This is the second installment of a four-part series called ‘The 4 P’s of Life’. You can find part one on positivity, here.
Why Are You Here?
Have you ever taken a moment and thought to yourself: ‘What exactly am I doing here?’ I’m not talking about walking around Lowes for an hour looking at new lawnmowers then realizing ‘wait….what am I doing here, again? Oh…Right..I need a lightbulb.’ That’s just a normal trip to Lowes for me.
I’m talking about why you are on this planet; why you exist; why you were put here; what you are doing with your life. Those questions that you only ask yourself when you’re down on your luck, pitying yourself, and have a less-than-positive outlook. You don’t have to be jobless, going through a divorce, or dealing with illness to find your purpose. I challenge you to think about it and discover your purpose, no matter where you are in your life…right now.
There is a tragedy that happens every single day to a lot of people. People work and work and work and work, and don’t know what they’re working for. People don’t know why they’re working. Sure, everyone works to make money and pay for the things they need and want. But, why are they working in that particular field? Why did they choose that career? What fulfills them? There’s a saying that goes: “you don’t want to spend your life climbing the ladder, only to find out it was leaning against the wrong wall.” Without a purpose, your goals and actions might not fulfill you.
It took a lot of soul-searching and reflecting for me to find my purpose. I sat in front of a blank piece of paper for hours before I was able to boil it down to one sentence. And before that, it took years of trial and error. I am now certain that my purpose in life is to use my enthusiasm and determination to inspire and lead people to learn something new.
“Without a purpose in life, it’s easy to get sidetracked on your life’s journey. It’s easy to wander and drift, accomplishing little.” – Jack Canfield
Before I found my purpose, I was most certainly wandering and drifting. And I wasn’t accomplishing much. Sure, I moved out of my parent’s house (a major feat for millennials, these days), owned a car, and had a job. However, I was just….there. I didn’t have any direction, no passion, nothing that got me out of bed each morning with a voracious intensity and passion. I was merely getting by. It wasn’t until I discovered my purpose, that I started progressing towards what I wanted; mainly because I didn’t know what I wanted! Without a purpose, your goals and actions might not fulfill you. Now, I wake up every morning and am able to quickly make decisions on whether actions I take are in line with my purpose and will ultimately make me a better person, or are getting me nowhere. Take a guess at which actions I stay away from.
How to Find Your Purpose
Finding your purpose doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Nor is finding your purpose reserved for an esoteric community; which you will find is a common theme amongst my writing. Just like any task along the road to success, you must first decide you want to find your purpose. You must make the decision that you will no longer wander aimlessly. Commit to yourself that you will figure out what fulfills you in life and pursue that with intensity and passion.
There are plenty of exercises out there to help you find your purpose. The following is an exercise that I learned from Arnold M. Patent. Arnold is a spiritual coach and author of You Can Have It All, The Money Game, and The Journey. (www.arnoldpatent.com)
- List two personal qualities that are unique to you. Two of mine are enthusiasm and determination.
- List a couple of ways you like to express those qualities when you interact with others. My two: To inspire, to lead.
- What does your perfect world look like? How do people interact with one another? How does it feel? You should craft an answer in the present tense, describing your ultimate condition(s). A perfect world as you visualize it. For me, that looks something like this: everyone communicates well, everyone collaborates, everyone has fun, everyone is learning something, everyone smiles, work gets done in a timely and smooth manner.
- Combine the items from sections 1, 2, and 3 into a single statement. This might take a little time and might not be perfect on the first try. Think about it and craft something that you are happy with. Remember, you’re not doing this for anyone other than yourself and your betterment. For that reason, make the decision to produce something you’re proud of. Don’t shortchange yourself. Again, mine is to use my enthusiasm and determination to inspire and lead people to learn something new.
Some different examples of purpose statements are:
- To create, nurture, and maintain an environment of growth, challenge, and unlimited potential for all those around me.
- To inspire people to have faith in themselves and believe in their natural genius
- To live every day to the fullest, and give back as much as possible while appreciating someone special every day.
- To live my life with integrity and compassion while serving others, and to always value the unexpected.
- To live and mentor an authentic, adventurous, spiritual life, while being a catalyst for positive change.
When you’re done, I’d love to hear what you come up with. Please send me a message and let me know what your purpose is. If you want to share yours with readers, I’ll update the article to include them!
Practice Your Purpose
I incorporate my purpose into my daily affirmations. I say it every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to sleep. You should too. Write it on your bathroom mirror, keep a note on the fridge, put a sticky in your wallet, or a reminder on your phone. The more you read, speak and think about your purpose, the more in-tune you will become with it. Repetition will continue to strengthen your belief in yourself and your purpose. You will begin to realize opportunities that you were previously blind to.
“Decide upon yur major definite purpose in life and then organize all your activities around it.” – Brian Tracy
When you truly believe your purpose in life, you will make the decisions to pursue activities that are ‘on-purpose’ and ditch those that are not. Activities, thoughts, and people that don’t help you get to where you want to go will quickly fade away. I find myself, often, thinking to myself: ‘wow, I wasted a ton of time doing (X) when I’ve found that (Y) is much more enjoyable and fulfilling’ or ‘I can’t believe I spent so much time around this toxic person.’ Not everyone wants you to succeed like you want you to succeed. It’s important to spend time around the people that will help you be fulfilled in your purpose.
In part three, I’ll talk about passion. Passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion, an intense desire for something. When you have decided on and believe your purpose; why you were put on this planet and what you want; jump on over and learn about the things you can do with tenacity and desire to get you what you want and fulfill your purpose. See you there!