Finding and living a purposeful life is difficult. Many people are living life without knowing what they want out of life. They live life not for themselves, but because of work and survival needs.
When you are not living a purposeful life and you have no idea what you are meant to do in this world, you will feel lost. You feel disconnected, lack of drive, bored, and things just don’t seem to matter to you.
On the contrary, when you know your purpose in life want you are meant to do in this world, you will live with energy, passion, and drive. You know what you want, and you are working toward that ideal goal. It makes life worth living and it is the reason we exist in this world.
So, how do you find your purpose in life? It is not an easy task, but it doesn’t need to be complicated either. Just pay attention to your life and listen with your heart.
But first, you have to understand that you shouldn’t start with “finding” your purpose in life.
It Is Not About “Finding” Your Purpose
Yes, I believe that your purpose doesn’t just happen or comes to you. It is not about “finding” your purpose, it is about developing your purpose.
And your purpose can change. What you want out of from age 20 can be totally different from what you want when you are 60.
Hence, it is not about finding what you want to do, instead, it is about developing the purpose for your life.
Plus, you can’t find your purpose, you must work on it. You must execute and take some form of action in order to discover it.
You can’t just sit there thinking about your purpose in life. Yes, you may find out some answers, but if you don’t work on that purpose, it will just remain an idea.
And many times, you will discover that what you dream about in life can be totally different when it comes to execution in the real world.
The thing is that you can only know your purpose in life when you execute. You can’t tell if you like something until you do, isn’t it?
So, heed my advice, don’t just read or think about your purpose, choose to do something about it.
Because when you do, you get to experience it. And when you experience something, only then you can tell if you like it, or not.
Thus, don’t just read this article. After you got the idea, do something about it. Try out something. No matter what you do, don’t just sit there and wait for things to come to you.
If you want to find your purpose in life, take action. And you will really know the answer.
Here are 7 ways how you can discover the purpose of your life…
1. Learn to listen to your life
One of the easiest ways to find out your purpose in life is to listen to what life is telling you.
I worked in the real estate industry for 8 years, those years have been fun and exhilarating. But I can never let go of building a successful internet business and working from anywhere around the world, traveling and enjoying the flexibility.
Even during those 8 years, on and off, I still read articles and books about internet marketing, and I’m still managing a blog.
Eventually, I decided to look at real estate from the investment point of view and started to venture full-time in internet marketing. And then this blog was born. It was in 2015 when I started this blog.
And today, I have no regret because I listened to what my life keeps telling me.
You can do the same, just pay attention to your life. What is the feedback life is trying to tell you?
You want to learn to observe what life is telling you or discover the pattern. Sometimes, things will not be as direct. It may lead to detour and there will be roadblocks, but you must listen to the feedback and what life is trying to tell you.
To discover your life, you must learn to listen to it.
Learn to reflect on your life. Spend time to understand your feelings, emotions, and master yourself. The better you understand yourself, the more you can align your purpose and live a meaningful life.
Here’s a good article by Nicola about self-reflection:
2. Explore and discover
Another method of how to discover your life’s purpose is through exploration and discovery. You know the concept, try things out in order to know if you like them.
Most people don’t dare to discover and explore. They prefer to stay within their comfort zone and do things that they are familiar with.
They don’t dare to do things that will change their lives. And this is why most people are not living their life’s purpose because they simply don’t dare to make changes.
Listen, if you want to explore new oceans, you must be willing to let go of the shore. You can’t go to a new place if you keep staying where you are.
This is especially true if where you are right now is not the right place you want to be.
A lot of people complain about their work. They say that they hate their job and they don’t like what they do, but they don’t dare to make a change either.
They choose to stay where they are even if they know that their job is not what they really want. And then they give all kinds of excuses why making a change or switching to a new job is not possible.
High commitments. It’s not easy to get a job. The economy is bad now. Whatever.
Here’s the truth, if you don’t like where you are, you can make a change. Move, you’re not a tree.
Therefore, dare to explore and discover. It doesn’t matter if you try out something and fail at it. It is an experience. It is feedback.
What matters most is that you try out new things to see if they are what you are looking for.
Have you read the book, Who Moved My Cheese? It is a great book that encourages change and constant improvement. It is a short book, read it.
Make it a habit to always explore and discover more. Life is supposed to fill with fun and excitement. Hence, dare to explore and do something different.
Read more, get to know other people, do something different, and learn more. Go and make friends in a different industry. Visit other countries you have never been to before. Learn something new.
3. Ask the “hundred million dollars” question
If you know your life’s purpose, you must take out all the constraint that is preventing you from living your ideal life.
What if everything is perfect? How will you live your life?
Here’s a good question you should ask yourself to find out what kind of ideal life and purpose you want to have in life…
“If I have a hundred million dollars in the bank right now, how will I live my life? What will I do tomorrow?”
That’s the hundred million dollars question. So, if you are financially free, what would you do? How would you live your life?
Are you going to be doing the same thing as what you do right now, or are you going to make a change?
Will you still go to work tomorrow? Are you going to quit your job and start a new business? How much money will you save and invest? Are you going to donate a portion of your money and volunteer yourself to help those who are in need?
So, what will you do if you have a hundred million dollars in the bank right now?
What will change?
Here’s the sign, if you say that you are going to quit your job if you have a hundred million dollars, it simply shows that you are working for the money, not for the passion.
What this means is that you don’t really like your job. Hence, you should really consider reconnecting your soul with your job or find a different job.
Financial constraint is one of the biggest things that prevent most people from living their purpose in life. And when you get rid of this constraint, you will discover how you truly want to live your life.
Take an hour off and then ask yourself the “hundred million dollars question”. Write down your answer on a piece of paper. Don’t just think about it, write it down so that you can clearly see the pattern you are trying to pursue in life.
4. What comes easy to you?
So, what comes easy to you? What are you good at? Sometimes, to find your purpose in life, you need to start with your strengths.
I do understand that your strength may not necessary be your sole purpose in life, but it says a lot about you and your life.
If you are good at one thing and you love doing it, then, by all means, pursue it in life. Your strengths give you a clear sign of the kind of life you might want to live.
Look at all the professional athletes. They love their sports career and they are really good at it. Yes, they do train hard, but you have to admit that they have strengths in it.
Lionel Messi is one of the top football players in the world, do you dare say that he’s not good at it? No, he is good with football, he loves it, and he trains hard for it.
The same goes for other successful athletes like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Muhammad Ali, etc.
They all have a strong passion for their respective sports, and they are also good at them. And yes, they do have to train hard to bring their skills to a higher level.
What about you? Where are your strengths? What are you good at? What comes easy to you?
Understand your strength. Find out what are you good at. Take this free aptitude test to find out your strengths and weaknesses from RichardStep.com.
Your strengths are what drives your internal motivation. If you want to live a purposeful life, then align your life with what you are naturally good at.
5. Do the Passion Test
The Passion Test was developed by Chris and Janet Attwood. It is a simple and easy method to find out what you want to do out of your life.
Here’s what you need to do, complete this sentence for 15 times: “When my life is ideal, I am… “
Below are some examples:
- When my life is ideal, I’m helping massive numbers of people living their true purpose in life.
- When my life is ideal, I’m motivating people to achieve their goals and realize their dreams.
- When my life is ideal, I’m working on my own schedule and earning passive income from the internet.
- When my life is ideal, I’m traveling the world with my loved ones 3 times a year.
Here’s what you need to do after you have identified 15 statements – find the top 5 statements.
Once you have discovered the top 5 passions in life, you can easily reflect and look at your life to easily tell if you are living that passion.
And after you have identified your passions, you can then create plans and turn your passions into reality. And that’s the kind of life you want to live in. That’s the purpose of your life.
I suggest you read the book, The Passion Test, written by Chris and Janet Attwood. It is a simple test, yet, a powerful one.
After you have gone through the test, it gives you a clear idea of how your ideal life looks like. And that is the purpose of your life. You want to live a meaningful life that drives you every day.
6. Find out what makes you most happy and joyful in life
Yes, this is one of the easiest ways to find purpose in life. Just find out what makes you happy and joyful. What do you love doing?
You want to fill your life with things and activities that make you feel happy, not sad, right? Hence, finding what makes you happy can be a great sign of living a purposeful life.
When you visit the bookstore, what section do you go to first? Do you go to the travel section? Or do you go to the self-help or business section? It tells a lot about what you love to do.
And when you are free, like over the weekend, where do you spend most of your productive hours on?
For me, I’m feeling satisfied and joyful when I share inspirational posts such as this one on my blog to motivate and drive people to achieve their goals and live their dreams.
I love to talk about personal development, business, and real estate. I can spend the entire day talking about these topics. This is what I love to do and I’m doing them every day in my life right now.
What about you? What do you love to do? What makes you happy?
If you are unclear about what makes you happy, just take a piece of paper and list down every possible activity and things that make you happy.
You don’t have to set rules for this, just write down everything that you feel happy doing and makes you joyful.
After you have done so, reread your list and ask yourself what are the things that you want to be, do, and have while living your purposeful life. Relate the things that make you happy with the purpose of your life.
7. Discover who you want to help
If you want to live a purposeful life, you must include serving and helping others. In the best-selling book, Give and Take, the author mentioned that people become more motivated when they set out to help and serve others.
You will be more internally motivated when your vision is to help others. Think about it, most of the successful people out there are not working for the money, instead, they are working for a stronger and more meaningful vision.
Elon Musk is already a multi-millionaire after he sold X.com to PayPal. He didn’t need to start Tesla and SpaceX, but he did it anyway because that’s his vision. He wants to make the world a better place by inventing electric vehicles and make space travel possible.
The same goes for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s already a famous and successful actor, but he continues to work hard because he loves it and he has the vision to serve and entertain others.
What about you? Who do you want to serve and help?
When you set out to serve and help others, you tend to work harder and are more internally motivated.
Answer the question, who you want to help and how you can help them. As Kevin Kruse said, “Life is about making an impact, not an income.” Hence, focusing on making an impact and how you can help others.
When you focus on helping and serving others, success will automatically follow. And that’s the kind of life’s purpose you want to have.
Live Your Life’s Purpose
Now that you how you can find your purpose in life, it is time to live it. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, don’t just think or dream about living your purpose, do it.
You need to execute and take action to make it happen. Don’t just think about your ideal life and then do something that is not related. Have the courage to live the life that you desire.
The key to living a great life is to start living your purpose little by little. You don’t have to take a leap of faith, you can do it bit by bit.
Start now, pay attention to the feedback and listen to what your life is telling you. And then lean onto it. And eventually, you will be living a purposeful and meaningful life.