(Article repost of September 2013)
Recently, I have had a number of surprises and changes in my life, which has caused me to ask myself am I living my life with purpose or “Why do I get up in the morning?” Specialists in the area of finding your life purpose, Richard Leider & David Shapiro indicate that our life purpose is “the spiritual core that helps us find the aliveness in all our day-to-day experiences.”
Without vision and purpose in life our daily activities seem meaningless. Our lives become merely an endless succession of challenges to face and they become routine and uninspiring. We may have good intentions but the monotony of the day-to-day, the responsibilities and the “busy-ness” can leave us just trying to survive, much less giving us any margin to thrive. Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into years and if we aren’t careful we can find ourselves living but not being truly alive.
I believe that each of us has a definite purpose in our lives. Some may call it ‘career’, some say ‘vocation’, others call it following your ‘calling’ – doing something that you’re perfectly naturally suited to do and fulfilling your life purpose in being here. Some people find their way easily and naturally early in their lives and live a passionate life on purpose. Others find their way and make changes years later, or in mid- life. Yet the majority struggle and never figure it all out. With purpose clearly in mind, we are able to confront life’s challenges and move past them, knowing that we have something important to return to. This keeps us centered and strong. With purpose, our decisions come easier. We make decisions based on what best fits who we are and aligns with purpose.
The good news though is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Discovering your purpose is a worthwhile pursuit and once you discover it your life will feel like it is on track. You will still need to do the work to bring your purpose to life. But your actions will be filled with meaning. There will be a depth to your life. Current research and experts have a number of formulas for discovering your purpose but they all have the following areas in common. The answers are not outside of us, but deep within. I always start any spiritual activity with mediation to hear my own inner wisdom and next I always turn to prayer to find answers and/or solutions that will lead me on my path for my highest good.
Key to determining your life purpose is to ascertain what you are passionate about. What comes as naturally to you as breathing? (As Oprah once said.) What would you do for FREE for the rest of your life if you had twelve million dollars in the bank? – And this is AFTER you have already bought everything you have ever wanted to own, traveled to all parts of the world (unless that IS your passion and life purpose.) What would make you say: ”Thank God it’s Monday!” What are your natural talents and abilities?
To find your passion first reflect on your personal, fulfilling pleasures. What is that something that you do that always brings you joy. That something that where you become totally obsessed with what you’re doing – time just flies by and you’re on a ‘high’ when you’re doing your ‘thing’ you love. To you it’s not ‘work’ at all because you’re enjoying every moment and spending your time doing exactly what excites and makes you happy and when you’re away from it, you can’t wait to get back to it. What activities do you perform that put you in a trance-like state when you’re doing what you love. You feel like you’ve been transported elsewhere, and your immunity to distraction is on ‘high’. Often you may not hear people around you speaking to you, and only realize when you find yourself being roused and brought back to the sound of the words “Are you listening to me? For me this is when I am doing my artwork. I am totally in “my zone”.
Another great indicator to your passion are your role models. People you really admire, and when you’ve watched them, and saw what they were doing, something inside of you said: I could EASILY do that! I would LOVE to do that too! I have found that when you admire someone, they are mirroring YOUR qualities too!
Everyone is afraid in the beginning of this process. That is a great sign that you are moving out of the old comfort zone of your ego – that loves to cling on to the past – and you are moving in the direction of your heart and soul – which will NEVER let you down!