We make choices every day. Those choices determine our destiny.
So, where are you headed and what is your destiny?
Do the answers to the above questions align with what you’re doing in your life right now?
We are very good at coming up with excuses to justify our current actions. And so, we do the same when we begin to question the existing trajectory our life is on. We make up backstories to explain why our life isn’t driven by a meaningful purpose. We think of all the factors that are out of our control.
Funnily enough, we start looking for excuses even before actually taking a moment to sit back and think if something could be done about our situation. This makes it easier to back out when the going gets rough.
We need to change how we approach our problems. People think the road to success rests upon execution. They start buying books, learning different ways to do different things. But no one ever found their life’s purpose and became a success after reading a Dummies book.
The execution might be a part of it but change starts with our attitudes. Instead of relentlessly looking for excuses, we need to set our attitudes right. Asking ourselves the right questions and then finding an honest answer to those questions can serve as the first step in remodelling our attitudes.
It can serve as the first step towards finding our true purpose.
Here are 5 powerful questions to help you find your purpose in life –
When you were ten, what did you tell people when they asked what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Did everything go according to plan?
Seeing you doing what you do today would probably make the ten-year-old you curl up in a ball and wail like a rusty trombone.
Your younger self would ask, ‘Why’d you stop writing every day?’ or, ‘Why don’t you doodle anymore?’ or whatever it is that you loved doing, why did you stop?
Because, for some reason, you did stop. And you probably don’t even remember why.
Maybe it was society’s expectations of you. Maybe it was the fact that you were taught to do everything for a reward and writing or drawing every day, for your happiness, was not rewarding enough.
Everything you loved got clouded by the noise the world made as you grew older and you ended up losing touch with your inner child. That noise stole your real purpose from you and you settled on insisting for less.
You have to realize that expectations are not reality. They are just that: expectations.
You need to free yourself from societal pressures and redefine your idea of what a reward is. So, push yourself to dig a little deeper, and discover what it is that you have always wanted. You work yourself to a dead-end trying to please your boss, but what are you doing to make yourself happy?
And if you came up with excuses to these questions too, say those excuses out loud. Is it you talking or is it Uncle Tim from 25 years ago?
How To Become The Best Version Of Yourself
The famous self-help author Mark Manson has a saying that goes:
“What shit sandwich do you want to eat?
Because eventually, we all get served one.”
On the journey to fulfill your purpose, struggle is going to be your close companion. You’ll be surrounded by limiting factors such as stereotypes, cultural challenges, and uneven playing fields, especially as a woman. It might sound pessimistic but it is true.
Everything and everyone is going to try to suck the passion out of you. But all good things require devotion. They require sacrifice. They come at a cost.
Nothing measurable is pleasurable.
So, you need to ask yourself: what is your shit sandwich going to be? As in, what are you willing to go through to get to where you want? What sacrifices are you willing to make? What would you make an effort for, even on days when everything seems bleak?
Are you ready to try again and again, and fail? Are you okay with the embarrassment that comes with failure? Or are you too scared to feel foolish? If you put off something just because it can potentially embarrass you, I’ve got some news for you:
You are not going anywhere!
The couch sure is pretty comfortable and the cookies chewy. But that is all it’s ever going to be.
If you want to do something important with your life, you’ll need to go against the herd mentality and challenge the norm. You have to do things people normally don’t do to achieve things people normally don’t achieve.
And while you’re at it, aim high.
Everyone Has A Day One
We have all had instances where we got so wrapped up in something that minutes turned into hours and hours turned into days without us noticing. This does not mean the video game you played till dawn or the T.V. show you binged on.
You can live without them.
Cutting the entertainment out, what did you work on for hours that you enjoyed?
Something that got you all fired up and you even forgot to pee? Figure out the activity that kept you going at it for hours, and don’t be shy to work on it.
Don’t just stop there. Figure out all the reasons why you loved doing that thing so much, then apply those reasons every day. Take that obsessiveness and create something good out of it. Use it to improve yourself and the life of those around you. Zero in on what is actually important in your life and what is just a distraction.
So, don’t just ask what you love, but also why you love it.
Also, you might think something you don’t even want to begin working on is not your passion. The truth is, for most people, the hard part is just starting. Once you start, you realize it’s not too bad. As a matter of fact, you end up loving it!
Leaving A Job That Causes You Stress
If you are someone who watches the news, you don’t need me to tell you that the world is massively messed up.
And yes, your tiny little hands cannot fix all of the world’s problems. But you can surely chip in and make a few changes here and there. It’s tempting to want to change everyone but seek change one person at a time. There is no need to overwhelm yourself (and your tiny little hands).
So, when you embark on the mission to determine your life’s purpose, this is one of the most important questions you will ask yourself: Why are you doing all this? What purpose does it serve? How does it help people?
You might be good at coming up with excuses to all other questions, but when it comes to your “why”, your defenses will fall short.
Being clear about why you are doing what you’re doing is vitally important. It would make your purpose infinitely clear to you than any other question you ask yourself. This will become an unseen foundation of who you will become in the future .
Even if you can’t decide your “why” right away, an easy way to start is by picking a problem that you face and kick things off by solving that problem.
And yes, human beings can be hard to love sometimes.
But, if you want to do something worthwhile, you would need to be kind when it’s easier not to be. You’d need to work and pay forward even when there is no chance of a tangible reward in return.
Just because they are not likable does not mean that people don’t need help. And honestly, you’re not that great either, but you’d like it if someone made your life easier, won’t you?
What Does Happiness Mean To You?
More often than not, you fail to realize how your daily habits impact your future. Seemingly harmless actions, done consistently, add up. One directionless day turns into a directionless year until one day, you end up sat on your couch with your face covered in crumbs from the chewy cookies you just wolfed down, wondering where all the time went.
Everything you do, no matter how insignificant, plays a part in shaping your future.
So, what do you want to look back on in, say, 5 years from now? Ask yourself that and start working towards the answer.
Often, we get discouraged by how long something is going to take for us to achieve. We want instant results. But the truth is, those 5 years, or 10 years, or 15 years are going to pass anyway.
You might as well work towards something instead of doing nothing. All that time you are going to spend doing nothing would be equal to time that is wasted. And that wasted time is going to turn into regret.
What would you want to remember about yourself when you’re old and wrinkly? Will you want to remember working hard to serve a purpose? A purpose that benefited others? Would you want to look back on all the people you met and were able to help? All the people whom you were able to love and who loved you back. What do you want your story to be? How can you start working towards it today?
There is nothing wrong with taking some time off and relaxing on your couch. There is nothing wrong about binge-watching a show, too. But if that’s all you do, you are selling yourself short.
You are capable of great potential. You don’t have to achieve big things to make an impact. You can do seemingly small things and still serve a meaningful purpose.
Imagine sitting in your living room years from now, staring at the wall, wondering where did all those years vanish? If only you’d started then, where would you be now?
Well, start now.
Thanks for reading – 5 Powerful Questions To Find Your Purpose In Life
Through honesty, compassion, and real-life experiences, I help women learn how to be independent and confident.