The purpose of our lives is to be happy. ~Dalai Lama
You’re drifting, floating along through life with no sense of direction. Like Trent Reznor said, every day seems the same. You wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, and do it all over again tomorrow. And the whole time, you don’t feel like there is a point to any of it. It is so frustrating. Maybe you are not happy with the work. Or it could be the compensation isn’t enough for the lifestyle you want.
Whatever the reason, your life seems to lack purpose, and you desperately want to know how to find it.
You’ve read blogs, listened to podcasts, and watched videos. Maybe you bought tons of books or even attended expensive conferences to figure it out. But none of it has helped you.
So, how to we find our life’s purpose? How do we get to the point where we are doing work we find meaningful, and that puts our hearts and minds at ease?
It’s not as complicated as you think.
It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. … The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully. ~Seneca
Is Passion, Purpose?
I hear a lot of people talking about finding their passion. Again, there are plenty of blogs, websites, books, and seminars out there trying to get people to pursue their passions. But is passion the same as purpose?
I love American football. I can’t get enough of it. However, football is a hobby. It isn’t my purpose in life to sit around watching football all day and then talk about it with friends. Sure, I could maybe come up with a way to create a business around football, but I highly doubt I would ever feel like that was what I was truly called to do.
When we are searching for our life’s purpose, we must be careful not to get caught up in excitement or enjoyment of something. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy your work.
I believe you definitely can.
The Secret to Finding Your Life’s Purpose
I was speaking to a friend who was trying to create an online business. He had decades of experience creating and running brick and mortar businesses, but was totally lost when it came to doing something online. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do but he knew that it needed to be something in the leadership space. I asked him why that particular market.
What he told me will stick with me for the rest of my life, and is the ultimate secret to finding your life’s purpose. I wish I’d thought of it sooner.
He said to discover whatever makes your heartbeat fast and go for it. In other words, when you find yourself talking about a topic you’re interested in, and your speech picks up, your heart begins to beat rapidly, and you find a fire inside your mind as if you want to share your thoughts with the entire world, that is when you know you have found something that can be your life’s purpose.
For me, the idea of self-publishing books is one of those things. I speak to other authors or would-be authors all the time about the benefits of self-publishing. I find that when I start talking about it, my heart beats fast, my words come out in an avalanche, and time goes by very quickly.
Why? Because I feel like showing other writers how they can achieve something that is their dream, is a great work. It is work that fills me with purpose.
True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. ~Helen Keller
What’s The Difference?
I spoke about football, something I’m passionate about, and writing books/self-publishing. I get excited about both of those things. So, how do I know which one should be my purpose in life?
It’s simple. If you find work that you love, get excited about, and helps someone else in the process, that is when you know you’ve found something. And the helping part can be almost anything! Maybe you can help relieve stress, show people new things in life, or give them an edge in something that is important to them.
You could run a surf school in Costa Rica, be a golf instructor, operate an adventure tour business in Romania, or help poor people get investment funding to start their own businesses. The opportunities are literally limitless.
Your Turn. Think about the things you’re passionate about. Which one of them teaches, relieves, or helps someone else in some way? Write down a small list. Maybe put it in the comments below. Odds are, one of those is something you could pursue. And the fulfillment you get out of it will show you a life you always dreamed of.