We all have a purpose in life even if we don’t know what it is yet. For some they have a clear vision of their purpose early on in life – their path is laid out for them and all they have to do is take the first step. For others, the vision is unclear, foggy and the path is ambiguous or perhaps non-existent. You will know when you find it. Others will notice it too.
My path was laid out for me but it was surrounded by fog and I couldn’t see it clearly. I knew the path was there but I didn’t know in which direction to turn. Now the fog has lifted and for the moment the path is clear to me. In navigating my way this far I have learnt some things that I would like to pass on to you in the hope they will help you navigate your own path to finding (and living) your purpose. The good news is that by reading this blog and others like it you are already on your way.
5 tips to living with purpose:
We all get lost sometimes and for some of us it is scary but sometimes being lost leads us to discover new experiences, activities or paths we would normally have missed. Embracing the uncertainty and confronting our limiting beliefs helps us to grow and know that we are stronger than we were before, we are able to find our way even though we might be fearful.
Find some quiet
It’s difficult to focus on your journey if you are surrounded by noise and constant busyness, people interrupting you and giving their advice on which way is the best way. Restore some calm by finding some quiet in your life – whatever works for you, perhaps meditating, exercise, gardening or journaling your feelings. By taking time to be still you can tap into your self-awareness and intuition which will guide you and provide you with clarity.
N.B. This also includes taking time for self-care! Making sure you have all you need to reach your destination from nourishing food and drink to a warm blanket and taking regular rest breaks; it’s all-important.
When you pay attention you can clearly see the signs directing you where you need to be. You are active in your navigation and not on autopilot so it’s easier to notice the things that add to your journey and rejecting those which take you down a dead end. I know when I am driving in a new place I turn off all distractions so I can concentrate on where I am.
If you have been taking part in this month’s challenge and reflecting upon your values you are laying the foundations of your path by understanding what drives you, telling others about it and finding your supporters. If you have been doing the exercises in the articles and in the workbook then you have already been paying attention to the times when you have been most happy. You have already been asking yourself:
- What was I doing?
- Who was I with?
- How did I feel?
- When was I in flow?
You have hopefully already started to identify some of your gifts through reflection or asking your family/friends/colleagues. Remember to pay attention to what people are saying to you – if lots of people tell you that you are good at something….you are good at it. Look for themes in your life and they will provide information that will guide you to your purpose. Think about your strengths, your passions and your values.
If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you straight to your purpose – Bishop T.D. Jakes
Shift your perspective
Sometimes we need to ask ourselves the same question but differently. So if asking yourself ‘what is my purpose?’ takes you off your path and into a sticky quagmire which seems impossible to get out of then try asking ‘who is the person am trying to become? instead’
Once you have identified some themes in your life and are clear on what your values are then you can visualise yourself as the person you want to be. You can think about how you want to look, what activities you want to be doing, go into as much detail as you want to in imagining your perfect day/life.
Once you have visualised yourself in this way, perhaps by writing it down or in your mind’s eye then you can work backwards and perhaps ask yourself: ‘what is the first step I need to take to become this person?‘ (Helping you discover this is something I routinely do in coaching so please get in touch if you need support).
Share your gifts
By combining the knowledge of your values and aligning them with your activities and knowing what you stand for then your self worth will be high. You will know you are on the right path whatever people say. But there is one more part of living on purpose:
The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away – Pablo Picasso
Sharing your life’s purpose is one of the most rewarding things you can do and in fact, for many of us it ties in with our purpose directly – it is the purpose. By sharing your gifts people will be naturally drawn to you and when they share their own gifts in time then it completes the cycle. Sticking with our journey analogy, think of it as giving directions to other people who are lost or being the lighthouse or the street sign. What can you do to make a difference today?