For some people finding their purpose in life comes easy. The purpose finds them and it becomes glaringly obvious what they should be doing to live a happy and fulfilled life. For most of us though, things aren’t that obvious and it’s completely normal to struggle with finding something purposeful to do. If that’s you, here are three questions you may want to ask yourself to help guide you to a starting point.
Before we move on to the actual questions, I want to share that this is often a process. There is no right or wrong answer. You simply start by making the choice to live a purpose-driven life and then start to figure out what that purpose may be. You don’t have to get that answer on day one. Instead, try a few things, see what feels right and what doesn’t, and come to your own perfect answer organically and over time. In short, work on it, but don’t stress out about it.
Now let’s move on to the questions. They are designed to get you thinking about what your purpose may be. They are a starting point and a great way to brainstorm possibilities until you come across something that feels just right.
What Am I Good At?
Start by making a list of everything you are good at. It’s much easier to pass on a skill or work in an area where you have experience. For example, you may be great at planning meals and living frugally. You can pass that knowledge on by helping low-income moms in your community stretch their food dollars as far as possible.
Don’t limit yourself to what you’ve learned in college or where you excel at work. Instead, think about all the little skills you’ve taught yourself in your spare time. Don’t forget about your hobbies. Those woodworking skills you’ve acquired over the years can come in handy when you’re building nesting boxes, or are creating an after-school club for at-risk youth. No skill is too small or insignificant when it comes to living with purpose and making an impact.
What’s Important To Me? What Do I Value?
Another great starting point is to think about everything that’s important to you and that you value. Maybe it’s climate change, maybe it’s making sure that children in your community have enough food, or maybe it’s insuring the safety of abused women.
Start with your values and see what opportunities there are in your own community, or online to get involved in. While you can certainly start your own organization, or do something on your own to make a difference, it’s often easier to start by working with people who have experience in the field.
What Needs To I See In My Community?
Last but not least, look at what’s going on in your community. This can be your local community or an online one that you’re a part of. Start to pay attention to the needs of your people and see if there’s something you can do to help.
The needs aren’t always obvious. Be prepared to read between the lines. By simply paying attention and starting to look for a need that needs to be filled, you’ll quickly find opportunities to make a difference.
Above all keep your mind and eyes open. You will come across your purpose. It may just not be exactly what you had in mind, to begin with. It’s a journey and a process, but that’s also what keeps life interesting and full of surprises.
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