Greetings my good friends!
We are in the last week of January. I believe it’s high time you started taking inventory of what your life has been in the past three weeks. But before you do that, I want to ask you a question. What is your purpose on earth? What is the reason behind everything you are doing?
As you all know, there’s no smoke without fire. As I promised in my first article this year, I will dedicate the month of January to planning for a successful year, and today’s article will wrap it up.
Finding one’s purpose in life is truly the most difficult thing in life. During the course of this article I did a random research asking people what is their purpose in life, some answered and some couldn’t. I went further in asking them what they truly want to do be in life, some were able to answer while some said they are still figuring it out. In all, I figured out purpose means different thing to different people. This article helps to give an insight on how we can find our purpose. In my first book, “Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright To Success”, I wrote how we can find our purpose in life and of specific interest is my chapter one” titled “You Were Created For A Unique Purpose”. That chapter gave a very detailed insight on finding your purpose. We shall revisit that topic for a later day.
What truly is purpose? If some one should ask you, what is your purpose, what will be your response? Why do you carry out your daily task? Why do you do what you do everyday? Maybe you get up simply because the alarm clock is going off! Maybe you are passionate about a cause. Above all, your purpose should be your passion.
Purpose is where we find meaning—what we want to do and contribute. Purpose certainly can be linked to your job or career, but many people don’t find their purpose in their work and even if it is linked, purpose is broader than just a job. For those who have a sense of spirituality in their life, purpose is generally interwoven, often around a sense of meaning and connection. But purpose is also broader than spiritual health—it goes to the heart of what we value and who we are.
Why is having a sense of purpose important? It give you focus and clarity of mind of what you truly plan to be in life. It also helps you to plan better.
It elongates your life. Having a sense of what you want helps you in reducing stress in addition to prolonging your life due to the fulfillment and joy you will get in the “cause”.
You’ve probably heard stories about people in seemingly good health who die shortly after retirement. Researchers believe that a strong sense of purpose is connected to ageing, and those with a stronger sense of purpose may live longer.
Make you happier
According to Barbara Fredrickson, a leading expert on positive psychology, he said “people who flourish as “highly engaged with their families, work and communities. They’re driven by a sense of purpose: they know why they get up in the morning.” Having a sense of where you’re going in life and what you’re living for can relieve a lot of the stress and anxiety that comes from being directionless. When you’re living your life purpose, you’ll feel energetic, focused, and satisfied.
The big question now is, how
can I find my purpose?
According to Richard Leider, the author of The Power of Purpose, gifts + passion + values = purpose.
Your gifts are not just your skills and talents, but an endowment from God. Your passion is something for which you feel a deep curiosity and interest. Your values include your beliefs and what you consider to be most important. When you can identify those three aspects of your identity, you will have a better sense of how you can maximize your sense of purpose in order to improve your health and sense of wellbeing.
One of the ways of finding your purpose is by asking yourself hard questions. Find a time when you can sit down, without distraction, and honestly ask yourself the following questions: Who am I? What do I have to contribute to the world? If I only had one year left, how would I spend it? What are my core beliefs, morals, and principles? What makes me happy and fulfilled? If I have everything in the world, what will I do with my time?
These are some of the questions
you can ask yourself to know your purpose. The answers to this questions will
help you discover your gifts, passion, values and your calling.
And remember—there’s no right or wrong answer, because your purpose can change throughout your life! You may need to take some time and re-assess your responses to these questions a few times over a period of weeks to come to an understanding of your own personal purpose in life. Stay mindful of your attitudes and feelings during the day, and reflect upon the times when you feel that you feel fully alive. This process of self-discovery will help you move closer to your own reason for being, which can have powerful effects on your health and wellbeing.
In discovering your purpose, I have a little puzzle for you? Do you wake up each morning with the knowledge that you are about to use the day to do something you love? In the evening, do you go to bed feeling fulfilled and satisfied that you spent the day doing work that was meaningful to you and utilized your own gifts and passions?
What are your passions?
Your calling will engage both your mind and your heart—your natural gifts and the issues you care about most. Your passions will reveal where you want to direct your energy and guide your goals.
Ask yourself: What do I care about most in the world? Whom do I want to help the most? When do I feel most engaged with what I am doing? How would I use a gift of a million dollars if it had to be given away? When your life and work decisions are based on your gifts and passions, the power of purpose emerges, bringing alignment and flow of energy and aliveness.
Another way of knowing your purpose is by Utilizing your natural gifts. We each possess hundreds of skills and natural gifts, which often emerge early in our lives. Gifts are more than just talents; they are what make you feel fulfilled and happy. Having a sense of humor or an ability to bring joy to others, an ability to quickly compute numbers, or an aptitude for leading others are examples of natural gifts that can express your purpose. In summary, ask yourself these two questions: What am I good at? What do I love to do?
Your gifts will arise in the
responses that answer both questions—after all, you probably have a long list
of things you’re good at, but don’t enjoy doing. A true gift is something you
can give back to the world with ease and pleasure.
Serves others. Your calling can be thought of as the urge to share your gifts with the world. When you express your gifts for the sake of others, you often experience the joy of being fully alive.
Creates a feeling of fulfilment and joy: Can you really remember what were you doing the last time you experienced such absorption that you lost all sense of time? If yes, you were probably doing something that relates to your calling.
Calling and career
For some people, work is simply a job, a source of income, perhaps even a source of stimulation and reward, but unrelated to their broader purpose. For other people, their job or career is closely interwoven with their life purpose—it is a vocation, perhaps rooted in the notion of service. Your calling may not necessarily be your job—it may be a hobby, raising a family, charity work, or a way of relating to and helping others—but as purpose often extends broadly into all aspects of life, it will likely engage with your work as well.
For those who want to integrate career with life purpose, it is not enough to simply long for more meaningful work, you need to clearly define what you are looking for and then persistently seek it. This doesn’t mean you need to run out and switch careers. Pursuing meaningful work may simply mean integrating your gifts and passions into the job you do have—for example, volunteering to organize an office recycling program or charity drive.
In Summary, according to Dr. Jones Salk, “To become devoted to a calling, to have a sense of responsibility and to have hopes and aspirations are all part of human. To have no calling, no sense of responsibility, no hopes or aspirations, is to be outside of life”.
Again, I ask you, what is your purpose?
Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.