How to Find Your Purpose
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People talk all the time about “finding your purpose.” Sounds nice, but what does that actually mean? And how do you go about it? I believe in purpose so much that it’s part of the motto for Fulfill & Thrive! Finding your purpose sets up guidelines for what you will and won’t allow into your life, what is worth your time, and where you want your choices to drive you towards. It’s like being able to have a peek into the future, and know that what you’re doing today will bring you where you’re meant to be. Sounds great, right?! Grab some paper and get comfy for this writing exercise to find your purpose.
Hey – there’s a worksheet that goes along with this post! It’s in my Resource Library, along with tons of other worksheets, printables, and recipes to make your life simpler. Sign up here to get access to all of them!
what makes your heart jump?
Start by listing out on (at least!) one page anything you can think of that makes your heart jump. Anything that gives you a happy, excited, motivated, content feeling! Maybe for you it’s kittens, or money, or skydiving, or first dates. Perhaps it’s saltwater aquariums or baking cakes with your friends. Write down as many things as you can think of – nothing is too big or too small.
what experiences have you actually enjoyed?
Next, write out some recent or big experiences you’ve had – taking an exam, going to Disney, maybe even going to the grocery store. (Looking at your calendar over the last few months can help). Which of these did you actually enjoy? If you really, truly enjoyed it, put a star next to it – but if it was exhausting or depressing, circle it. When I did this exercise, I found almost everything I had done that I could think of got circled. There were just a precious few stars to show for years of experiences.
are there any patterns?
Do you see any patterns forming between the things that make your heart jump and the experiences you enjoyed? If not, that’s okay! – you’re still learning valuable information about yourself. But if you see some patterns, take note! For example, by looking for patterns, I found that creating was one of the things that brings me joy and a big part of my purpose.
what are your goals?
Now, here’s something to think about before you write down your goals: are these goals really yours? So many of us are chasing other people’s goals – your parents’, your best friend from high school’s, even society’s goals – but not their own. These false goals get in the way of us veer finding our purpose, and keep us going around in circles. Does you goal make you excited and motivated, or do you deflate when you think about it? Take a minute to reassess why you have these goals, and if they’re even yours at all. When you’re ready, write down YOUR unique goals for the future.
And, just so you know, these goals don’t have to be the cookie-cutter “make more money,” “lose weight,” etc. Your goals are your own, so write them down! Do you want to have 15 dogs? Do you want to bake every day? Do you want to live on a mountain? (Because those are some of my crazy goals!) Even if they seem silly or totally out-of-reach, write them down. These goals are what your heart is longing for, and even if it gets satisfied in another way, you’re learning about who you really are and your true purpose.
what’s special about you?
Take a minute to write down what’s different about you! If most people are scared of heights, but you love them, write it down! Do you like to be alone? Do you not mind doing physical labor? Do you like to get messy? Knowing what makes you stand out from others can help you identify how your purpose is unique from others’. For example, I love to be alone (and need to recharge after being with people). Part of finding my purpose is accepting that about myself, and moving toward opportunities where I get more time to myself (like running an online business!).
You now have tons of information about yourself – what you gets you excited, what hasn’t served you in your past, what you want for your future, and what’s unique about you. Where do these things align? If you haven’t seen it already, allow your imagination to thread these things together in lots of different ways, and write them down as you go.
A note about purpose: Your purpose isn’t necessarily a job title! Although we all want our careers to make us happy, our careers aren’t the entirety of our purpose. You can make the world a better place no matter what your job title is. In fact, having a “typical” 9-5 job is a big part of some people’s purpose!
Your purpose can be connecting people, saving animals, documenting beauty, spreading a message – whatever it is, don’t feel pressured to make money from it if you don’t really want to. Finding your purpose is about living a life unique to you, not trying to fit into society’s mold.
When you find your purpose, you’ll know
Your purpose will just feel right to you. Other people might laugh (or worse, have no reaction at all!), but you’ll know down deep that you’re headed in the right direction. Did you know that there are multipurpose people, and you’re probably one of them?! That’s right, it’s okay if multiple things feel right to you. Being multipurpose gives you more options in your life – there are more right turns, so to speak. Those of us with a single, strong purpose will have to work hard to stay on course and not get distracted by the newest trend, envy, and others’ expectations.
How did you know when you found your purpose? And what do you do to work towards it? Tell us in the comments!