Have you ever had a feeling that somewhere and somehow you lost your identity and became “the wife of…”, “the mother of…” or “the friend of…”? Are you trapped in daily busyness, constantly doing things for everyone and living the life that you have no control over? Do you ever feel that you’re just aimlessly drifting with the currents of life?
Some time ago I also felt like this. It began as a strange feeling that something was lacking in my life, and I could not figure out, what it was. I had a perfect family life, great husband, joyful kids, a promising career… My life was happy and busy, too busy in fact to stop and think. Yet, every now and again I had this feeling of being trapped in a high-speed train, not knowing where it is heading, not being able to get off…
This is when I realized that my life lacked purpose.
The purpose that gives you clarity and shapes your vision of the future.
The purpose that underlies your goals, plans, and activities.
The purpose that fires up your life and makes you jump out of bed every morning.
I did not have one, and I urgently needed one. But how one finds one’s purpose?
What can you do to discover your life purpose?
I am a firm believer that every one of us is born with a purpose, with a reason that explains our existence in this world. I also believe that the purpose of our life is hidden somewhere deep inside us, we just don’t see it! All we have to do is learn to listen to ourselves, learn to identify our true needs and desires and learn to connect to what really matters. But how do you do that?
1. Slow down and be mindful
I don’t believe in magic tips that promise you to discover your life purpose in 20 minutes, I simply don’t.
Finding your purpose takes time, so give yourself plenty of time and don’t put pressure on yourself by trying to get there as fast as possible. Slow down. You need time and space to listen to yourself, and it is impossible to do so in the middle of all the hustle and bustle. So, make sure you spend time with yourself daily in a quiet place – even if it is just a few minutes in bed in the morning or before going to sleep. Ask yourself: “What is it that I want? What am I here for?”
It may be that you will not be able to give any answer to yourself at first, but eventually, the answers will come. And the more you practice it, the more answers will come, until one day you’ll notice that they start resembling each other and converging to what is essentially your life purpose.
I cannot stress enough the importance of writing your daily thoughts. There is something about putting pen to paper that activates the connections in our brain and thoughts start to flow. If you are not used to journal, try it. Journal every day, write your thoughts, ask questions, look for the answers.
Your first entries may be of the type: “I wish I knew what I wanted in life”, but don’t be scared. The more you write, the more clarity you will gain. If you feel stuck, just write whatever you have on your mind. Write about the things that make you happy. Write about the things that make you sad. Write when you feel like your head would explode if you don’t. Write when you feel you have nothing to say, especially then – write, just write.
Little by little, your mind will flow and the process will become easier. And then one day the magic will happen! You will discover the true voice within you, the voice of the true you, the inner you, the “you” that you did not know existed. Listen to this voice, hear what it has to say, and write it down. This is the essence of your being that is speaking to you. Every time you connect with this inner you, you will gain clarity and insight into your life purpose.
If you need help, click here to download your free Discover Your Soul Purpose journaling prompts to get you started.
Slow your mind, surrender your thoughts, give up the need to control the situation, to plan, to expect, to preach. Just be. As simple and as difficult as that. Just be still and stay in the moment. Feel the moment. Let go of all the unnecessary luggage that you carry in your mind. Just be.
Again, when you start meditating, all these words might mean nothing to you. You will struggle sitting still. Your knees will hurt. You will feel the urge to move, to remove an invisible bug from your hand, or arrange your hair. You will struggle to keep your mind blank. Thoughts will pop up in your head, while you (unsuccessfully) try to chase them away. And you will be sitting there wondering when the meditation time is over. “Are the five minutes over yet?” Sounds familiar? Trust me, I’ve also been there!
However, by meditating daily, even if it is just 10 minutes a day, you will eventually learn to see your thoughts just pass by, without attaching yourself to them. You will learn to acknowledge the urge to move, to think or to stand up, and yet you will surrender to stillness. Each day your meditation experience will be more effortless, and then one day you will find yourself in this amazing state of “nothingness”, a vacuum of a sort, a state during which you are actually not thinking, but just being.
Meditation is a great tool for connecting to your inner self. It will help you realize that your inner self has unlimited potential, and once you realize that, you will feel empowered. And you will gain an amazing clarity on your life purpose as well.
4. Follow the nudges
Once you start tuning into yourself, and knowing yourself better through journaling and meditation, you’ll notice that you’ll start having ideas - little nudges that prompt you to try or explore something new. It may be a book that would call your attention at a bookstore or something that a friend says. It can also be an idea that comes up completely randomly when you’re walking your dog or working out at a gym.
Note down the idea, observe how you feel about it, and if it feels good, go for it. Sign up for that seminar, read that book or contact that person. You never know which doors this experience will open for you unless you try. Maybe you’ll even find something you’re truly passionate about. Or maybe, you’ll get another nudge and follow it again.
5. Do something that brings you joy every day
Write a list of all the things that bring you joy. Maybe it’s having tea on a terrace. Or maybe it’s wearing that dress that makes you feel a million dollars. These could be things that you do alone, or with someone, these could be smells, tastes, textures… The important criteria is that they all bring you joy and you feel happy and bright when you do them, wear them or smell them.
Observe how many of these things form part of your typical days. Do you frequently have tea on a terrace? How often do you actually wear that dress? Challenge yourself to incorporate as many of these things in your daily life as possible. The more happy and joyful you are on daily basis, the easier it is to find out what you are passionate about and what your life purpose is. So, write a note for yourself and start doing things that bring you joy every single day.
For the record, it took me over a year of journaling, thinking and meditating to find something that I can now call my life purpose. Did I expect it would take this much time? Definitely not! Did I wonder if I ever “find it”? Of course I did! But then one day I just did. It became so obvious that I thought: “How did I not see it before? It was right in front of my eyes!"
Do you know someone who's needing direction to find their purpose? Make sure you share this post with them!
And don't forget to download your free Discover Your Soul Purpose journaling prompts.