide on it, grow and evolve it, and live it.
And, whatever you do, enjoy it as much as you can!