If you work for a company, that company probably has some sort of mission statement. But what about you? Many people have what appear to be fulfilled lives, with a family, a career and a home, yet they still feel that something is missing. It is not that those things are not meaningful, but they do not form the person’s central core, or perhaps it is hard to see where they fit in with an overall sense of purpose. Finding your purpose could be about changing your life completely, but it could also be about gaining a better understanding of how the things that are already in your life are meaningful to you.
Give Yourself Space
If you’re like most adults, you spend a lot of time running from one thing to the next and feeling as though you need to always be doing something productive or improving yourself in some way. It may sound like a paradox, but finding your purpose is, in part, about not driving yourself to find your purpose. You should give yourself the time and space to meander. Get some paper and write about what you loved as a child or what really moves you as an adult. Think about the things you’d like to do and why you don’t do them. It may be for a good reason, a sacrifice that you aren’t willing to make. On the other hand, it might be for a reason that sounds more like, ‘what will people think?’ In the latter case, you might need to examine your longing a little more carefully.
Have you ever heard the expression “getting in your own way”? It is not uncommon for people to be their own worst enemies, allowing obstacles to stop them from pursuing what they really want. The reasons are complicated, but humans tend to gravitate toward what is familiar even when it isn’t ideal. It’s easy to come up with a whole host of reasons why you can’t really pursue your dream. Finding your purpose in life is about getting rid of those reasons. For example, maybe you can’t start that dream business because your finances aren’t in good shape. The first step might be to look at saving on your monthly expenses by refinancing your student loans. This can also mean a lower interest rate and a shorter time for paying off the loan.
A Lifelong Journey
Asking questions about your life’s purpose does not have to be a static, one-time thing. In fact, your purpose might change over time. When your children are young, your focus and purpose may revolve around them. As they get older and start to become more independent, you might find purpose in going back to work or school. Later, your purpose could be pursuing something creative that you never had time for when you were working and raising a family, such as painting. Keep in mind as well that not everything you do in your life will necessarily be directly linked to that purpose. For example, your job may be unrelated, but it may give you the money or type of schedule you need to pursue what you truly love.