Feeling lost or having a lack of purpose is becoming increasingly common. A changing world, exposure to incessant social media and the pace of modern day life can quickly wear us down, depleting us of energy and time to pursue our true passions.
All of this can contribute to us feeling directionless, unhappy and unfulfilled....but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Finding your purpose and moving towards it can be achieved when you have clear intention and follow a process.
So if you feel adrift, unmotivated, anxious or depressed in anyway, keep reading.
Here, we offer 5 simple strategies and steps that can help you lay the groundwork for finding a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction in your life, no matter where you are right now.
1. Figure Out What Drives You
The very first step to finding purpose is actually fairly simple: figure out what makes you tick. Specifically, you need to identify what truly brings you positive energy or passion, because this is what needs to be amplified.
At first, this might seem an intimidating task, but when you boil down your daily and weekly activities, you need to get clear on whether or not they are overwhelmingly serving you or drain you. This is an essential first step.
Once you've crystallised a few things that make you feel most alive, you're well on your way to finding purpose. Most people never take the time to simply identify what is important to them and this is a vital part of self care.
Things that drive you can be almost anything; you might find that music, writing, gardening, hiking, cooking or painting lights up your soul. Or that organising messy spaces into creative ones brings you the most joy.
Don't dismiss the things that bring you joy as irrelevant hobbies or time-wasting tasks. Give these things the attention they deserve by making them weekly priorities in your life.
It's amazing how when you start giving these true loves more time and energy and no longer suppressing them, how much more fulfilled you start to feel.
A hobby transforming rooms, could easily turn into an interior design business. A love of gardening could lead you to create a blog teaching people how to bring more plants into their home environment.
A love of music, could lead you to write songs and share them on a You Tube channel. A passion for cooking, could prompt you to create an online cooking show.
Of course, you don't have to share the things you love with the world. However, a sense of purpose usually comes from not only living more of your passion, but finding a way to share your love and light with others. At its core, being of service to yourself and others is truly what having a purpose is all about.
No matter what you choose, remember that you don’t have to have it all figured out right away. It doesn’t necessarily have to make sense in your life right now, the idea is to just start reconnecting with the things that bring you joy, to practice them more often and to begin thinking more creatively about those passions.
2. Make a Plan
Once you’ve identified a passion, dream or goal that drives you or that you want to bring more energy and intention to, it’s time to make a plan of action.
This is where many fall short and start to feel lost again. Most people have no idea where to start or simply don't take the time to lay out an action plan.
It doesn't need to be complicated, but if you can think through and write down the steps that can help you to move towards your passion project or goal, you will be making more of a subconscious commitment with yourself.
By writing down the steps in a journal or by scheduling your weekly passion project time slots, you start to make things real. It's so important to get the ideas out of your head and onto paper and scheduled.
If there are multiple steps to the plan or goal, your action plan should have concrete steps with reasonable deadlines and measurable results. Your steps shouldn’t be vague or broad, like “Become a better piano player”. They should be more specific, such as “Complete intro to piano theory within one month”.
Your action items should also be bite sized, so that you don’t get overwhelmed. You’re in this for the long haul, so you don’t want to burn out on step one. Plus, you’ll also feel more accomplished and motivated as you check steps of your list, making it more likely that you’ll reach your end goal.
3. Take Action Every Single Day
Once your plan has been laid out, it’s time to take action. You don’t need to accomplish something every single day, but your goal should be to do some sort of action towards your end goal every single day, no matter how small.
For example, if what drives you is health and fitness and you’d love to become a personal trainer, every day doesn’t need to be completing a module towards your new certification, posting an exercise on social media or finding a new client. It can be as simple as completing your own workout for the day or adding a daily blog to your business website.
The reason for doing this is to keep your driving force front of mind constantly. You want to avoid getting complacent or allowing yourself to procrastinate. With small (even tiny!) steps each day, you’ll get closer and closer to your end goal and keep the momentum going.
You want the process of achieving and maintaining your purpose to be something you think about and work toward every single day, so that it becomes as ingrained into your day as brushing your teeth.
4. Use Your Support System
Everyone has a support system, but so many of us neglect to use it. It might be because we want to avoid burdening others or we feel that our success has to be reached independently to be legitimate.
Whether your support comes in the form of family, friends, colleagues, or even online forums, their support will help you stay on track and stay focused on your purpose. You might even find an accountability buddy so that you can both keep each other motivated and accountable.
No matter how you use your support system, make sure that they do support you and your goal. If you find you’re constantly having to justify yourself or if you feel defensive, they might not be the right people to help you find and maintain your purpose.
5. Banish Fear
The last, but possibly the most challenging, step is to overcome your fears and past failures.
Finding your purpose is one thing, but sticking with it despite all the obstacles you might face is quite another thing.
Fear will hold you back more than anything else that crops up on your journey. The key to overcoming it is to figure out exactly what you’re afraid of. Most of the time, it’s the fear of the unknown and fear of what might come. If that’s the case, you can easily figure out what you don’t know and then over prepare for it.
For example, you might be afraid to commit to learning to play the guitar because you've tried in the past and failed.
Think through why you failed, and often you'll discover that you simply didn't give the project the commitment and consistency it deserved for long enough to achieve success.
Past failure is not an indication of future results, particularly when you want to something and are prepared to commit.
You’ll never truly eliminate fear, but learning to manage it is crucial to living on purpose.
Learn more in Simple Secrets to Pleasure and Success.
The Main Takeaway
Remember that you’re the sole owner and determiner of your purpose. No one else’s opinions matter unless they’re trying to support and help you. If you believe a pursuit is worth doing, then it’s yours to do; after all, no one can tell you what should or shouldn’t light you up.
By following these five steps, you’ll lay a foundation for finding your purpose but more importantly, working more passion and joy into your daily life.
Finding your passion or purpose means nothing if you do nothing about it.
Your purpose is important. So remember to value it and yourself by giving it the attention it deserves. Having a sense of purpose is a vital secret to living with self love, true fulfilment and even in making a difference in the lives of others.
Tolman Self Care.