often asked ‘how did you discover your purpose in life?’ or ‘how did you know what you were passionate about?’ and I remember asking others this exact same question. I would watch other women and wonder how they knew what they were supposed to be doing… not even knowing if they actually knew or not.
But like most things, this was a journey that I had to take on my own. This lesson wasn’t learned from good advice or an epiphany moment because someone said something that resonated with me. The truth is that as I began to understand just how purpose and passion work together, everything started to make sense.
In my early 20’s, I worked strictly to earn a living. I worked too many jobs to name, trying to find my way… but I never did. I couldn’t see myself moving up in any of the companies that I worked for and honestly, I didn’t have the desire to. There was something lacking. And although my primary objective (at that time) was a paycheck, I still had a burning desire to actually enjoy the work I was doing.
Was I passionate about the work I was doing?
At most, I was just existing… going through the motions.
But it was also during this time that I started having a deep desire to do more. I started craving more fulfillment in my work and I developed an insatiable desire to do something that changed lives. This is one of the reasons that blogging is so appealing to me – it involves writing, which I love and it also provides me an avenue to motivate, inspire, and help others in life.
Discovering your passion may not be the ah-ha moment that you think it will be. I discovered my purpose after lots of life experience and trial and error. Real life can be the best teacher, and one of the things that I had to get clear on was that the definition of passion is a lot simpler than we sometimes make it.
Operating in your passion is simply doing what you love
It’s the things that you can do for hours and not notice that time has passed. It’s what you want to do most with your free time. It’s that thing that calls to you when you haven’t done it in a while.
Operating in your purpose is using your passion to serve others
It’s utilizing what you love to do to serve others, in an authentic and meaningful way. I think that it needs to be said that this doesn’t always mean that you need to monetize your passion. While that may be what you’re ultimately working towards, don’t put off engaging your passion because you’re not able to do purposeful work full-time. Instead seek out a side-hustle or hobby that allows you to start implementing your passion into who you are, right now.
But, does having a purpose really matter?
Yes, it does.
Understanding your purpose provides a deep sense of self-awareness. You become hyper aware of how what you do affects or enhances the lives of others. You start to pursue people, environments, and activities that provide fulfillment and joy; which helps you to:
Make better decisions based on what’s important
Improve your discipline and commitment to things that matter most
Provide clarity on the goals that you should be pursuing
Improve your relationships and the quality of people that you connect with
Seek more meaning in life, with an understanding that you are contributing something bigger than yourself
The best clues are the ones we take for granted: the things we’re most interested in; activities that we love to do; talents, abilities or knowledge that people seek us out for; and the things that make us the happiest… the most fulfilled.
I’ve compiled 5 key questions to help guide you through a little self-discovery. They are designed to help you uncover your passion and lead you to your purpose.
The most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to complete this exercise. This is an opportunity for you to do a little self-exploration, to help you identify and recognize key factors, that will lead you to your purpose.
What do people seek you out for? What knowledge, which skills, or what advice do others seek most from you?
What makes your soul happy?
What is it that you stand up for, even when others are against it or not supporting you?
What subjects or causes are you always researching or looking up information for?
If you were given the ability to change 3 things that would benefit the lives of others, what would those 3 things be?
Take your time with these questions. It’s easy to want to rush through and write down the first thing that comes to mind. Sometimes, if you allow yourself to dig deeper, you’ll discover the answers that you seek aren’t superficial… they’re matters of the heart!