5 Unconventional Ways to Find Your Life Purpose
Since childhood, we have sought to give meaning to things. Who has not bombarded parents with questions like “Why is the sky blue?”, “What are the ants for?” “Where do the stars hide during the day?”
Hence time passes and this look on the world turns to within ourselves. We begin to want to understand why we exist and, above all, how we can become realized.
Do you know what your life purpose is?
The other day I read a quote from the American writer Mark Twain and I could never get it out of my head:
The two most important days of your life are: “The day you were born, and the day you find out why”.
How much truth for few lines!
- Have you discovered why you were born?
- Why do you live?
- What is the purpose of your life?
This is a question that makes many people sleepy.
And no less!
The great truth is that most people have no clue about the purpose of life. We live most of the time on autopilot. Even after finishing university. Even after getting a job. Even after you start making money.
And I’m not just talking about professional life. In the personal field, having a clear purpose is even more important to give that much-needed consistency in the choices we are made to make every day.
Discovering your own mission in this world is the revelation that allows everything to make sense. What’s more, knowing the answer to these questions is of the utmost importance in raising our self-esteem.
This is because people who live a life dictated by the “system” and do not have an opinion of what is right or wrong for themselves, can not appreciate.
On the other hand, when we know our true mission, we no longer care what people think of us. We have our own voice and our own way of looking at life.
But before answering the fundamental question of existence, you need to face one not so simple: do you know who you really are?
Do you know who hides behind this image shaped by society and the expectations of others? This image of who you believe you should be to be accepted? To be loved? To be admired?
To discover your life purpose, you must first undress each of the masks that hide their true essence.
It works something like this: when you do not know who you are, you’re like a blank sheet. And then accept any imposition, believe everything they say about you and become a passenger of your own life.
It took me a long time to realize that it would not have to be exactly what my parents dreamed about. That I would not need to follow all his advice to the letter. That I would not have to live the life they had imagined for me.
Because the greatest goal of a father or a mother is to see his son happy. And the path to my happiness, only I could choose.
Why is it harder to find the purpose of life in the closet?
Purpose of life has to do with passion, with desires, with wills. And, above all, it has to do with honesty. For obvious reasons, a person who represses his or her most sincere instincts will find it much more difficult to find their mission in this world.
Life never becomes unbearable because of circumstances, but only out of lack of meaning and purpose.
The above sentence is from Viktor Frankl, Austrian psychiatrist and author of the book “In Search of Sense”
Prisoner in concentration camps during World War II, Frankl witnessed death and horror closely. Even after losing everything, suffering from hunger, cold, ill-treatment, not knowing if he would be alive or dead the next day, he managed to extract something from the life that made him move on.
Frankl observed that of all the prisoners, those who best maintained self-restraint and sanity were those who had a strong sense of mission in the future: a work to end, a child or grandson to create, a scientific breakthrough to disclose.
He himself prevented many friends from ending their lives by reminding them that they did have a great sense to continue existing.
And why am I telling Uncle Frankl’s story here?
Simple! Because it is a great example that we gain energy and resilience to face even the most difficult times when we have a life purpose.
I do not know if it’s your case, but pay attention and realize how many people you know feel depressed and unwilling to do basic things. People with the feeling that life has no meaning, nor reason to get up every day with smile on the face …
Do you know anyone like that? Is that you?
Whatever the reasons for your suffering, know that they can be drastically minimized by the time you discover your why.
Lost to really aim is not as obvious as filling a cross. It requires self-knowledge, requires patience, and, above all, requires focus.
Now, it is also true that, contrary to what many think, a purpose need not be grandiose. It does not have to aim to end hunger in Africa and change the world. Or rather, it is enough that he changes his world.
It is a fact that our lives will change. The question is, in what direction will this happen?
A purpose is also not measured in degrees, nor in curriculum, much less in salary. It is measured in attainment.
The life goal of a medical doctor, for example, is not to be a doctor, it is to save lives. Just like that of a psychologist is to help people, a hairdresser raise self-esteem, aunt’s bakery see the satisfaction in each client’s eyes, my grandmother’s to unite the family and live to see it grow, and so on .
Note that sometimes you do not even need a diploma.
Just have a will. Just have a dream. The meaning may come from several different sources, but none is more powerful and more transformative than the love to do.
One way to realign yourself with the real mission is to create an original business card.
Instead of writing in it the name given to your function, write your purpose. Try to use up to three words. Examples: a hairdresser may actually be a “self-esteem consultant,” a “dream-maker” designer, an information-service journalist, and so on.
- What moments in your life do you remember feeling very happy? (not worth it in the boy’s bed, nor eating a chocolate bar of pajamas lying on the sofa)
- What makes you feel alive and energized?
- What is your unique ability?
- What activities do you do effortlessly and without realizing the time passes?
- What are you constantly praised for?
- What are your biggest fears in life?
- What keeps you from doing what you like?
- What qualities do you believe you do not have that would be essential to the discovery or development of your purpose?
Still not knowing which way to go?
So I’m going to teach you 5 unconventional ways to find this blessed purpose. Read with attention.
1. Make a list of 30 things about you
I do not know if you’ve seen it, but it’s a social-networking game where one friend challenges the other to write a list of 30 things about himself.
I confess that the first time I saw this I thought, “Putz, what a sloth! Write 30 things about me, I do not have much to talk about … “
But I decided to accept the challenge and, to my surprise, I could list up to 100 if I wanted to. Believe me, we all have something to tell. And while it’s hard to talk about yourself, doing this exercise is a great way to practice self-awareness.
After I got to the last item, I realized the list I had just created contemplated the most valuable data of my life: the things that matter most to me, the people whoue more marked me, my values, my hobbies, my passions, my fears …
If you do the same sincerely, with an open heart, from yourself to yourself, without having to share with anyone, you will discover a lot of important aspects about your personality.
So I invite you to face the challenge: put 30 things on paper. List the factors that make you who you are, curiosities, what makes you feel proud, failures, likes, talents …
All this defines you. All this makes you unique and special.
2. Imagine your 100th birthday
Yes that’s right.
Imagine that today you are no more than 100 years old! Wow!
And, as if that were not enough, you are reaching that age in the best possible way: with health, mental clarity and a family that loves you very much and comes year after year to celebrate with you. You are a person who lived life to the fullest, who got everything he wanted and has everything he needs to be happy.
Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away by this image: your birthday, your family and friends together.
Who’s there? Do you have a partner? Do you have adopted children? Do you have grandchildren? Do you have great-grandchildren?
What do you thank and remember with passion at this special moment? What events marked your life? What people were around? What did you spend your time with?
If you want to know how you would like to be 50 years from now, you must make the decision now. Not in 50 years.
3. Set your star
Now imagine that you are the most successful person you know. The journalists are after you, the industry magazines want to interview you, you are appearing frequently in the media and everyone presents you as a “bam-bam-bam” on a certain subject.
And then comes the million dollar question: Who are you? What do you do for a living?
Again: you do not have to be influenced by your current academic or professional background. If it is to dream, dream well. Dream big. Dream your heart beating hard.
Do not judge or analyze. Let your imagination fly.
Are you a famous architect? Are you an international singer? Are you a writer who received the Nobel Prize?
Please point to the stars. As far as you can. And be honest with yourself.
4. Think about what would give you a huge horn to do, even if you had won on the mega sena
Suppose you are a millionaire and that money is not, and will never be, a problem in your life. You can choose to do whatever you want to fill your time.
What would you do?
Increasingly, what will make a difference is not the ability to perform a task, but your passion and exclusivity in accomplishing it.
Everyone is really good at something: photographing, cooking, caring for children, writing … But, generally, what makes us discredit our talents is low self-esteem.
Ask yourself, then, what talents do you have that give you true pride and pleasure?
Believe me, every person has a very unique combination of experiences and learning. Therefore, each of us has something unique to bring to the world.
If you are not bringing it, whoever is missing out on it is not just you. It’s me, your friends, the boy who asks for money at the signal, the hot dog’s aunt and humanity as a whole.
5. Answer: Why?
So far I’ve let you daydream, imagining a lot of incredible situations.
The question is: what did you feel? What moved you the most? And, above all, what sense have you found in all this?
Why did you do what you did? What was the purpose?
More than knowing what you want to do, you need to know why you want to do it.
follow your heart
Remember: if you do not have your own life plan, someone will make you fit into their plan.
I know this discovery can sometimes take time: there are people who find their true mission and vocation very late – and there is nothing wrong with that. But never lose your why of focus. Once you find him, you will be a much more complete man.
Oh and embrace the shame. Feeling stupid is part of the way to accomplish something important, something meaningful.
The more the main decision of your life scares you, the more likely you are to take it. Maybe the answer is clear, all it takes is the courage and the attitude to see it.
Think about it!