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Feeling lost and wondering how to find your purpose and passion in life? You are not alone. Most of us have experienced that state of confusion when nothing in life seems to make sense.
You may have tried to find out the essence of your existence and perhaps you found it difficult to ascertain. It’s not surprising though, because believe it or not, a lot of people are in the same situation.
To find out the essence of your existence is simply to discover your purpose in life. However, you cannot discover your purpose if you don’t have a passion for anything. And one reason finding the purpose of life is difficult for many is because most people actually don’t know what their passion is!
The truth is that we were all made differently. Some of us discovered our passion and drive earlier in life. While it took others several decades to find out what they live for.
For instance, most of the greatest footballers discovered their talents early in life. They simply loved kicking anything that was spherical in shape. Such great footballers nurtured their talent with passion at a tender age and as months turned into years, it shaped their purpose in life. On the other hand, there are football players who only discovered their passion for football later in life; maybe during their high school days.
Similarly, there are authors who started writing immediately they could handle a pen, whether they made sense or not, they just wrote. It was their passion to tell their stories in written form. Meanwhile, other authors developed a passion for writing only after obtaining their master’s degree. That was when they found out their life purpose.
How To Find Your Purpose And Passion In Life
Now, what am I trying to say? (I can feel you getting impatient!) My aim is to make you understand that it doesn’t really matter when you discover your purpose—as long as you eventually discover it. Where it becomes a problem is when you fail to ascertain the ultimate reason why you exist. It becomes a big problem if you live on and on without any passion, drive, goal, or purpose. This is in line with what Benjamin Mays postulated (and I paraphrase): “The tragedy of life is not when you fail to achieve your goals but when you have no goal to achieve.”
So, are you in a dilemma about what to go for in life? Are you confused about where your passion lies? Are you afraid you are probably running out of time to start living a purposeful life? Then you really shouldn’t worry too much. Thinking about it a lot will only cause anxiety and that’s not what you want for yourself. Rather, take action. The first action you should take is to read on because right here, you will find out 12 practical tips on how to find your purpose and passion in life.
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1. Examine your life
A great philosopher once said that “an unexamined life is not worth living” and I totally agree. For you to know how to find your purpose and passion in life, you must examine your life.
As you evaluate your life, consider the following:
- What you do at a given time
- What you derive joy from doing
Considering these things will give you a head start. Then, you will know the things you can easily do which seem to be part of you (your strengths). And you can differentiate them from the tasks you find difficult (your weaknesses).
You are more likely to derive joy from doing things that are part of you (which you find easy) than doing things you find difficult.
2. Take action
After you have evaluated your life, found out the things you love doing and have differentiated them from the things that you really don’t derive joy from doing, the next thing is to act. By this, I mean, decide and go for that which gives you joy.
Remember, the things you love doing are likely to be your passion. When you discover them, you discover your passion. Also, going for them is a way of embracing your passion and purpose in life.
3. Keep exploring new ideas
The truth is that there are situations where you might find it difficult to discover what you love doing or what you are passionate about.
There’s a popular notion that “one must think in order to find his or her purpose in life”. But it doesn’t mean you should think yourself into anxiety. It simply means you should examine your life, as we have already discussed.
When you try to examine your life and you seem unable to come up with an idea, then you should keep exploring different ideas. Instead of thinking, and thinking, (and thinking) just try out an idea! If it fails, try another one. Keep trying till you find what you are comfortable with.
Trying out new ideas might sound difficult but it’s definitely better than thinking yourself into depression and doing nothing. Some people didn’t have to try out two things before they found their passion and purpose, they simply discovered it on their first try. However, everyone is different. So do what works for you.
4. Set goals that that are likely in line with your purpose and passion
If you must know how to find your purpose and passion in life, then you must set some goals which you intend to achieve.
However, you don’t just set goals randomly. Rather try and set goals that you think will be in alignment with your purpose and passion in life, or similar. Setting goals will give you a sense of focus. But setting goals that align with your passion and purpose will help you focus on achieving realistic goals.
5. Meditate and adopt a life philosophy
Adopting a philosophy of life is just like picturing everything about your life and how you want it to be. It’s like determining in clear terms the actual thing you live for, and what a perfect life for you should look like.
In adopting a philosophy of life, you should ask yourself questions like: “What is life all about?”, “What should be my ultimate goal in life?”, “What is the most important thing in life?”, etc.
In answering these questions, after meditation, you might decide that your ultimate goal in life is happiness. Another decision you might reach is that the most important thing in your life is money. Or you may come up with a philosophy that life is all about sharing love. Someone else might actually see a perfect world to be a world where he pursues a good career or gets a well-paid job for a living.
Adopting a philosophy of life will give you a sense of direction to do only what really matters in your life.
6. Undergo a test on life purpose or passion
Introduced by Chris and Janet Atwood, a passion test was meant to help individuals discover the main purpose of their lives.
In a passion test, the statement: “When my life is ideal, I am…” is repeated 15 times and you are meant to simply complete each of them with the things you’re passionate about.
Actually, the aim of this exercise is to identify your first five passions. To decide this, you will have to compare the first two responses and select the one you deem more important. Then compare it with number 3. Again, the one that emerges more important is compared to number 4. You will continue like this till you assess all 15 passions and come up with the top 1. Repeat the process on the remaining 14 till you come up with your second-choice passion, then keep repeating till you come up with your top 5 passions. Pretty cool, yeah?
7. Build your motivation intrinsically
Although you can be motivated by things around you, you have to lay more emphasis on being motivated intrinsically.
This is because sometimes, the things around you that you look forward to motivate you can actually end up demotivating you. But when your motivation is internally built, it is mostly regenerative and hardly dies.
In order to be motivated intrinsically, you have to search for that personal reason you NEED to succeed. Your WHY. It might be because you want to make your parents proud or because you want to change the financial story of your family.
When your motivation is intrinsic, you will find the need within you to discover your purpose and passion in life. Also, you will chase them dedicatedly without giving up.
8. Sometimes, consider people’s opinions
In some cases, you might be so talented that you find it confusing which of your talents you should focus on. In this situation, it might take a close friend to tell you what he/she thinks you are best at. This is because such a friend might have taken time to observe you to discover where your strength lies.
I intentionally used “in some cases” because you have to be careful with the opinions you get from people. If you must take someone’s opinion, first relate it to yourself and compare it with your own opinion. If it aligns, then use it. And if not, then you may have to reconsider.
9. Pay closer attention to what your mind says
There is this consciousness in every one of us that comes in the form of a calm voice inside our minds. You may hear the voice, but only if you are calm enough. Many times, this inner voice tells you exactly what you need to do in order to excel, and it’s peculiar to you alone.
But in order to be able to obey that voice, you need some level of self-belief. Because when you doubt yourself, you can’t believe or follow the voice. Many people who doubted their inner voice and opted to ignore it often regretted doing so.
As a matter of fact, that voice could be a clear map on how to find your purpose and passion in life.
10. Dedicate some time to yourself
This is a very necessary step to take if you must discover your life purpose. We all need time for different things: Time to work, pray, eat, time for charity, and above all, time for ourselves.
The time you give yourself might actually be to: rest, sleep, hang out with friends, merry, party, be with your family, etc. But above all, don’t forget the time to relax and meditate – this is a very important time for self-discovery.
11. Consider the unusual formula
The unusual formula on how to find your purpose and passion in life is that there is no limitation to your passion.
You’re probably thinking, What the hell does that mean? Well, simply put, it means that sometimes, there is nothing like “one passion and one purpose of life” but there are “many passions which become the purpose of life“.
You could be the type that is multi-talented and you see yourself engaging in lots of activities. In this situation, the unusual formula will have it that if you are passionate about all those talents, then they can jointly give your life its purpose.
Endeavour to live your life to the fullest, explore all your options, because the true purpose of life is to embrace your passions, not reducing them to just ONE.
Someone whose talents are his passions can actually be a jack of all trades and master of all.
12. Surround yourself with people who have a positive perception of life
Positivity is infectious, the same is applicable to negativity. Those you keep around you will never fail to be an influence on you, your life, your passion and your purpose.
The perception and worldview of people around you will always affect yours. Therefore, if you must get people close, let them be those who are optimistic and goal-oriented. They won’t only help you to achieve your purpose in life, but they will also influence your purpose and passion positively.
In conclusion, here’s something you should hold tight that will make all the aforementioned tips quite easy and doable:When you merge your “Passion” with “Action”, then you’ll get to your “Purpose” in life. In other words, without action, passion is meaningless and without passion, there is no purpose.
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