3 Exercises to Identify Your Purpose
There is a lot of buzz and talk about finding your passion and walking in your purpose. So many people are searching for their true calling in life. How do you know what your purpose is? And if you feel like you know what your purpose is, how do know if you’re on the right track?
While I definitely believe that everyone has a purpose, I think that we put way too much emphasis on “finding” our purpose. When you talk about finding your purpose, it gives the impression that your purpose is somehow lost or eluding you.
Your purpose is not running or hiding from you. I believe that deep down inside of us, we all know our purpose, we just have trouble recognizing the best way to live out that purpose. Since so many of us now associate our purpose with our vocation in life, it can really get confusing.
We spend more time working than just about any other activity in our lives, so it seems likely that our job or our chosen profession should also be tied to our purpose, but that is not always the case.
Yes, there are people who are working in businesses and industries that are allowing them to fulfill their life’s purpose, but there is a difference between having a job and having a purpose. And there is also a difference between living out your passions and living out your purpose.
What your ‘Passion’ and ‘Purpose’ really is
Before we jump in, let me give you my spin on the difference between passion and purpose.
Your passion is not your purpose. Passions can change and evolve. Your passions motivate you. And the passions that motivate and fuel you today may not be same tomorrow. On the other hand, your purpose is your ‘why’, the deeper reason for your human experience and existence. Your purpose is how you serve others and contribute to this world.
Where your passions fuel you, your purpose fulfills you.
So, let’s talk about three exercises that I use with my clients that you can use to help you identify, recognize and connect with your purpose?
Exercise #1 – Take a Look Back
Take a moment to think back to when you were a child, what did you want to be or do? What types of activities were you drawn to? What were you naturally good at? Then think about what makes you happy and brings you joy whenever you do it?
Often, these early-in-life experiences give us clues about our purpose. As children, we may not have been able to articulate what that purpose was or know how to fully live out that purpose in terms of a career and life choices, but the clues, characteristics, and answers were there.
Exercise #2 – Take a Time Out
As I mentioned earlier, your purpose is already inside of you. If you haven’t yet discovered it, it’s waiting for you to become aware of it and to make the connection. We spend so much time looking outside of ourselves for answers that we oftentimes overlook what’s already right beneath our noses or, better yet, in our hearts.
Take time out or time off, not just from your physical job, but from all the many things that you cram into your day on a daily basis.
Pray, meditate, be silent, write, journal, whatever it takes for you to get to know yourself better and to connect with who you really are. If that sounds a little foo-foo, so what, do it anyway!
Exercise #3. Take Inventory
Identify your talents, gifts, and passions, as well as the things that make you angry or keep you up at night. All of these areas and emotions are usually tied to your core purpose.
Take a sheet of paper and write down 10 things that you are passionate about, 10 things that you are good at and 10 things that make you upset or that worry you or that you would like to change.
It’s your journey – you decide what path to take
Let me leave you with this, while I believe that we all have a purpose in life, I also believe that we have the autonomy to decide how best to live out that purpose in our lives. This is where your passions can come into play.
Somehow the “how to live out our purpose” or “how to walk in our purpose” causes more confusion for people. Be convinced that there is no right or wrong way to live out your purpose, your passions or to fulfill your dreams.
This is where you get to choose, but you have to be honest with yourself and be courageous enough to do what is right for you! Living your purpose and passion does not mean that you have to be an entrepreneur or that you have to be just like others who share your purpose, passions, goals, and dreams.
Let me use myself as an example:
I know part of my purpose is to teach and inspire others. When I was a child, I loved Diana Ross, I still love Diana Ross. But when I was a child, I wanted to be her. I couldn’t explain it then, but I remember watching her on television, and I loved how she commanded the stage and connected with the crowd. They loved her, I loved her. So, I thought I wanted to be a singer. When I found out I couldn’t sing, I knew otherwise. But throughout my life, I’ve had a passion for being on a stage. Whether it was a school play, giving a speech at my high school graduation or public speaking, I loved connecting with people and speaking to crowds. I now use these passions and the stage as a platform to teach and inspire others.
Your purpose could involve teaching the world how to eat healthy so that they can live longer.
You may have a passion for food and cooking. You can decide to become the obvious, a chef, but there are many other ways for you to live out your purpose:
- You could become a teacher who teaches others how to prepare food.
- You could become a food critic and write about food.
- You could develop a cookbook with your own healthy recipes.
Regardless of how you choose to live out your purpose, you are still “walking” in your purpose of impacting and changing the world through your love for food and cooking. Is this making sense?
Embrace your ‘Own’ purpose
Remember, everyone has a unique purpose and calling. The world needs all of us to operate in our purpose. The world needs you to operate in your purpose! Don’t try to emulate someone else’s purpose because you feel it is more profound or deep. Just be yourself and share your talents and gifts with the world. I hope this helps you and gives you a place to start, to identify and connect with what’s been in you all along.
I hope that you have a better understanding of your purpose now and that you got something from this that you can use to make some positive changes in your life. If you enjoyed, please make sure to like it and comment below and share it with others. Let me know how you put this information to use in your life.
Also, let me know if there is a specific topic you would like for me to cover. I love getting your feedback and suggestions. I would love to hear from you. Comment below to let me know how you put these strategies to use in your life.
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