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Your guiding compass: finding your life purpose

Does your life feel like Groundhog Day? Do you sense that there is something missing from your life?

Does your life feel like Groundhog Day? Do you sense that there is something missing from your life? In quiet moments of contemplation, do niggling thoughts of a lack of meaning started to surface?

You know you are on this earth for an undetermined but limited period and begin to question if you are using this precious time the way you really want to. A sad heaviness washes over you that the daily routine activities you partake in are just a way of killing time.

You may be a housewife and realise your house is way too organised and clean. Within you there is a knowing that, some of that time could be reallocated to something a bit more meaningful. After all, you are never going to be on your deathbed regretting not doing enough house cleaning or laundry!

You may not like your job. It does not excite you, at least not anymore. You spend the vast bulk of your day in a job you don’t find satisfying. It’s just a way of getting food on the table and paying the bills. And whilst finances are important, you secretly long for a career that also ignites a passion within you. The problem is, you don’t know where to start and how to go about it.

‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.’ – Henry David Thoreau

Believe me, you are not alone! Years ago, I found myself in the same situation. I went through a process of self-reflection. I asked some hard questions, forced some honest answers and mustered the courage to make some radical changes.

Today, I thank the universe that I did. I now follow a far more rewarding and meaningful life path and have found a deep sense of happiness, inner peace and wholeness I had never experienced previously. My life purpose is my guiding compass, keeping me grounded, centred and focused on what truly matters and what I want from life.

Allow me to help you find your life purpose and experience a satisfying life you deserve…

The answer lies within…

Each and every soul is unique. Has unique strengths, values, skills and gifts. Which is why every soul feels pulled to and incarnates on Earth to rediscover, express and share that gift with others for the greater good.

Going through the human experience of understanding why we are here on earth, what our unique talents are and how we can share them with others to make the world a better place, even in a small way, is our soul ascension journey to love and peace.

‘We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but are spiritual beings having a human experience.’ – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

So the answer to finding your life purpose lies within you. We can all discover our life purpose if we asked ourselves the right questions and gave ourselves the space and time to consider them honestly.

Make it fun!

The first step is to mentally reframe the ‘life purpose’ question. When people ask ‘What is my life purpose?’, they struggle to answer it because of the overwhelming baggage it carries.

A far more manageable, fun question to answer is ‘What can I do with my time that feels important to me?’. Remember, it is not about a big ‘pie-in-the-sky’ life dream that will impress family and friends. Doing what feels important to YOU is what will give your life meaning and inner happiness. Then it is just a question of finding what is missing and take realistic, manageable steps to bring more of that into your life. Simple!

Be patient and kind

Finding and realising what feels important to you will not happen overnight. It takes self-reflection, honesty as well as research and experience to find the path right for you.

Bear in mind, as you work towards finding what is important to you, you will grow and develop and in turn, may want to tweak your life purpose accordingly. It’s an organic evolving process. So be patient and kind to yourself. Know that as you are working towards something meaningful, your wellbeing and soul vibration is being lifted.

Above all, it is your choice, so you can feel a sense of autonomy over how your journey will unfold.

What are you passionate about?

What do you love doing? Love and passion are the result of action. Discovering what you are passionate about and what is important to you is a full contact sport. You won’t know exactly how you feel about an activity until you do it. So sign up for that class or join that club!

Please note, the question is not ‘What are you good at?’. For many, fortunately, what they are passionate about is something that they are good at too. It is hard to sustain a passion for something if you are no good at it. However, if you are curious and excited about a new field or hobby, you will need to explore this further to know your ability. In this case, trust that if your passion is genuine, that will give you the impetus to work hard and excel anyway.

'Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.’ – Thomas A. Edison

If you are struggling to note down your interests and passions, I have a few ideas that are sure to spark some thoughts…

What childhood passion did you lose to adulthood?

What did you enjoy doing as a child for the sheer joy of it? We all have tendency to lose touch with what we loved as a child. Social and professional pressures of adulthood squeezes the passion out of us. We are taught by society that the only reason to do something full-time is if we get a monetary reward for it. But your inner child just wants to play, and passion always resides with a sense of play.

A similar question, if you did not have a childhood passion, is when were you the most happy, proud or fulfilled? What were you doing that contributed to those feelings?

When was the last time you forgot to have dinner?

We’ve all had that experience where we get so wrapped up in an activity that minutes turned into hours and hours turned it ‘I forgot to have dinner!’. Don’t just note down these activities. Think laterally. What were the principles behind those activities that excited you? Could those ideas and skills be applied in different areas?

Another variation of this theme is, what could you talk about with your friends for hours on end? It does not have to be an activity or hobby. It could be a current situation in your community or country that you feel passionate about changing.

What legacy do you want to leave behind?

If you had a year to live, what would you do? In the end, death is the only thing that gives us perspective on the value of our lives. It is only by imagining your non-existence that you can get a sense of what is most important about your existence.

Turn hurt into healing

Sometimes, our pain can lead us to purpose. Sometimes, another person’s pain can lead us to purpose. Of course, finding purpose is not just an intellectual pursuit; it is something we need to feel. That’s why is can grow out of suffering, both our own and others.

What are you grateful for?

When answering this question is there something you are grateful for in your life that stands out more than the rest? Would you be interested in following a path that allowed others to have that too?

The flipside of this is feedback. Ask your friends and family what they appreciate about you. You may find your purpose in what people thank you for.

Read books and newspapers

Reading connects us to people we will never know, across time and space. Go to a bookstore, library or university and notice which book categories you feel ‘pulled’ towards. Books on those topics may help you see what matters in your own life.

Scan the newspaper. Are there articles on a certain topic that grab your attention and stirs up (positive or negative) emotions within you?

Write your own story

Reading can help you find your purpose, but so can writing. Purpose often arises from curiosity about our own life. What obstacles have you encountered? What strengths helped you overcome them? Sharing your story of change and growth can inspire others to see their own strengths, make changes in their lives for the better or motivate them to make a difference in the world.

Hopefully by now you have a list of things you are passionate about. Now it is time to start narrowing the list down.

Who are you at the core?

To pursue a passion into a life purpose, it must match your values and beliefs. Your values represent who you truly are at your core. They inform your thoughts, decisions and actions. So when you deeply understand your core values, you know what is important to you, you can decide which passions are in alignment with those values. Then deciding which passion to pursue into a life purpose becomes much easier.

Pursuing a life purpose that is aligned to your core values is not only a more fulfilling experience, it is a solid foundation that will help keep you centered and grounded.

'When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.’ – Roy E. Disney

From the list of values below circle those words that resonate with you. The next step is to narrow that list down to five of your most deeply held values. Focusing your life on a few key values will help you weigh up the remaining life purpose options on your list much easier. If you have too many values that are important to you, it will make it more difficult to make decisions.

If you are struggling to narrow the list down to five, go through each value one by one and think of examples when you truly lived that value. The stronger you feel about that moment in your past is an indicator of how deeply that value resonates with you.

Now that you have narrowed down your life purpose options to those which align with your core values, it is important to remember to do this exercise throughout your career. As you move through life and evolve, your values will change to reflect that. For example, early in your career you may value learning and achievement. As you advance, you may value teaching and collaboration. What is important to you will change over time. So regularly identifying your core values will remind you of what is important now and help you live authentically throughout your life.

It is important to give yourself quiet time to hear the whispers of your soul. Trust that your intuition will let you know when you are making a life purpose decision that is not in alignment to your core values. If you feel a sense of frustration, or feel like your stuck, or just simply feel like something is wrong, that is your intuition trying to get your attention. It is important to take the time and reevaluate your decision. If you are feeling ‘in flow’ and that things are come easily to you, this is a very good sign that you are on the right path.

List of values

Accountability, Accuracy, Achievement, Action, Adventure, Altruism, Ambition, Assertiveness, Authenticity, Authority, Autonomy, Balance, Beauty, Belonging, Boldness, Calmness, Challenge, Cheerfulness, Citizenship, Clarity, Commitment, Common Sense, Community, Compassion, Competency, Competition, Consistency, Contentment, Continuous Improvement, Contribution, Control, Cooperation, Courage, Courtesy, Creativity, Curiosity, Decisiveness, Democracy, Dependability, Determination, Diligence, Discipline, Discretion, Diversity, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Elegance, Empathy, Enjoyment, Enthusiasm, Equality, Equity, Excellence, Excitement, Expertise, Exploration, Fairness, Faith, Fame, Family, Fidelity, Fitness, Flexibility, Fluency, Focus, Freedom, Friendship, Fun, Generosity, Grace, Growth, Happiness, Hard Work, Harmony, Health, Helping, Holiness, Honesty, Honor, Humility, Humor, Independence, Influence, Ingenuity, Inquisitiveness, Insight, Intelligence, Intuition, Joy, Justice, Kindness, Knowledge, Leadership, Learning, Legacy, Love, Loyalty, Mastery, Meaning, Obedience, Openness, Optimism, Order, Originality,

Peace, Perfection, Pleasure, Poise, Positivity, Practicality, Preparedness, Professionalism, Prudence, Quality, Recognition, Reliability, Religion, Reputation, Resourcefulness, Respect, Responsibility, Restraint, Security, Self-actualization, Self-control, Selflessness, Self-reliance, Sensitivity, Serenity, Service, Simplicity, Soundness, Speed, Spirituality, Spontaneity, Stability, Strategic, Strength, Structure, Success, Support, Teamwork, Temperance, Thoroughness, Thoughtfulness, Timeliness, Tolerance, Trustworthiness, Truth, Understanding, Uniqueness, Unity, Vision, Vitality, Wealth, Wisdom.

What are you willing to sacrifice?

You should now have a list of things you are passionate about and that meet your core values. The next criteria you will need to consider is, what are you willing to sacrifice? All the options that remain on your list will involve you making sacrifices. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all the time. Ultimately, what will determine your ability to stick with your purpose over the long-term is your capacity and tolerance to handle the rough patches. If you want to be an actor or musician, you must be able to handle rejection. If you want to be a court lawyer, you must be able to handle the long hours. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must be able to handle failure.

With the remaining options on your list, write down what unpleasant experiences you are likely to face. Do some internet research, speak to people in your field of interest. What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Be honest with yourself and leave only those options your able to pursue even on unpleasurable days.

What the world needs now…

Discovering your true purpose essentially boils down to finding those one or two things that are bigger than yourself. The goals that foster a sense of purpose are ones that change the lives of others. Ultimately, it is through giving that gives us happiness and fulfilment in return.

You are not going to fix the world’s problems by yourself. But you can contribute and make a difference. The more important that contribution feels to you, the more purpose and groundedness you will feel in your life. So, of the remaining life purposes on your list, which ones enable you to contribute to this world that feels the most important to you?

Money, money, money!

Hopefully by now, you have at most two life purpose options that meet the criteria of being something you are extremely passionate about, that aligns with your core values, able to tolerate the inevitable sacrifices and has a positive impact on the lives of others.

The next criteria for you to consider is financial. Which one can you get paid for? If one option meets this criteria and the other does not, the answer is simple.

If both options, you can earn a living from, then chose the option that you are most drawn to. And that very well may be the option that has less earning potential. The reason why I favour choosing the option you are most drawn to despite the lower income is because it will be the option that resonates with you deeper. Because it has more meaning and importance to you, you will feel a deeper sense of fulfilment from it. This in turn helps to raise your core vibrational frequency higher to a level where money will flow easily to you.

If with both options, you can’t seem to earn a living from, then it is time to get creative. Chose the option you are most drawn to and then declare your intention. When you are ready, finish the following sentence: ‘My intention is to…’. For example, ‘My intention is to pursue a life purpose of X and earn a sufficient amount that will allow me to do this full time.’ You intention may seem vague, and you may have no idea how you will serve others in the way that you want to and still be financially viable for you, but you will be on the right track. Your brain will start subconsciously trying to solve this problem by making connections. Before you know it, answers will start falling into place. However, until this happens, stay in your current employment and pursue this path in your spare time as much as you can. As you put more time, effort and emotion into your life purpose path as you are able to, all the answers will reveal itself to you in divine timing.

‘Emotion is energy in motion.’ – Peter McWilliams

The most important thing at this point is that you are taking the first steps.

Plan of action

We can’t begin to live our purpose without taking action. The difference between where we are and where we want to go is what we do. Think about and research what you need to start and stop doing to get there.

At first you may be overwhelmed by what you need to do or learn. Creating a plan and breaking your goal down into manageable steps is an invaluable tool to get your started. Think about where you would like to be this time next year. What you might need to achieve this goal? What resources will you need? Who can help you? What do you need to learn? What strengths to you need to sharpen? What fears do you need to overcome?

Next break down that goal into twelve concrete actions and assign each action for each month of the year. By focusing on just one area of improvement per month, our goal becomes more manageable, and we are more likely to follow through with these smaller actions.

Schedule time in for your life purpose goals every day, even if it is only thirty minutes to an hour. It all adds up. Stay accountable with a family member or friend if you need to, because consistent daily action, will greatly increase your probability of success!

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Last but not least, it is understandable when making big changes to your life that you may feel fearful. There may be lots of variables about this new journey that remain uncertain. If you are feeling this way, you may like to read my ‘Prisoner of Fear’ blog. It will help you overcome any fears that you are experiencing and set you on a fulfilling life path you truly deserve…

I hope you have found this blog helpful. Do comment on your thoughts and what life purpose you would like to pursue. I would love to help you in anyway I can.

Anita Anand


P.S. - If you know a family member of friend who is feeling lost and wants to discover their life purpose, please share this article with them.


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