This is the ultimate guide to find your purpose in life.
Have you ever asked yourself what is your purpose on earth? Why were you born or the reason for your existence? You are not alone. Many people ask themselves such questions too. In fact, I have been asking myself that question lately. We all seek to have a sense of meaning in our life. When we go through life not knowing why we exist, we lose hope. Life becomes confusing and we end up existing just for the sake of it.'If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.' -Lewis CarrollClick To Tweet
That’s why finding your purpose in life is paramount. Your life gets meaning and you have something to wake up for everyday.
In this post, I will begin by defining what purpose is. You will be able to differentiate between passion and purpose, know what comes first, the importance of each and which is more important. Afterwards, we will discuss how you can find your purpose in life. As a bonus, I will be gifting you with a 30 FREE journal prompts printable to help you find your purpose which you can download down below.
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Let’s dive right in!
What is the purpose of life?
Purpose is the reason for the existence of a person. It determines one’s decisions, actions, motives and intentions. For instance, a person’s purpose can be to be a good parent to his or her children. Therefore, the person might plan their day to revolve around spending more time or doing activities with the children. The person might also reduce their working hours and dedicate the rest of their time with the children. To find your purpose is to find your reason for existence.
Is there a difference between passion and purpose?
We cannot talk about purpose without including passion in the picture. For most people, passion and purpose are the same thing. However, is it really true? Is there a difference between passion and purpose? Yes. Passion and purpose are not the same thing but they walk hand in hand.
The difference between passion and purpose is that, passion is derived from emotions while purpose is derived from the motive. Passion is a strong feeling or desire to do or for something. Purpose is the reason for which something is done. It’s intentional and not done by accident. When someone is passionate about something such as singing, they love singing. When someone does something that they love then, they are passionate about it. Purpose comes from the motive behind doing something. One can sing because they want to bring people close to God. An author might write a book because he or she wants to help people solve a certain problem. Let’s consider the differences below closely.
- Passion is self- centered while purpose is not. You can pursue a passion because you like it. Sometimes it is fueled by selfishness. It is self seeking. You do something you are passionate about because you love doing it. But purpose is selfless.Purpose involves serving others and putting them first. It may require you to put aside your own feelings.
- Purpose is focused while passion can change. We often change the things we love from time to time. It’s so easy to fall in love with doing something and lose interest after a few days. However, purpose is singular and focused. It rarely changes or wavers. Passion may come and go, but purpose is forever. This is why being able to find your purpose is important.
- Passion answers “what” do you love or “what” things you desire while purpose is about the “why.”
What comes first? Passion or purpose?
Passion comes first. When you love something and give it meaning, then it becomes a purpose. For instance, a doctor might love treating patients. If he or she does it so that he can improve people’s lives and give them hope, then it becomes a purpose.
However, passion can exist without purpose but purpose cannot exist without passion.
Which is more important? Passion or Purpose?
In order to know which is more important, we need to identify the importance of each and come up with a conclusion.
What’s the importance of passion?“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.' -Georg HegelClick To Tweet
- It gives you a reason to keep learning which in turn helps you to master your craft.
- If you have similar passions with other people, you are able to foster social bonds.
- You feel more satisfied and less stressed when you’re passionate about something.
- Passion helps build a positive attitude towards life.
- You work harder and are more determined to complete any task without quitting.
- Your passion helps you grow by creating new ideas and strategies towards your goal.
- It gives purpose to your life when meaning is added to it.
What’s the importance of purpose?
- It enables you to live a conscious life.
- Helps you differentiate between the important and unimportant.
- It gives your life meaning.
- Gives you something to fight for.
- Purpose gives your life direction.
- It energizes you when you move towards the small goals that you have set.
- Gives you more life satisfaction.
- Helps you stay motivated to do the right things.
- Purpose keeps you focused.
- It’s what makes you feel like you’re doing something of worth.
- Purpose focuses your energy and motivates.
- It will boost your confidence levels.
- It makes life easier.
Which is more important?
Let’s now get back to the big question. Between passion and purpose, which is more important?
Passion is important but it’s not enough. In itself, it doesn’t guarantee success. Passion without purpose is useless. It’s nothing if we are not living a life of purpose. You need to have a purpose because having a purpose is likely to make you more successful than passion alone can. Therefore, purpose is more important than passion. Because purpose cannot exist without passion, then it stands to be the most important one.
How can you find your purpose in life?
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1. Examine your life:
The first step to finding your purpose is to examine your life. You are the only person who knows yourself the most. Clarity is important because it gives you a clear view of your strengths and weaknesses. You are able to begin with the end in mind. We earlier described purpose as the “why.” Therefore, gaining proper clarity on who you are, what you love doing and good at is the first step to knowing your purpose. We will discuss more on how you are able to examine your own life in the next point.
2.Take a quiz:
We are not able to examine our own lives without asking ourselves questions. The reason why most people go through life without a being able to find purpose is because they are not ready to ask themselves “why.” You might love doing many things but if you have no answer to “why,” then the journey through life would be futile.“Start with the end in mind. ”- Stephen R. Covey, Click To Tweet
Some of the questions you can ask yourself are:
- What do I love doing? Do I find the activities enjoyable?
- What am I good at? Am I able to teach someone else to do it?
- What are my strengths? Are they related to what I love doing?
- What are my weaknesses?
I have created a 30 journal prompts printable to help you find your purpose that you can download and print for FREE here. It has all the questions that you need to answer that will help you find your purpose.
To get the most from the journal prompts ,look for a comfortable, quiet and relaxed place. Keep all the distractions, like phone and music, away. Take a deep breath in and out. Bring your focus to your journal in front of you and answer the questions as honestly as possible. If you are not able to do it on your own, look for someone trustworthy who will be honest with you and do the exercise together.
Pause, download the journal prompts then proceed to the next point.
3.Examine your answers:
Take a good look at your answers. Is there a pattern or an inclination in your answers? It might be obvious or it might need a lot of introspection to find out. We will discuss it more in the next point. Evaluating your answers will help you identify your:
- Thinking pattern
- Self talk
- Goals and dreams
This in turn will help you understand why you answered the questions the way you did and if you were honest with yourself.
4. Listen to your inner voice:
Your inner voice is the unique voice of truth that comes from within. Allowing your inner voice to guide you can help you show up as the best version of yourself and confidently follow your truth. It is able to tell us where to go, what to do and the right path to take after we silence the voice outside and listen within. If we consult it before listening to the voices outside, we are able to make better decisions.
You can listen to your inner voice by:
- Journaling in the morning. We are most conscious in the morning. Therefore, journaling our stream of thoughts in three to four pages every morning will help us connect with our inner voice. Usually, by the third page, you are able to have a clear direction because your inner voice would have revealed itself.
- Learning how to say no,checking in with yourself before saying yes to anything, and learning to trust yourself by creating healthy boundaries. This is useful especially if many people are feeding you with their beliefs, ideas and telling you what you should do.
- Taking care of your physical and mental health. When your mental and physical health is okay, you are able to differentiate between an emotional reaction or your inner voice.
- Improving our listening skills. When we are able to deeply listen to other people, then we are able to listen to our inner voice clearly too.
- Creating more space between your thoughts during your day so your intuition can get a word in edgewise. This is best done by taking a break or scheduling free time with yourself because when you are occupied with so many things, your mind is also in a rush.
Your inner voice is able to reveal to you what your purpose in life is.
5. Eavesdrop at your conversations with other people:
Listen to the conversations that you have with people. What do they say that you are good at? Sometimes, we are not able to see our passions because we are so engaged in what we are doing that we do not realize what we are passionate about. However, be careful with this point because people can be deceiving.
Look for someone you can trust and have an honest conversation with them if you are not able to identify your passions and what you are good at on your own. However, after having that engaged conversation with them, make sure to check in with yourself to know if it feels right for you. Listen to your inner voice as we have discussed in the previous point.
6. Identify what the world needs:
At this point, you have already identified what you are good at. You can be good at many things but narrow down to one thing that you are so good and passionate about. Look at that passion carefully. Ask yourself the challenges that the world is facing revolving around that passion.
For instance, If you are passionate about cooking, you might identify several challenges that the world is facing concerning food. Some of the challenges might be inadequate hygienic restaurants or unavailability of vegan restaurants around where you live. Go as far as you can with this exercise then proceed to the next point.
7. Ask yourself how your passion can be used to solve the problems in the world:
You have identified your passion and the challenges that the world is facing. Are you then able to find a way where your passion can solve the problems in the world? It might be a single or several similar problems. The options are limitless. However, be realistic. You need to understand that you cannot solve all the problems in the world. You can only solve one problem with what you are good at. Even if the problem might seem too big to solve, start where you are. You might not be able to plant trees all over the world instantly but you might be able to plant ten trees in your neighborhood tomorrow. Start where you are with what you have.
Remember that your purpose revolves around people but your passion revolves around yourself.
8. (Not necessary ) Ask yourself how you can get paid from it:
This point is not necessary unless you want to make a livelihood out of your purpose. So many people are stuck in jobs that they hate and they would love to do something that they love and still be able to pay their bills and more. You can check online or take a course, read a book, listen to a podcast or find a coach that will help you know how you can turn your passion into purpose. Knowledge is freely accessible now more than ever. Taking time to learn how you can earn from your purpose will help you know how long it would take to get there and will minimize your chances of getting frustrations or giving up
I would love for you to understand that having a purpose is able to keep you going even when you have all the reasons to give up. Starting with why can help you do something for free without seeking to be paid. That’s because you enjoy what you do at the same time while making the world a better place. That’s why Passion is not enough. Passion would make you do something for money and make you quit fast when the money takes longer than you expected to come.
9.Write Out A Life Purpose Statement and keep it where you can see it every day
A life purpose statement explains your reason for existence. It’s a declarative statement that explains your values and how you’re upholding those values. It’s easier to live your purpose when you have clearly defined it in writing. You can get the writing printed out or framed and placed where you can see it daily to help you remember why you were created.
10. Take action:
At this point, you have already found your purpose. There is nothing else to wait for. Take action towards your purpose. It’s so easy to procrastinate and give up when you don’t take action as fast as possible. Maybe someone might discourage you from following it. So take action as soon as possible. You do not have to start your hospital at that time but you can start by learning how you can better serve patients where you are. It doesn’t have to be a massive action. Its the little things that pile up to become massive results.
11. Surround yourself with positive people:
Having supportive friends around you when you are pursuing your purpose is important. They’re days you will get discouraged and feel like giving up, which would be a lot, and you would want supportive people around you. You wouldn’t want to be more discouraged or feel worse when you share your challenges with people around you.
They not only will help you to keep going when the going gets tough but also to celebrate with you on your big wins.
12. Keep learning and growing:
Your purpose might become quickly outdated with the advancing world we live in. Learning therefore would help you to stay up to date and reduce your learning curve. You are able to get ahead faster with the information that you learn from someone who has gone ahead of you and has made all the mistakes in the book. You can do that by reading a book, taking a course, attending conferences, listening to podcasts or getting a coach.
Also learning on how you can be more productive can help you be more effective.
13. Constantly check in with yourself to ascertain that you are in the right path:
Purpose auditing is essential at all times. You might not be aligned to your life calling or you might be taking the wrong actions to achieve it. Taking time to examine what is working and what is not will help you to focus your efforts on what is working. You might realize that you have been spending so much time doing something that isn’t working which would help you decide if you need to change your strategy or modify your purpose.
14. Reward yourself after every milestone:
A study done by the Academy of Strategic Management on the effect of reward system on employee performance showed that rewards influenced employee behavior towards efficiency and effectiveness. I believe that rewarding yourself can produce similar results. Every time you reach a milestone towards achieving your goal, reward yourself to motivate you to keep going. You can do that by buying yourself a gift or going for a vacation depending on what you perceive to be a reward.
15. Do not forget to practice self care to avoid getting overwhelmed.
The risk of getting overwhelmed while you are pursuing your purpose is high. that’s why you shouldn’t forget to check in on your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional well being before anything else. Remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first. You will not be able to offer the world much if you are not okay. Self care is important for productivity.
Get your FREE journal prompts to help you find your purpose
We have learnt the steps that you need to take to find your purpose. The remaining part is for you to take action. Remember that knowledge is not power if it is not applied. Take action today by downloading your FREE 30 Journal prompts that will walk you step by step to your purpose! Let me know where I can send it to you down below!
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