“What is my purpose in life?”
This is probably one of the most asked questions in the journey of self discovery.
Everyone is born with this question hanging over them and some never find out the answer sadly. It does not matter what your age is, it is never too late to discover what your purpose in life is. For some, purpose is easily identified and for others it may take a number of years and failed attempts before they find the elusive answer.
I believe purpose is a journey and not a destination. Also, what you enjoy doing is an indication of your purpose. Your purpose is the why to what you enjoy doing.
The answer to this question lies at the centre of one’s life. If identified, everything else will align. Our friends, career or business choices, hobbies, social life etc are all linked to the answers to this questions. Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life”, posits that when you discover your purpose you become focussed on what matters spending less time on distractions – Your life becomes more productive. (I would strongly recommend this book if you have not read it).
In his book, Understanding the Purpose and Power of a Woman, Myles Munroe of blessed memory said “When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable”.
In addition to focus and productivity, discovering and understanding your purpose also brings great joy. You begin to enjoy your life as you spend more time doing what you love doing and embrace your uniqueness.
In a previous post, How to identify what you are good at, I identified passion as one major indicators of purpose. I would like to add 3 questions you should ask yourself (and others) which can help anyone identify their purpose.
- What can I do with minimal preparation?
This refers to something that comes naturally to you. Something, such as a task or activity, which when called upon you can do without spending hours, days or months in preparation.
For example, I love to teach people. I am able to teach or speak about topics which I have prior knowledge of with minimal preparation. As a matter of fact if I am woken up from sleep suddenly and asked to teach on a topic I know something about, I am able to deliver with reasonable impact. I can’t boast of such ease with other activities such as say singing.
In the example above, I can identify that I have a purpose to positively impart the lives of others which is expressed by teaching others.
2. What do people find most intriguing about me? (What do others keep coming back to me for?)
This is an indirect indication that others have identified what you are great at doing and this is linked to your purpose. This may be related to soft skills like guidance and counselling, confidence, encouragement etc.
I recently requested feedback from friends and family by asking a simple question, “In one word, how would you describe me?” and the answers were very informative!
3. What do you do and time passes by without you realising?
Please don’t say ‘watching TV’ or ‘sleeping’ or ‘playing games on Xbox’.
This simply means you are enjoying what you are doing and you are having fun doing it. It means it is easy and comes naturally to you. They are indications to what your purpose is.
Lets see some examples.
I enjoy being a parent. My purpose is caring for others.
I enjoy fighting the cause of the less privileged. My purpose is to fight social injustice.
I enjoy Photography. My purpose is to discover the beauty in nature and share this gift with the world.
I enjoy feeding the poor and taking care of the homeless. My purpose is to alleviate the impact of poverty.
I enjoy teaching and writing. My purpose is to educate, inspire and motivate others.
Understanding our purpose is a key which unlocks our unlimited potentials. It brings happiness and fulfilment in life. It is never too early or too late to discover purpose. Have you identified what your purpose is? Can you commit to spending time to discovering your purpose? I would really love to hear your thoughts and help anyone who needs help in discovering their purpose.