The First Initial Steps to Finding Your Purpose
Let me start off by saying that I truly don't believe all of us have "one purpose" in life. As long as we are alive, we are constantly growing and constantly changing. Our self-evolution never ends, so it only makes sense that what you enjoy doing now may not be something you enjoy doing in five years. Look at it as being someone who will end up fulfilling multiple purposes in their lifetime and feel good about it!
Continuing on the belief that we don't all have "one purpose" - if you're not that one person that knew they wanted to become a doctor since the day they were born and actually made it a reality, I promise that's okay. You have just as many gifts and talents as that one person and your purpose already exists, you just need some clarity (don't we all).
One thing to keep in mind, is that you can't just keep this in mind. In other words, you're not going to discover your life's purpose(s) by thinking. You'll discover it by doing. And if you fear trying something new, just remember that living a fulfilled life beats any fear out there! Might as well do all you can in figuring out how to live your life to the fullest.
Personally, I directly align purpose with passion. Whatever it is that your passionate about can be your purpose! Now, the thing about purpose is that it is something you can do consistently and diligently. So if you're passionate about cooking a fancy dinner for one every Sunday evening but the thought of doing it everyday (not just for yourself but for others too) sounds like a nightmare, then becoming a chef is probably not your purpose.
Now... what if you don't necessarily know what you're passionate about?
I've always liked doing so many things but because there were so many things that caught my interest, the difference between being passionate about something or simply enjoying something became a blur. So, what I ended up doing (and it's worked out great for me by the way) is: exploring and attempting.
I would (and continue to) pick one of the many things I enjoyed doing and created with it. Along the path of pursuing this one thing, I'd note how taking it more seriously and incorporating it in my life more made me feel. It's very much so like analyzing a long-term relationship. After some time was I still excited about it? Did I envision myself going far with it? Did I feel fulfilled?
Try new things! Create conversations with new people. Delve into the things that peak your interest and make you feel even the slightest bit more alive. Put yourself out there because again, answers will reveal themselves through doing! And plus, you never know what you'll learn along the way! Perhaps you'll find out that you actually really do love cooking tacos dorados for hundreds of people. Perhaps you'll come to find that something you've never done before in your life is your purpose. Who knows! The world is abundant and full of opportunity (sigh of relief).
Keep in mind that exploring one thing may lead to another. Opportunities present themselves at random, so explore open-mindedly. Another thing to keep in mind is to have patience. It may feel like you don't know where you're going but you're on your way anyways. That's totally okay. It's very much like taking a bunch of first steps. If you ended up trying an interest of yours out and you come to find you weren't as passionate about it as you initially thought, then there's one less thing on your list of possible purposes. Finding out what you don't love to do is just as important and valuable as finding out what you love to do! I say, when in doubt, just keep following the right-feeling things. What matters is that you're on your way!
Lastly, when you do discover your passion(s), your purpose(s), remember that big dreams take time to build. Be content with where you're at right now and give yourself credit for being an explorer and for taking the time, the risk, and the passion to not only invest in yourself but to create a life you love, a life full of purpose!
The most important things to remember:
- Feel good about possibly fulfilling multiple callings in your life (not just "the one")
- Your purpose (because you do have one or more) will reveal itself through doing
- Follow your passions
- If you don't know what you're passionate about - explore and attempt
- The world is abundant and full of opportunity
- One thing may lead to another
- Finding out what you don't love to do is just as valuable
- Big dreams take time (so, be patient)