How to find your purpose
'Lacking purpose in life' is an often-cited issue that many people seek the help of life coaches for. Not having direction, not knowing what you're passionate about or what your mission in life is can lead to a feeling of stagnation, emptiness, or as though you're just floating aimlessly along in life.
We see others who seem to have had it figured out since they were young, what they wanted to do with their life. We consider them the lucky ones to have found their purpose, and we're the unlucky ones because it's still missing somewhere, like a lost winning lottery ticket.
How to overcome this and find your purpose:
Stop looking for it, and start creating it.
Purpose isn't something inherently within you, waiting to be discovered, it's something that arises out of experiences of life. Therefore you have to try new things, get out there in the world, go places, open up your horizons and experiment. It's as you pursue things, learn things, enjoy or dislike things, your purpose (which may be more things than just one) will start to build itself.
For example, I visited Tanzania and Zanzibar recently, and whilst I was there I was conscious of my plastic consumption and how few facilities there were to dispose of it responsibly. I also saw how much plastic was being washed up on beaches and learnt of the effects it had on marine life. Being aware of the feeling of dissatisfaction within me, it's becoming my purpose to get involved in more sustainability projects and raise awareness. But I didn't find this purpose, it was created through experience.
As Steve Jobs says, "you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards." So your job is to place dots on the canvas on your life and see where they lead you. And instead of trying to predict what you're going to love, instead ask yourself:
'What would I like to try?' or 'What would be an important way for me to spend my time?'
Purpose isn't something to be found, so rather than wasting time criticising yourself for having not found it yet, get out there in the world and start creating it instead!
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