Finding Your Life Purpose, Where do you Look?
How do you go about discovering your ‘life purpose’, your vocation and life’s work? Do you go to a career counsel lor, the library, or on-line and take a few inventory assessments, values, or personality tests? Do you look at the Occupational Outlook Handbook?
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Hard to Find my Life Purpose
While partial in scope and helpful, these resources don’t take into account the whole picture of who you really are with all the unique qualities you have to offer the world.
Sure, these tests provide you with an inventory of some of your core tendencies and behaviors at the time you take them. It’s like a snapshot frozen in time. More importantly, how can you find your true purpose by looking at a list of available job titles, roles and statistics of forecasted outlooks?
Maybe while browsing the titles you think, “Well, I don’t see the one that I’m looking for so I guess I’ll settle for this job description, it sounds okay. Yeah, “Lamp lighter” sounds pretty good and we’ll always have lamps to light. I mean we’ll always have growing cities so we’ll always have lamps. This job is for me. Then enters Thomas Edison, good bye Lamp Lighter.
Lists of job descriptions and titles leave you less than fulfilled and they don’t’ provide you with the answer you seek. They don’t take into account your preferences, personalities and potential which is unlimited.
Let me ask you this question; are you the same person you were a year ago with the same exact tastes and preferences? You know the answer. Of course not. So, how do you go about finding your purposeful life?
Here’s one clue…What inspires you? What ideas, things, people, industries or services get you excited or leaves you feeling uplifted and peaceful after you experience them? These are all clues.
It’s your job to put the pieces of the puzzle together and you can.
Now, before we go any further Life Purpose can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Personally, I do not believe we have just one reason for being here. There are many roles to play and you experience them throughout the day.
Greatest Days of Your Life Purpose
When it comes to ways to find your ‘life purpose’ in terms of life work, the trick is discovering one that really lights your fire. You know, the one you do naturally and is enjoyable while you are performing the activity.
Here is another clue, let go of the results or let go of the “How” to get the outcome. Early on when I was beginning my search for my “‘Life Purpose’,” you know the one where lightning flashes from the sky and magically inscribes your purpose on a set of stone tablets and hands them to you, just kidding.
Back to the story, while on my search for my life purpose, I was caught up in a debilitating thought pattern. My attention and intention was focused on the “How” of the outcome. It went something like this: “Here is something I enjoy or seems interesting, how do I support myself with it and make it work? Will it provide me with all the things I desire, the nice home, security, prestige, etc?”
Questioning your own ability quickly deflates the idea of inspiration. This was a non-starter for discovering my life purpose and it strangled my happiness and prevented me from further discovery of it. It did conveniently run me in circles for many, many years claiming, “I don’t know what my life purpose is.” That story never really had a big fan club, except for one…it had me.
Bigger Difference in the World
I was so zeroed in on the outcome, the destination and relied heavily on my analytical and conscious mind. Both attributes useful and beneficial when considering thinking and life goals, yet limited in context to the Big Picture.
John Lennon had a great quote, “Life is What Happens When You Are Busy Making Other Plans.” This is what occurred to me over a period of time while I did laps in I don’t know land. So, I’ll ask you again what inspires you?
What things do you see or experience that provide you with peace of mind or excitement? It can be different things for different people. Remember, there is only one unique imprint of you in this world. Call it, variety is the spice of life.
This reminds me of a story about a mason who did some stucco work for a built in barbecue project I had at the time. He made it look easy as making mud pies. The finished result was a beautiful tan textured facade that matched the house perfectly that I enjoy very much to this day.
Sure, I can go about learning how to do stucco work and with enough practice perfect my own technique and then try and solicit business with my new skill. Yet there is no real joy in it for me.
Mission to Find My Happy
When I asked my new found mason friend about what he thought about doing stucco and block work, he said that he gets lost in the activity and enjoys it. All other thoughts, worries and to-do items fade away into the shadows of his mind like sugar granules stirred in kool-aid.
When I asked him, how did you figure out what you wanted to do as your life work? He replied, “When I was instructed how to do it, I just kind of naturally picked it up and I enjoyed it. It was easy and I found that people really liked my work and even better they would pay me handsomely for it.”
Notice here, he said, “He just naturally picked it up, he enjoyed it and it was easy.” I think that your life purpose or life work can have different levels of challenges or ease for that matter. I believe even more that if you have a desire, natural urge, or natural talent for it that’s another clue you are on the right track as well.
One thing that you can remember easily is this: Expression seeks form for what it desires to create. It’s inside every one of us.
By asking yourself, what do you desire to create and what makes you feel good? You will uncover your ‘life purpose’ and be on the road to living it!