Finding purpose and passion in your life as it is right now.
We all came into this world with a purpose, and with gifts we should be sharing to make it a better place in order to live our best life possible. However, the world is changing at an ever-increasing pace and this can sometimes blur or bury things a little. As things get faster, more competitive, and sometimes impersonal, more and more of us are starting to question our ‘purpose’, and the ‘meaning’ in the everyday mundane or rat-race activities. As lovely as it sounds to disappear off the radar, make some drastic changes, reinvent your life / relationship / career, sit on a mountain and meditate for 6 months, etc., etc. – it’s all rather drastic and perhaps not very sensible for most of us to do.
But how do we deal with the ‘I’m doing all of this for what?’ feeling? A lot of the time, the ‘for what’ is already there. It may have gotten a bit hidden. You just need to find it. If you dig deeper you may be surprised.
Here’s some questions to ponder to help you reconnect with, and recognise, your purpose without selling your furniture and moving to the mountains with a tent and a journal:
Firstly, and most importantly – make some quiet time to reflect and review. (Time that is easy for you to stick to). Whether you allocate your morning commute in your car for this, or your regular run… Instead of thinking of clearing some space in your calendar (which probably won’t happen if you are like me!), rather make use of some of your ‘dead time’ to start thinking about the questions below:
What do you do well?
Start thinking of what these things are so that you can focus on seeing how to make more time for them. It’s satisfying to feel like you are doing something you have mastered, so it makes sense to try and get more of this into your day / life, right!
What do you enjoy doing?
Very similar to the above, but important to make the distinction, as there may be some things you enjoy doing, but aren’t good at. If you focus more on some of these things, you may start to master them and get even more satisfaction.
Where are your achievements mainly based?
What are the things that people regularly comment that you are good at? Have you won any awards for things? What things do you sail through?
Keep these things in mind as you converge all the items I have given you to ponder. It may help steer you in the right direction later. As an example, I went from a record-breaking salesperson with a flair for building (and keeping) good client relationships, to someone who totally sucked at it. The difference had nothing to do with my abilities (as I was led to believe for 6 years), but rather to do with a cocktail of various factors that I was surrounded by. I was and still am an achiever in this area. So look as far back as you need to go. Where were you achieving once? Chances are, you can achieve again.
What’s frustrating, or making you unhappy or feeling stuck?
Once you recognise what these things are, you can possibly find a way to spend less time on these things or a new way of dealing with them so they don’t frustrate you so much. You may even work out a way to start moving away from these items in the longer-term. Think about if these are things you can work around, or if they are so big that you need to move away completely? Sometimes just acknowledging this will start a whole separate thought-process on what small steps you can start making to change this – and believe me, the universe will have your back here, when it knows you’re ready.
What keeps you going?
An important one, this. For some it’s the reward of a job well done. For others it may be performance bonuses / seeing how your hard work helps those less fortunate / being praised / networking / saving for that holiday – or just self-satisfaction. Recognise what this is and strive to work towards more of this going forward. Find that friend in your tribe that always makes you feel motivated, and supports you honestly and, well, keeps you going – and make sure to check in with them regularly. This certainly helps me to keep seeing through the clutter when I need to, and helped me to be brave and calm when I needed to.
Remember, the universe will hear and support you. A miraculous series of events saw me going back into doing something I was doing many years ago. It never sung to me as much as it does now, because I had to go on a little journey first and learn a few things about myself and others (and be humbled a lot), and it is clear now that it is a passion, and fits with my values and purpose. It’s clear only now because the time was right to see this. For a long time, my mantra (which become a prayer and then a plea) was ‘less stress, more success’. (Maybe, I should have been more specific about the financial goals too, insert a chuckle here, but I can work on that). For now, I have everything I asked for, and I have purpose.
Your purpose and passion is closer than you know. You just need to recognise it, and keep it uncovered from the daily clutter that may hide it. You’ll feel like you’ve come home again, and that’s no lie.
Written by Catherine L Ronaasen
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Founder – Yogabox | Independent Consultant – Helping small businesses grow
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