You’ve probably heard it said a thousand and one times before. “Find your purpose.” Perhaps you have found yours already. Or maybe you’re still trying to figure it out. One thing is for sure; purpose tends to change across your lifetime. This means that what was your purpose in your teenage years is probably not your purpose in your adulthood. Here is how purpose changes across your lifetime.
What Your Purpose Is
Simply put, your purpose is what motivates you in life. What wakes you up in the morning? What keeps you up at night? What makes you tick? Your purpose is what determines your behavior and inspires your motives. This could be anything; responsibility to your loved ones, spiritual beliefs, or even the advancement of your career. Your purpose defines your values, your priorities, and where your heart lies. It is who you are. These three factors can help you understand what purpose is.
Your Purpose Has to Come From Within
Since purpose is something that you believe in, nobody can impose it upon you. For instance, if you believe in being charitable and touching the lives of others, it only becomes your purpose if nobody forces you to do it. This said, what is that one thing you feel convicted about within yourself? It could set you on the path towards your purpose.
Purpose Has to Be Meaningful
Your purpose has to be meaningful. It has to be goal-oriented. With this in mind, daily activities such as brushing your teeth or cleaning your house don’t qualify as a purpose. Instead, your purpose has to be something that brings out the greater good and brings sense into life.
It Is Not All About You
Purpose goes beyond you as an individual. Dr. Bill Damon says that purpose has to be consequential to the world. So how does your purpose contribute to the world’s good? It doesn’t have to be a big thing like “curing cancer,” but your purpose should not only benefit you.
Purpose: More Than a Destination
Many people speak of purpose as an ultimate destination as if it’s something they work towards and arrive at. However, purpose is more of a journey. It can change and evolve. For example, your purpose may develop based on your growth, ambitions, and your stage in life. Likewise, your responsibilities and commitments change as you grow and experience changes in your life.
Purpose is developmental in some sense. Remember when your only purpose in life was to top your class and be the best in your studies? The more you grew, the more your purpose changed to a greater capacity. Today, you probably want to be the best writer, psychologist, or whatever your career is.
How to Find Your Purpose in Life
So now that you know how purpose evolves, you are probably wondering how to find yours. Here are three tips that may be useful.
Books are the best way to get exposed to different people, cultures, and new perspectives. By reading widely, you will understand the challenges in the world, get a clear view of what goes on around you. This may go a long way in establishing your purpose. So if you feel somewhat lost, perhaps it’s time to go book hunting.
Use Your Hurtful Experiences
Nobody likes getting hurt. But perhaps there may be a silver lining within that dark cloud of pain. Instead of letting your hurtful experiences turn you into a bitter person, use them to attain your purpose. For instance, if you grew up in an abusive home, you could turn your pain into compassion. Let this compassion further guide you into ensuring no one else suffers your pain. This will help you heal while making the world a better place.
Learn to Be Helpful
To figure out your purpose, learn how to help the people you meet. In being helpful, you may discover your ultimate purpose and what you like to do the most.
Don’t Lose Sight
As mentioned, purpose is ever-evolving. It may change from time to time. However, ensure that you have a sense of purpose at each stage of your life. Do anything you want; just don’t lose sight of your purpose!