Mark Twain once wrote, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” And if we don’t know what our purpose is, it can be hard to know why we are alive. I spent years in a corporate career feeling anxious, depressed and frustrated. I felt out of touch with my purpose and life felt meaningless. It wasn’t until I went inward and started to ask myself some honest questions that things began to transform for me.
Do you feel stuck in a career that just doesn’t inspire you?
Are you in an unfulfilling relationship that you just can’t leave?
Do you wish you could live with more passion and get your sense of self back?
Do you crave more connection and meaning in your personal and professional life, but aren’t sure how to make it happen?
For years I struggled daily with trying to find my purpose. This kept me in a depression as I was consumed with guilt and shame. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to find my life purpose that my true passion actually found me.
I stopped trying to figure it out and instead started to focus on doing more things that brought me joy. Many of us have passions, but the thought of turning them into a career is daunting. We worry “It won’t work out,” or “How in the heck can we make money doing what we love anyway?” But this is just fear trying to block us from moving forward on our deepest desires. Fear will try to protect you by pretending your idea isn’t worth pursuing. But that idea, the dream in your heart, the thing that brings you more joy than you ever thought imaginable, is yours for a reason—it is part of your potential. And switching the limiting belief that you can’t make a living doing what you love to “I make a fabulous living doing what I love” is the first step to moving forward into your dream life.
In my own journey, I wanted so much to find that one thing I am good at and destined to do, but that exact mentality was blocking me from seeing the abundant opportunities for me to be more of who I really wanted to be. Today I am happier and more fulfilled by my work than I have ever been, but it’s not just one thing I do. I am a book author, travel writer, life coach, public speaker, teacher, retreat leader, and all of these bring me so much joy. So maybe we need to stop trying so hard to find our one true purpose and recognize that the real meaning and purpose of life is to simply live more on purpose. We aren’t just one thing. Like life there are layers to us, and the things that bring us joy are not random; they are like breadcrumbs to our true self. The best thing you can do is honor your own path, and trust the insights that come to you.
Still you might be waiting for the big epiphany.
The glorious aha moment will come when you stop trying to figure it all out. You’ve heard women say they found the love of their life when “they weren’t even looking.” Well, this is the same concept. Your true life purpose can come to you when you stop trying so hard to find it. Instead of straining, let go and simply relax into the rhythm of your own life. The bread crumbs will reveal themselves. And along the way, recognize these key insights.
Plan B is often better than Plan A.
The most freeing moment in your life is when you let go of what you think is best for you and allow the universe to show you what you really need. Stop holding on to what is no longer working: that job, that relationship, that dream. If it feels like hard work and is causing you more pain than gain, it is time to release it. Instead, follow your heart.
The journey is more important than the goal.
Yes, reaching goals is important, but the actual process of becoming, growing, learning, and morphing into who we need to become is the real sweet stuff that makes a wonderful life. Enjoy the journey as much as the reward.
Emotional pain shows up to help us know what we need to change.
Sadness, depression, and heartache are gentle reminders to probe deeper into our life. Look at what is not working and be open to living your life in new ways. You will see that one day it will all make sense.
You don’t have to find your purpose; it will find you.
The transition period between who you were and where you are going can be painful. But during your journey of finding purpose, recognize that there is purpose in the pain. Each step you take is helping you carve out more of who you really are. Instead of regretting or resisting, try turning inward and embracing the journey into joy.
Shannon Kaiser, a wellness writer, life coach, and speaker is the author of The Self Love Experiment.
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