This post goes out to anyone feeling lost and without a clear direction in life in hopes that with this advice you may be able to begin creating a purpose driven life for yourself.
Finding our purpose in life is the ultimate dilemma we face. Since our adolescent times we?ve asked ourselves ?Why am I here?, ?What part do I play in all this?? We could spend hours discussing existential philosophy but that won?t get us anywhere, if only a bit more enlightened.
While many spiritual people will say their life purpose is to serve God or achieve spiritual englightenment I will exclude this type of life-purpose from the article for the sake of approaching it from a practical perspective.
The first step is to ask yourself one question:
?What makes me happy??
Being happy and passionate about what you do will motivate you more than anything else could.
The key to developing a purpose driven life is to first figure out what your purpose is. Don?t feel like your purpose will have to remain consistently the same for the rest of your life. Life is about phases and each phase may look very different than the last.
A few other questions you should ask yourself to figure out your purpose:
How do I want to be remembered when I?m gone?
I was once asked to write my own obituary as a creative writing exercise and, as macabre as it may sound, how I ended up describing the way my life turned out was surprising.
What is my definition of success?
Some say success is becoming rich others will argue that it?s being happy, others will say it?s having a stable job and a family. Everyone is entitled to their own definition of success.
What are my skills?
Knowing what your strengths are will help you predict where you will be most successful.
Who am I?
Yes, another existential question. But by the time you are in your mid-20?s you should have a pretty good grasp of who you are. Are you the type who wants to help others? Do you have a dominating personality? Are you the nurturing type?
The next step towards developing a purpose driven life is forming a strategy.
Here are some tips for building a strategy:
– Set a time frame: For example, by the time I?m 50 I want to become the CEO of a company.
It is important to set realistic goals for yourself. It?s ok to dream big but there are some things we are realistically not cut out for. If you faint at the sight of blood you probably shouldn?t go into the medical field and while you could push yourself to overcome the fear, you should first ask yourself if there is something else you could be better at.
– Set several short-term goals. It?s okay if you don?t have every step of the way outlined but if you have a 25 year time frame maybe you can start with setting goals to be achieved within the first 5 years. Breaking things down in smaller parts makes it easier to digest.
For the creative, crafty types, some swear by a ?dream? board. Make a poster with pictures, words and inspiring quotes that reflect your goals and who you are. Sometimes being able to visualize your goals can make it easier to see them as possible.
– Set a time frame for each short-term goal.
– Figure out what it will take to achieve each short-term goal.
Let?s imagine this scenario: Maybe you need to go back to school to achieve your purpose. You?ll need to find a school, apply by the given deadlines, find a way to finance your studies.
– Celebrate and reward yourself everytime you achieve one of your short-term goals.
Reward is a great motivator as long as the reward is proportionate to the achievement.
It?s probably not a good idea to go on a huge shopping spree just because you applied to one school.
– Have a support system. Friends and family will help you get through the bad days and
help you stay focused on the bigger picture.
Also, surrounding yourself with people who share similar goals and purpose will help inspire you and your natural competitive streak will kick in which can also be a motivator.
– Don?t quit or stop believing in yourself