How to find your purpose
What is your purpose? By this, I mean your inner gifts and your talents. You might be looking for one thing that you can call your purpose or you might find you have multiple!
‘Purpose’ has become a bit of a buzzword. People can spend years going round in circles trying to figure out what their purpose is. Often in life, we can reach a point where we are searching for things to make more sense to us, we want to live with more meaning and have things that drive and satisfy us.
Sometimes we can find it hard to know what our purpose is. It may have been overshadowed through our lives by a variety of things such as going to school and having to conform and learn about certain topics rather than having time and space to explore and express ourselves and discover our interests. Friends or family members may have encouraged us to take other routes and unknowingly led us into a different direction than perhaps we would have taken. The world in general may have played a part in covering it up, life is so full of expectations, requirements and noise that it can be really difficult for some of us to find our calling.
When we reach a point within our lives where we crave more meaning and fulfilment, it’s likely that what we want is to locate our purpose. We owe it to ourselves.
There is a great “formula” that can help with this:
Your purpose = your passion + your strengths + your compassion
Let’s break this down a little.
To begin with, let’s start to think about things you are passionate about. Take a moment to jot down anything that springs to mind about what your passions are. Passion is something people often find they lack in their life. They worry that nothing excites them. If you struggle to think of anything, start by just noting the things you are curious about.
What things, when you hear about them, intrigue you? What subjects come up that you make a mental note to google later? Is there a theme going on between the podcasts you listen to or TV that you watch? What things make you want to buy a book about them? Notice in conversation things that interest you and start making some notes for yourself, these are beginning to form some of your passions.
Now let’s think about your strengths. What strengths do you have within you? When you have achieved certain things in the past, what strengths have helped you?
You will be using different strengths across different areas within your life. Even in areas of your life that you might not enjoy, you will be demonstrating strengths. These strengths could be the strength that helps you build or create the next stage in your life that actually helps you have a meaningful and purposeful journey.
Make a list of all your strengths that you can think of. Think about what strengths you use at home with your family and friends, what strengths you use at work, the strengths you use when you’re helping someone or advising someone… capture them all.
The third step is compassion. Do you have compassion around what your purpose is? Compassion is another way that can help you to find your purpose. Where do you see pain or hardship in the world? What do you notice happening around you that you want to help with? Often people find their purpose through pain e.g. losing someone to an illness.
Think about areas you feel compassionate about and capture your ideas to reflect back on.
Now that you have considered what you’re passionate about, what your strengths are and where your compassion lies, take some time to look over all of your notes. Take some time to let it embed, what ideas spring to mind? Perhaps journal about it, go for a walk and think it over or speak it through with someone you trust.
If you want to make something a purpose in your life, you want to make it real. You have to be passionate about it, have strength in it, and be compassionate towards something to solve a problem.
This is exciting and just the beginning.
To give you an example I will use my own experience to demonstrate how this works.
My passions = nurturing, supporting and helping people. It’s been part of my DNA from when I was very little, to just want to help others. I have a real passion around self-respect and empowerment. I feel so strongly about wanting to empower people to realise their potential, believe in themselves and most of all respect themselves.
My strengths = communication is a real strength of mine, especially in a one-to-one setting. I am naturally empathetic, a good listener and I can easily accept people for who they are. Building rapport and getting on with people comes easily to me. I naturally care for others and have an instinct to want to support them.
My compassion = I see people struggling to make changes with their life and I see them settle. I hate seeing this. If people choose to settle because they don’t want an alternative then that is their choice. However, I see people settle because they don’t feel there is another option for them and this pains me to see.
My purpose = helping as many people as I can to believe in themselves and live truly fulfilling and meaningful lives that bring them deep satisfaction.
Can you see how this all equates to my purpose in life of helping others live a life of meaning? By helping people through life coaching I am nurturing my passions, using my strengths in an area I have huge compassion for.
It starts with curiosity, that leads to interest which forms our passion = our purpose.
For me, the curiosity began well over 10 years ago when I became almost obsessed with the notion of ‘Happiness’. I became fascinated by what made people happy, how could you live a happier life, what the core aspects of feeling more fulfilled were.
This area of curiosity grew and grew and it's the basis of how I support people today. As a life coach, I am often faced with clients who just don’t know what lights them up anymore. They often feel like they’ve been living life for so many other people that they’re not sure who they are or what they feel.
I take them through this exercise above to really get them thinking, while we do this I find so many things come to light that we capture that my clients then go on to work towards with the support of coaching.
Why not give it a try?
If you would like some support with this process or like to speak about your thoughts, then please feel free to get in touch.