I have read countless articles and watched videos on finding my life purpose. I’ve taken notes of some questions that might help and answered them as best as I can. I’ve done my best many times to follow through the tips I got from various writers and life coaches. Not all of the tips and questions worked for me. Each of us go through our unique journey and what have worked for some may not work for others.
Here is my version of that list of tips/questions. These have been working well for me – so far. 😀 Hope this helps.
1. What excites you?
This would probably be the most cliche of all my points. I think it helps because it serves us a warm-up. Asking yourself this question is like testing the waters. Scan your past experiences and look for clues to your behavior.
In which situations were you mostly present – engaged? What brings out your creative ideas? What makes you come out of your shell and participate? What do you look forward to? If it’s up to you, how do you usually spend your time?
There should be a sense being pulled into a certain direction – which is different from the sensation of being pushed.
When we feel pulled into something, it feels light and a nudge is enough to get us in. A push is on the opposite end of the pole. It’s mostly about things we/others think we have to like/do. There is no chemistry. There is no sense of curiosity, fun nor adventure. We may be good at these things but they don’t give us joy or it could also be that we are getting more stress than fun from them. Observe yourself and pay attention to that “pull”.
2. What drives you to be a better version of yourself?
Which types of information are you personally hungry for? What encourages you to stretch your limits and go beyond your comfort zone? What motivates you to learn and grow? In which areas do you want to be better at?
If it’s up to you, what kinds of books/films/TV shows do you usually read/watch? Which kinds of feedback/rewards are the most fulfilling for you? Which topics do you like talking about?
3. What burns you out? What irritates you? What brings out the “hulk” in you?
The things that trip us off can also give us clues to our calling.
I believe that life purpose is not only about the things we naturally like or the things we are good at. In our purpose lies the things we are mostly struggling with as well – because they contain the life lessons we need to learn and integrate in ourselves at this point in our spiritual evolution.
Do rigid schedules burn you out? Do you have little tolerance for authoritative bosses? Do you dread having to speak with customers? Does wearing a corporate attire make you feel confident? Do you look forward to frequent business travels?
Look back into your past jobs, relationships, travels and past time activities. Eventually you’ll see a pattern there. Connect the dots to see the bigger picture.
4. How would you like to serve and make the world a better place?
It sounds cheesy, I know. But I believe that inside all of us lies the desire and need to be relevant and to fulfill our place in the world. The process of satisfying our purpose can only be completed once we have served a need that is higher than us.
We don’t even need to stress about it and squeeze ourselves into cookie-cutter careers in the name of service. If we’re already doing the thing that brings us joy and helps us grow – for sure we’re already serving/fulfilling a need in our own unique way.
Our passion acts as an invitation for us to participate in world-creation and advancement.
We just have to keep on engaging with it and follow its guidance on what to do next or which way to go.
5. What are you curious about?
This would be the last item on my least because a.) It may not help but may only confuse most people and b.) I would use this technique in either a more practical setting (e.g. if you’re thinking of shifting your career path) or if you wish bring some zest back into your life (e.g. discovering a new field of interest).
My career journey is partly about following my curiosity. I’ve changed my path a few times to the point that it feels like I have lived many lives in just one lifetime (and I am only in my 3rd decade). There is no harm to it if you maintain your focus and pursue just one thing (or a couple of things) at a time. This is to make sure that you go through the entire process until you reach its natural conclusion. By this time for sure you’d have learned something meaningful about yourself and the nature of life. You also get better at new things.
Following your curiosity can be tricky because it’s subtle and it leads you to a path of uncertainty. It would be easier if you just take your pick in the beginning and follow it down the road, right? Following your curiosity is the opposite.
It’s not composed of one straight road but of a series of road each branching out in multiple directions again and again. Following this path would require you to make pivotal decisions every now and then. It means that you have to keep your faith and guts and be more self-aware as you move along.
Curiosity also speaks to us in a whisper or even just a nudge. It almost never grabs us by the hand or shouts into our ear, commanding us to check something out. It’s subtle like our spirit – subtle but solid.
Try this technique. Pay attention to this nudge and follow its guidance. It may lead you closer to that
pot path of fulfillment.
I would love to know as well what has worked for you when it comes to finding you life purpose. 🙂