How Do I Find The Purpose Of My Life?
‘What is my purpose in life?’ is a question that is as old as time itself. As early on as in the 4th century BC, Aristotle was contemplating life’s purpose while developing his theory on teleology or the concept that everything in life has a purpose. In today’s technology-filled, fast-paced world where we seem to be pulled in several directions at once, finding a life of purpose seems more important than ever. A lot of people spend their lives reacting to situations rather than being proactive and discovering the needs and values that can serve as driving factors. Even when they think they have found their purpose, they often mistake it for short-term goals. Others who are asking the same question truly want to find meaning but they have little idea of their life purpose.
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Why you’re seeking the purpose of life
Life coaches often say if you’re not growing, you’re probably dying — which is why growth is addictive to most of us. We tend to feel fulfilled only when we are improving ourselves or our lives in some way. Everything in life is urging us to grow. When we stop growing for whatever reason, we start to feel fear, pain and anxiety. We become susceptible to envy as we observe others around us and begin to notice they have things that we don’t have. Instead of focusing on our life purpose, we begin to yearn for material wealth, power and status. However, all those things eventually leave us feeling empty.
Life goals like purchasing a house or starting a business can yield a sense of achievement and are necessary to living the life we desire. But purpose has the power of taking those life goals to an even higher level. Life coaches tend to link progress with happiness and what we must remember is that achieving goals does not equal happiness. When you are asking what your purpose is in life, you are really wanting to track your progress — something that will give you a true sense of fulfillment. Because fulfillment isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Benefits of knowing your purpose
According to research, finding your life purpose can help you live a longer and happier life. Approximately 7000 older adults were surveyed on the relationship between finding your purpose and mortality. Respondents who did not have an inkling about their life purpose were more likely to die prematurely as opposed to those who had figured out theirs. Having a sense of purpose appeared to reduce the possibility of cardiovascular events as well. The results of the survey were universal, even when controlled for race, gender, income, and education level. Researchers concluded that finding your life purpose can in fact help you live longer. It also turned out to be important for happiness and fulfillment.
While achieving goals may not help you find your life purpose, knowing your purpose can definitely help achieve your goals. When you are truly aware of your life purpose, you will experience a sense of clarity like never before. You will feel driven, passionate, and laser-focused. This will happen because you will be able to connect what you want to achieve to your ultimate fulfillment. You will no longer struggle with the past or the future for that matter and you will begin to live in the present. That is by far the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
How to find purpose in life
There are several benefits to knowing your purpose but how do you find it? You can do so by combining the art of fulfillment with the science of achievement. To build a life of purpose, you must first master this balance.
1. Searching inward
‘What is my purpose in life?’ is the same question as ‘How can I be happy?’ You will never truly understand your life purpose by seeking outside approval or listening to others’ opinions. All the answers you need are within you. The only thing holding you back are your own limiting beliefs. With every limiting belief you identify and replace with an empowering one, you nurture yourself and develop greater self-awareness. Remember you are in control of your life when you’re in control of your emotions.
2. Putting purpose before goals
If you focus on achieving short-term goals, neither will you find your true passions nor will you find your life purpose. The goals you work toward must be based on finding your purpose. If they are not, you will only experience a fleeting sense of accomplishment and then be seeking something else. You won’t be able to appreciate how life is happening to you and not for you. Ask yourself how a certain goal will help you when you set yourself a new one. Spend some time thinking about how your goal relates back to your purpose.
3. Focusing on what you have
When you develop an abundance mindset, you open your eyes to life. You begin to see beauty and goodness everywhere. With this new perspective, your life purpose becomes much clearer. You question less about how to find your purpose as you find more answers that indicate you are on the path to achieving meaningful goals. When we focus on the things we have, abundance appears as fear disappears. You’ll stop living in fear and thinking you’re wasting your life. You’ll begin to attract positivity and joy instead. Therefore, finding your life purpose becomes an exciting journey rather than a stressful goal.
4. Taking ownership of your life
True fulfillment is a result of you designing your life. This is how the extraordinary is unraveled. To find your purpose, you must decide what’s right for you and know that in your heart and soul. You must not let fear or anxiety drive you. Remember that a decision made from fear is usually the wrong decision. It will not help you discover your life purpose but instead confuse you even more. To take ownership, you have to stop being the victim. Recognize that every circumstance in your life is a result of your own choices. When you take responsibility for finding the purpose of your life instead of blaming others, fulfillment follows.
5. Being flexible
One of the most challenging things to do while looking for our life purpose is to let go of our old identities and interests that no longer serve us. Your purpose in life is likely to change as you grow in life. You must be flexible and willing to listen to your innermost wants and desires if you wish to build a life of purpose. Finding your purpose is a lifelong journey. Being flexible helps you grow with integrity as you continue to be true to yourself. When you stop seeking external validation and develop your core values, you’ll see that the existential questions are much easier to answer.
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