There’s one simple question that will reveal your purpose, but because you probably won’t believe the answer at first. I want to walk you through the process I took to finding my purpose. The process eventually led me back to the answer I gave to the simple question I just mentioned but there is no way I would have believed and walked into that answer before doing the deep work that has revealed my true purpose. How I found my purpose:
I read books about purpose.
Books can be very helpful but to be honest, after reading several books on purpose I still had no idea what mine was. So, although I love every book I’ve read about purpose I caution you not to get stuck on this step. Use the books as inspiration but then it is imperative to put what you’ve read into action.
I listened to podcasts.
The Ken Coleman show podcast gives practical advice and encouragement on how to step into your purpose from a vocational point. Listening to other people leap into changing their careers to walk in their purpose encouraged me to do the same. Seeing other people do it showed me that it was possible and decreased my fears. It also let me know it was OK to change careers. It helped stop worrying about what people would think of me for doing this. It took some of the negative cognition away.
I hired a career coach.
My career coach David gave me accountability, and advice. Whenever I had doubts he reassured me. I needed David because no one I know personally had ever quit a secure career to walk in their purpose, but he had. Because he had done it before I trusted his advice. He was also trained to coach people from a psychological stance so he kind served as a therapist. Finding your purpose is a psychological challenge because you will have to overcome many limiting beliefs and a lot of fear. A major limiting belief that previously stopped me from stepping into my purpose was the idea that the things I love could not result in a well-paying career. My career coach helped me identify where that limiting belief came from and acknowledge that it was not true. I also had to overcome the fear of being judged by others. I was afraid that people would take my dreams as a joke or not respect me as much. My career coach also helped me identify that this was absolutely not true and even if it was: WHO CARES!? He reminded me that I had to live my own life for me and the opinions of others will not matter at the end of the day.
I asked my friends/family.
I asked about 8 of my closest friends and family members to answer the following questions about me:
- What do you see as my strengths?
2. What careers can you imagine me doing that would utilize these strengths?
They answered the questions and I then used them to identify patterns and strengths/careers that spoke to me. I think it is important to consider how others see you and the strengths you exhibit to others that you may not even notice about yourself. This exercise will also give you confidence as your friends and family confirm what you already know.
I asked God.
Of course, for me, this is the most important step. Not only did I pray and ask God and then wait for him to answer me, but I also meditated on the spiritual gifts and talents that are naturally inside of me. What are you naturally good at? What comes easy to you? Think about these questions, and ask God to confirm the answers for you.
God has given us gifts to fulfill our unique purposes. Examining those gifts and putting them into action to help others is ultimately our purpose. We are all created to do something, and that something will in some way help and serve others. When determining your purpose one way to test if you’re on the right track is to ask yourself if what you’re doing helps someone in anyway. If the answer is no, then that is not a purposeful action.
I thought about what makes me sad and angry.
Usually, the very thing that troubles you the most is a part of your purpose. Your purpose should make you emotional or even cry. That is how deeply you should feel about it. There are only very few issues in the world that make me emotional to the point of tears and working to solve those problems would most likely make me feel fulfilled.
Now that we’ve gone through the deep dive of discovering our purpose, It will be easier to believe the answer to the very simple question you can ask yourself when trying to discover your purpose that I mentioned earlier.
That question is:
“What is the thing you would do for absolutely free and enjoy it?”
What I mean by this is what do you love to do so much that you would do it for free and be completely happy.
When I first answered that question my answers were to eat, shop, and travel. These answers seem to only be leisure activities, and I did not take myself seriously. However, after doing all the work I laid out for you above I landed back on one of these activities. During my purpose discovery journey, I realized that my passion is food. I realized two of my spiritual gifts are leading, and encouraging. I discovered that one of my biggest talents is cooking and that I am very knowledgeable and interested in the subject of nutrition. Finally, I realized I HATE disease and care deeply about helping people prevent diseases through a healthy lifestyle.
When I put all of these discoveries and realizations together it led me back to my answer. One thing I could do every single day for free and enjoy it is eating. So I started brainstorming what work I could do (using my natural talent) that pays me to eat, allows me to lead and encourage people, and that I would care deeply about. My brainstorm included lots of googling (i.e “jobs that involve eating”), and watching lots of youtube videos.
Stay tuned for PART TWO of my series on Purpose in which I will walk you through stepping into your purpose practically.