Finding Life's Purpose

Growing up, we are told that everyone is special. We all have a purpose and talent that is specifically our own. Do you ever wonder what your purpose in life is? Many of us go through life unsure of what we are really here for and think we find our purpose in work, expertise, hobbies, and even other people.

Though living for your career and family are not entirely wrong, it is not your life's purpose. Once you find your purpose you will live a much more fulfilled life. Not knowing your purpose in life is like walking around in a dark room: you can feel and experience the furniture and objects in the room, but you can never be sure of what you are looking at in particular. It's only when you turn on the light that you can understand where everything is and what you can do with the room you are in.

Your life is like the room and your experiences are like the furniture in that room. Knowing your Life's purpose is like turning on the light and finding your life will has not just meaning, but functionality, that you did not understand before.

Some people never really search, or they look for life's purpose in things, not within themselves. A person can spend an entire life never knowing their life's purpose. The funny thing is that this is not something you just learn about, it is something you carry throughout life, like a tattoo on your back. You may not be able to see it easily, but it is always with you. You can certainly find your life's purpose in a variety of ways.

One recommended method not only helps you find your life's purpose, but also helps you discover aspects of your personna you might not have understood before. The method works by helping you “unlearn” everything you think you know about your life's purpose.

In high school and throughout college, we often ponder life’s questions that might help us shape the “purpose” idea and figure out who we are.

  • • What career path should we pursue?
  • • Who will we be in five years…ten years…twenty or fifty years?
  • • Will we marry or stay single?
  • • What will fill our life with satisfaction and passion?
  • • How will we find happiness?

Then, we are suddenly out of school and begin working for a living while we get caught up in the rat race of life, the thoughts and questions we once had about finding our true purpose fade into the shadows of our hectic schedules.

What You Need To Find To Find Your Purpose:

• About an hour, maybe more. That depends on you.
• A quiet place.
• A piece of paper or open document.
• You.

The process to find your life's purpose is not difficult, but you need a space where you will be undisturbed for at least an hour so that nothing stops your flow. Disturbances will only prevent you from finding your answers and it is always harder to pick up where you left off than to move smoothly through a task. It is best to do this exercise in one session. Of course you can take a break and come back to it if you must; but try not to leave the room or become involved in anything else, including TV, Email, texting, etc., etc.

On your paper or in your digital document, write the question: “What is your life's purpose?” and then write answers. At first this may feel silly or unproductive, but remember to just write and keep writing no matter how silly you feel. Write every answer that comes to mind, no matter what it is. Our brain likes to get everything out of the way before it gets to the serious stuff. You might think some of the stuff you write is crazy, and perhaps it is, Just keep writing and don’t stop. Even if some of the things make you laugh. Laugh it out, then get back to work. Your brain might well pull up things from your childhood; like when you wanted to be a policeman, a firefighter, or Batman. Remember, this is your brain doing what you asked. It is getting all the silliness out of the way and taking with it all the things you ever thought you might want to be, or admired in someone else or even saw on TV. Just let the words flow. If you feel that you have no purpose, it is okay to write that down too. But keep writing and keeping going. Don’t stop.

What you are doing while you write is unlearning. You are putting down in writing what you have thought subconsciously, what you've been told is your purpose, or what you have assumed is your purpose at some point in your life. As we live and grow from a child to an adult, we ask the question: What is my purpose? Your answer will change as you grow up, but your true life's purpose does not change. It might be buried deep within you; that thing you've been ignoring, or it might have just seemed out of reach for you if you ever discovered it in the past. As you come closer to understanding who you are and what you are doing here, you will gain the perspective as to how it has been dancing around the recesses of your mind the whole time. Hiding in plain view. Its not just you. It’s almost all of us.

Depending on your acceptance and willingness to know your true life's purpose, this exercise can take 20 minutes to an hour…or two…or more, to reach an understanding and a positive conclusion that you have found your answer. Do not be discouraged if you reach an hour with 300 answers and still cannot see something that makes you feel emotional or seem fulfilling. What makes this exercise hard is that it involves your full concentration and also all your effort so you can dive deep into your own consciousness and display your life’s thoughts in front of you on paper.

If you come across a few answers that give you a surge of emotion, but not a full purpose, put a star or a checkmark next to it and keep going. An answer that gives you a feeling of purpose, but does not seem like it is your life's purpose, is not necessarily wrong. Answers like these are windows into your life's purpose and are important aspects of your purpose. Use them to keep the flow of your writing going. When you open your mind to every possibility, the one that is meant for you will connect the dots of your life like a treasure-map. You will begin to see why you do what you do and why you like what you like.

When you write an answer that not only gives you emotion, but also feels fulfilling—and you just know this is it, it is! You have found your life's purpose.

Finding your life's purpose is not so much the hard part, but is more like “step one.” Though it is the most important step, it is actually more difficult to live each day with your life's purpose in mind. This is because our lives are full of distractions and everyday living can leave you burnt out and a little overwhelmed. Knowing your life's purpose will encourage you to step outside of your everyday living situation and live a fulfilled life each moment. This is what has been lacking in your life, so take the time and grab a pen. If you have difficulty with this, call our Pastor. I promise, she’ll help.

This content is an excerpt from the book THINK IT SO! © Jan Cohen 2000 and is published with her permission.