What’s the big deal about “finding your purpose?” Simple. Knowing your “Big Why”—the reason you do what you do—serves as your GPS. It’s the emotional guidance system that helps you navigate life and achieve your goals and potential by staying on purpose. Also, purpose motivates and inspires you to action, specifically actions that help you fulfill that mission.
You may have heard me say, “To get inspired, combine your passion with your purpose.” I discussed passion in my last post and the need to combine it with your purpose if you want to feel inspired.
Why You Do What You Do
You may look at your life and think, “It’s purposeless.” You may see no reason at all behind the things you do.
Look at your job, as an example. You may think you only do it to pay the rent and that it’s “just a paycheck.” You know what? That’s a purpose. Your job serves the purpose of being able to pay your bills and feel safe and secure.
I get that a job like that may not have what you might call a “higher” purpose. It doesn’t help you fulfill any deep desire to be of service or create or express your unique gifts. However, it does accomplish one purpose—keeping a roof over your head.
You may look at your failing relationship and say, “Being in this relationship serves no purpose.”
What if that relationship is meant to teach you something so you can have a better relationship with someone else? That’s a purpose. Possibly, you have children with this person. Bringing them into the world and becoming their parents might be your purpose.
Your Calling or Mission
Many people feel a strong sense of purpose. They know their career is about bringing their unique gifts into the world and serving others. Or they know the volunteer work they do is about fulfilling their mission to support others.
Maybe you are an activist, and you fill it’s your purpose to improve the environment, stop school shootings, or foster equality. You get involved in these causes because you feel called to do so.
Maybe you are a writer or blogger who feels it’s your calling to share what you know and positively impact readers with your words. Every time you publish a post, book, or article, you know you are fulfilling your purpose.
If you don’t have a sense of mission or calling—a purpose—ask yourself why you do what you do. The reason is your purpose.
And your purpose might be different in the areas of relationships, work, health, finances, and even hobbies. In each situation, ask yourself, “Why do I do this?” Your answer holds the key to finding your purpose.
Underlying all these reasons, however, might be one significant purpose—the purpose of your life. But many people never discover that. In fact, you can choose the purpose of your life and the purpose for any action or endeavor.
Live On Purpose
Once you have an answer to the “why” behind anything you do in life, use that as your GPS system. Let your purpose give you the directions to your goals and dreams.
The easiest way to stay on track and use that GPS system is to consistently ask yourself, “Is this on purpose for me?” For instance, if you receive an opportunity to do something, ask yourself that question. If the answer is “yes,” follow that guidance. If the answer is “no,” follow different directions. Not sure? Ask, “What is on purpose for me right now,” and then listen carefully or watch for a new opportunity to arise that feels on purpose.
Maybe it’s your purpose to be a good parent—more specifically the best mother you can be. Awesome. Every time you’re asked to do something, ask yourself, “Does this help me become a better parent?” You might be surprised at your answers.
Imagine that you get invited to go on a retreat with some lady friends. That might not seem like it has anything to do with being a good parent. Yet, if going on a retreat with your friends helps you relax, rejuvenate, and connect with other moms who can offer new perspectives on parenting—or even your situation—when you arrive back home you are likely to be a better parent. You will be more patient, understanding, and present than you were before you left. So, is the retreat on purpose for you? Of course, it is.
Combine Your Purpose with Your Passion
Once you know your purpose, consider how your passions relate to helping you achieve it. I’m enormously passionate about personal development, spirituality, and metaphysics. When I combine my passion for those topics with my purpose, which is to help people step into their best selves and create what they desire, I feel inspired.
Last night I was at a religious service. The person leading the service shared a bit of information that related to the book I’m currently writing. Writing and publishing that book is one way I can fulfill my purpose. And that bit of information related to my passion to help writers, in this case, create books that motivate change. When they do so, they fulfill their purpose by creating transformational books and careers as what I call “Authors of Change.”
I immediately got out a scrap of paper and a pen and jotted down what I’d learned. I could feel something happening…inspiration growing inside and wanted to write!
When you feel inspired, you get ideas…and you want to act on them. That’s what I call inspired action. Follow your GPS—and take inspired action. You’ll get inspired results. And those inspired results help you fulfill your purpose.
Does your purpose guide you? Tell me in a comment below.
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Photo courtesy bilanol.