How to Find your Purpose – 5 Clear Tips to Grow your Passion
If you feel like “there should be more to life” in general, you’re not satisfied with your job or just feel like your schedule could use something more exciting, you may not have found your purpose in life yet. For most people, finding their true purpose and calling isn’t something that comes naturally. Purposes come in a myriad of shapes and forms depending on each one’s personal characteristics and predisposition, and they are unique for each person.
Basically, a purpose is that thing that “feels right”.
An activity that makes you lose track of time, a dream to become something bigger than you are now. Often, the purpose in life is finding that thing that is the most meaningful to you, doing something that makes you happy to wake up in the morning.
Unfortunately, many people are so caught up with their daily routine, living mechanically, that they don’t even think it could be much more to it and spend their entire life without ever finding their purpose. The fact that you came across this text means you want to make something more of life, to give it meaning – and here are the best five tips that I can give you for finding your purpose:
1) Find the things you’re really good at, and explore the possibilities
For some people this seems very easy, for example artists – somehow they always knew they love to create, paint, sing or play with clay, and it’s pretty obvious for them that this is their calling.
But what about other people, whose purpose may not be so easy to see? There are many activities that may not seem like much, at first glance. For example, I know someone who just likes to talk to people, listen to their problems, and somehow random people (in a train or at a queue) trust her and often tell her secrets from their lives.
However, she didn’t know that this could actually be a real career, until she found out that she could study psychology, and that by being a psychotherapist she could continue to listen to people’s problems – but for real money – and help them at the same time.
Here are some things that a lot of people try first:
- Writing (which can also create passive income!)
- Building Model Cars
- Flying RC Airplanes
- Rock Climbing
2) Follow your passion
What are the things you love to do and that bring you the most joy? Another person I know, only likes to hike and explore the mountains. He doesn’t like to do anything else but be out in nature for as long as possible.
“What is the purpose, and how could you make a career with that?” you may ask. Because simply wanting to be out in nature sounds pretty selfish when you view it from our modern society standpoint.
Well, he started by blogging about his experiences, selling photos from his trips at various exhibitions, until he even made a TV show about hiking, and now is inspiring hundreds and thousands of people to go out in nature more.
In the meantime he also became a certified mountain leader and takes small groups of people with him. So take your time and think what is the activity that brings you the most joy, that you used to do when you were a kid (because children always follow their passion).
How did you like to play? And what is your favorite way of spending your free time? Your purpose may be skillfully hidden in those activities if you search deep enough. If you still can’t find an obvious passion, check out the next tip.
With the invention of the internet, it’s becoming increasingly easier to make a side income from your passion or hobby! For example, Practical Psychology was created from me sharing the ideas I got from books. Eventually I had enough income from my amazing fans that now it’s my full-time income.
3) Think of the times you felt the most fulfilled or proud
We all have these moments in life. Make a list of moments when you’ve accomplished something you wished for a long time, or when you finally finished that project that you worked on for months or even years (and “that project” could be anything, really- from raising your children in harmony, to writing an exhaustive paper on a really obscure subject).
Anything that has ever brought the greatest joy in you is to be written on this list, even smaller things that made you really happy. These are the moments that speak the most about your true calling, and most of the times, you will find a pattern or a common thing to all the things listed.
Finding your passion isn’t as simple as a 5 minute meditation exercise. Some people spend years searching for something that calls them, while others go 4 whole years pursuing something they hate.
4) Get out of your comfort zone
Staying in our bubble makes us feel safe and secure, but unfortunately this is not an area of growth. It’s good to go back to our bubble from time to time, to wind down and recharge, but be careful that sitting in this zone for too long will lead to stagnation. Evolution always happens when you feel vulnerable, when you try and learn new things, at the risk of failing.
What better lessons than failures? Even if you try something new and you find out it’s not really your cup of tea, that’s just as fine – by knowing what is not your purpose, you are one step closer to the thing that is – with a lesson learned. You will never learn how to discover your passion if you’re sitting at home watching Youtube videos and reading your Kindle all day (unless that is your passion).
Stepping out of your comfort zone and talking to people, traveling to new places, and doing things that make you uncomfortable will broaden your horizons. By experiencing more things, you’ll have a better perspective to truly live your passion.
Repeat with me: “This year I will do more things for the first time!”
Sometimes doing something new with a friend will help ease into new experiences. Grab a friend and ask them to do something adventurous this weekend.
5) Give yourself time
This has two aspects: time to take care of yourself and focus your attention toward your own well-being, and also time to explore the possibilities. It’s pretty hard to concentrate on finding your purpose while you’re juggling between three jobs and a family. Taking too many responsibilities, having too many duties and things on your to-do list can drain you of energy and by the evening when you go to sleep, you’re way too tired from the things you had to do, to even think of anything you’d like.
In order to find – and properly fulfill – your purpose, you need to take care of yourself first, to prioritize tasks in a way that leaves you at least half an hour each day to recharge and make sure you function at your highest potential. So don’t be discouraged if right now you don’t know what your purpose is, or if it seems like you don’t have any. Some of us find it earlier, other find it later. And even if you find it later, remember that wise quote: “better late than never”!