Finding Your Life Purpose
Oasis Living Magazine, April 01, 2011
My brother, Andre, knew when he was 12 years old that he wanted a career involving sports and children. He was coaching baseball and basketball when he was just a teenager himself. It was no surprise to me that he went on to do a university degree in Physical Education and work in this field. Although he has been involved in this for over 20 years, he still spends many nights after school and many weekends at tournaments, competitions and practice sessions. He doesn’t count his over-time; he is simply there for his students. His dedication is inspiring. He is making a difference to many kids, and educating them about the importance of exercise, responsibility and team spirit. He is living his life purpose and serving others by using his talents. He feels valued, fulfilled and is passionate about what he is doing. Some people like Andre have always known what they wanted to do; they had a calling and followed it. However, for many of us this calling was hard to hear so we moved into our present role because chance led us there. We might not get pleasure from it, but it may be lucrative. It may allow us to contribute to our families’ needs. It may be something that was interesting initially, but is now a repetitious grind.
People who lack purpose might feel restless and possibly discontent with their lives. They may be busy, working hard, chasing money and success, but they’re not necessarily happy. Something is missing. Another job or another country may be a temporary fix, but maybe finding something that you’re passionate about, finding your life’s purpose, is what’s required.
However, it may be hard to identify whether you are living a purposeful life if you don’t self-reflect once in a while. There are people who are doing an incredible job in their career, or raising children, or supporting elderly relatives and do not realize the significance of their role and what a wonderful job they are doing because it seems such a grind.
Do you sometimes wonder…why am I here? What is life about? Am I making a difference? Finding your purpose, or reevaluating what you are doing, may help you focus on your life, improve your existing career, or maybe even help you find a new one. You could have more energy, be more motivated, and become a better person. Identifying your Life Purpose could be the key to finding long-term happiness.
So, how do you ensure you are living a purposeful life? How do you determine if you are on the right track? How do you identify what you are passionate about? The following short activity is designed to help you reflect on some of your attributes, thoughts and feelings to help you identify what your “calling” is, and whether or not you are following it.
Hopefully this task has given you insight, or helped you identify where you are going and what you need to do. Your Life Purpose should be exciting and inspiring. The ideal scenario is that your Life Purpose becomes your full-time work or at least something to which you can devote a significant amount of time.
I believe that we are all here for a reason and that we can make a positive difference in the world, no matter how big or small. We all have unique gifts and talents that should be shared. We must contribute to the bigger picture of life on earth. Having a purpose beyond yourself will direct your life and give it deep meaning.
Live your passion!
Task – Living a Purposeful Life with Passion – Reflection
Get a pen & paper, turn off your mobile (and Ipad, TV, Ipod, Blackberry) and allow yourself permission to have 20 minutes by yourself in a quiet place.
Section A – Answer the following questions. Allow only 30 – 60 seconds per answer. Whatever comes into your mind first – write it down. Be honest and don’t censor yourself!
1. What activities, hobbies, people make you smile? Why?
2. What are your favorite things to do? (include the ones from your past and present)
3. What activities make you feel that time slips away too fast?
4. What are your core values? By which principles do you stand by? (Love, security, courage, motivation, respect, achievement)
5. What are you good at? (natural talents, personal qualities, skills, abilities)
6. What causes make your heart sing? (Helping others less fortunate, Environment, Charity work)
7. What types of people/things do you like to be involved with? (Special needs kids, young women, teenagers, animals, gardens, sports)
Section B – Reflecting on the answers above, write a short statement for the following;
What are the things that have brought the most meaning and purpose into your life so far?
Taking into consideration your natural talents & skills and your values, what would your dream job orendeavor be?
Section C – Spend 5 minutes to write one of the following;
Imagine yourself at 80 years old… you are old, wise and happy. Look back at your life and identify what were your greatest achievements?
Write your Eulogy. What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to say that you were committed to and passionate about?