Purpose is more than just a simple cliché or a dream you have. Living a purposeful life is essential to your very being and it is something you will need to do more than just survive. If you want to have a fulfilling life, you will first have to have a firm grasp on the purpose of life. And, that purpose is different for everyone.
Do You Have a Sense of Purpose?
If you are feeling lost, don’t worry! Even the most successful people often feel like they lack “something.” That thing they are lacking may be their true purpose and they don’t realize they feel unfulfilled because they aren’t doing it.
Here are a few points on how to sort out your feelings about your sense of purpose.
Your Life Purpose is Like a Magnet, Not a Hole
Before you search for your purpose, I need to clarify something big:
If you aren’t fulfilling your purpose, you will feel pulled in another direction (even if you aren’t sure what direction that is!). It is NOT duress.
You might go through cycles of feeling unhappy and unfulfilled, but this is different than searching for your purpose—it is actually old hurt welling up from within.
When you are feeling a lacking and can’t find your purpose, then there is underlying damage that will need to be healed to remove the interferences. Your purpose should be calling to you! You should feel pulled toward that purpose.
You May Feel Lost When Searching for Your Purpose
The wisest people realize they need a guide. Understanding your purpose isn’t something that typically comes naturally. We aren’t born with a user manual that spells out what makes us tick. Part of our life here on Earth is understanding ourselves and our Creator. As we work to understand what drives us, we get to know God better.
This is not a selfish pursuit. In fact, you will almost certainly find that your life’s purpose is NOT selfish in nature at all. In most cases, it has to do with helping others in some way. We are meant to live as a community and work together. God made us in his image—which he describes as a plurality of persons and still one Godhead.
It’s a complicated concept for our finite and limited minds. But, God expresses it in the idea of family, marriage and community. When people work together without barriers, they become one in their finite, limited ways. So, your sense of purpose is going to be expressing that picture of oneness in some way.
More than likely, that draw to help people is going to help you head down the right path to discover your purpose.
It May Not Seem Like a Big Deal (But it IS!)
I will warn you, it may not be something big and shiny. You might not win the Nobel Peace Prize or be mentioned in all the history books. Jesus set the tone here—when people expected a great ruler to come riding in to save the nation, he did something much better and MUCH more humble with his life. His life’s purpose was to be born as a humble carpenter’s son, ridiculed by many. He died a criminal’s death after doing no wrong—still ridiculed by many. Many people didn’t see his purpose as valuable. And, the Bible tells us to follow that example.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:2-4)
The same instruction (to do good in secret) is said about fasting and prayer as well. Jesus pointed out that only the hypocrites and Pharisees were worried about making sure other people saw their goodness. Your purpose in life is so much more than the accolades of men!
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do.” (Ephesians 6:7-8a)
It’s very possible (and highly likely) that your purpose is going to feel like something humble and small. You might find a purpose in being a mother, in doing a great job at your workplace, in coaching kids on the weekends, in being the friend that is always ready to listen.
There are so many possibilities! We need people like you here because together we make up a much bigger working unit of humanity. When people are fulfilling their God-given purpose, they are really playing a huge role.
You May Struggle to Define Your Purpose
Not everyone has a clear idea of what their purpose is in life. While some find it easy and clear as day, others will find it a challenge. No matter what, it is NOT impossible to find your purpose. God is already on your side and wants you to know who you are. So, you can rest assured that it is very possible.
In many cases, our purpose is only hidden from us when we don’t want to see the truth. There are a number of things that may be stopping you from finding your purpose:
You want something grander: You feel your purpose is too small or too simple.
You feel doubt: You aren’t sure you are good enough to do anything important.
You don’t know who you are: You reject parts of yourself that are crucial to who you are.
You’ve been hurt: You are holding back because of inner damage and blockages.
You are afraid of limits: You feel picking one thing will “box you in” and tie you down.
If you are really struggling after this blog to know what your purpose is, I highly recommend you join my Healing Center. We work through roadblocks like this, helping you address the things that are holding you back. In many cases, there is a lot of learned behavior from your past that is getting in the way and making it hard for you to see a clear path forward.
I want to help you unblock your energy centers so you have the clarity and inspiration it takes to see your life’s purpose for what it truly is. I help people get unstuck every day in my Healing Center and being a life coach is truly MY life’s purpose.
Why It’s Crucial for You to Find Your Purpose in Life
Your purpose is a crucial part of a healthy life. It will support better physical and mental well-being.
Knowing Your Life Purpose is Linked to Longer Life
In a study of over 9,000 people, UCL found that people with a sense of meaning and purpose were likely to live longer. Those who felt they were doing worthwhile things and had a sense of control over their lives were 30% less likely to die early and lived an average of two years longer than those who lacked a sense of purpose toward the end of their life. The Director of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care leading the study (Andrew Steptoe) announced:
“We have previously found that happiness is associated with a lower risk of death. These analyses show that the meaningfulness and sense of purpose that older people have in their lives are also related to survival.”
Another study found that a strong purpose in life leads to a lowered risk of heart attack. This study looked at over 1,500 adults who already had coronary heart disease and were over the age of 50. On a six-point measurement scale of life purpose, every point was associated with lowering the odds of myocardial infarction by 0.73.
You will sleep better, feel better and BE better when you know your purpose in life. This has also been linked to a lower risk of dementia, fewer disabilities and fewer strokes as well. Your understanding of your life’s purpose and pursuit to fulfill it is going to have a positive impact on your physical health.
A Sense of Purpose is Crucial for Mental Health
You may not be surprised that knowing your purpose leads to a stronger state of mental health. In one study that looked at 6,840 teachers, their self-rated health status (SRH) was directly impacted by their measurement for purpose in life. Having that clear view of what they wanted to do in life led to a better ability to manage their stress levels.
Another study looking at adults between the ages of 32-84 found that those with a strong sense of life purpose had better cognitive functioning and memory than those who didn’t. The testing showed that a sense of purpose in life could be linked to making better decisions and maintaining stronger mental health.
When looking at just the very oldest within the population, a 2010 study linked purpose in life to a decrease in depression. Adults aged 85-103 were less likely to feel depressed if they rated well on holding a purpose in life. Interestingly, over the 5-year study, those who found a life purpose during the study were not necessarily at a lower risk for depression! You can’t go your entire life without knowing your purpose and have it change overnight.
This is really important for people of every age, starting even before high school. One study found that purpose in life resulted in higher satisfaction in life for adolescents, young adults and adults.
The pursuit of purpose is going to have a positive impact on your life—improving your mental strength, mental health and helping you live a happy life.
God Made You for a Reason!
God blesses you with talents and abilities. He wants you to use your natural, God-given abilities. You were MADE to do something. Every single person is unique and plays a role in this lifetime and in the life to come.
Understanding your purpose has nothing to do with salvation. But, it will help you work WITH God rather than attempt to fight against him.
There are examples in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Romans that describe us as clay in the hands of the potter. “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:21) And, “Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands?’” (Isaiah 45:9b)
Simply put, your well-being is going to come down to understanding how you were made and what you were designed to do in this life.
You are going to live a more meaningful life when you have a strong understanding of your purpose.
Purpose Supports Affluence
Since this is what you were MADE for, it makes sense that your purpose is going to be linked to your success—even in regards to wealth. A 2016 study found that a sense of purpose predicts greater income and self-worth. Notice the term “predicts!” You do NOT get a sense of purpose from your affluence—your affluence in every area of life is driven by your sense of purpose!
The more you understand the world around you and your place in it, the more you will be free to do great things! When you have a sense of purpose, you are going to align your chakras naturally. Your inspiration (crown chakra) and clarity (third eye chakra) are going to flow through your centers for confidence (throat chakra), love (heart chakra), power (solar plexus chakra), passion (sacral chakra) and action (root chakra).
These things only work in harmony when your direction is clear and guided by the divine. Many of us experience blocks because we are trying to sidestep key parts of our reality and purpose.
7 Strategies to Help You Discover Your Life’s Purpose
If you are ready to own life and take things head-on, then it’s time to dive into a few strategies to help you discover your life purpose.
Explore the Things You Love
Oftentimes, the things you love—those things that come easy to you—are tied to your natural gifts. As you pursue your purpose, you should feel as if the path gets easier—as if you are rowing downstream and not fighting the current. It might take a long period of time to hone that skill, but you should enjoy it.
Do you love giving advice? Do you like helping others succeed at something? Do you have a passion for a certain area of the arts, sciences, politics or environment? These are the kinds of questions that can help you narrow down what matters most to you and where you are feeling drawn.
It’s important to realize that guilt is different than a draw here. You might feel like you SHOULD care about the environment or take a stand in politics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is your true purpose. You can certainly pursue important things outside of your purpose, but finding your purpose is more than feeling duty-bound to do something.
Develop a Habit of Helping
Show up, even when you don’t feel like it. While your purpose will ultimately feel like a magnet, there are still going to be very hard times that make you want to quit. What we will find along the way is that we still feel more fulfilled and happier than if we had tried to live life only for ourselves. Again, we were NOT made to be selfish people and living a life that helps others will help us find meaning and joy.
Try volunteering for a nonprofit organization that matters to you. Use your skills and talents to help others around you. You may be great at making meals for new moms, helping your elderly neighbor with yard work or mentoring youth every week as a role model at your church. Doing something kind is going to feel good and help you see that the world needs people like you.
This does NOT mean you should get walked over. Boundaries are very important because toxic people do exist that will try to take advantage of kindness. You do NOT have to say yes to every charitable opportunity that comes your way. In fact, you are more likely to find a meaningful purpose if you are willing to say “no” when the request is not the right fit.
Disown Your Fears
The top killer of self-esteem is fear. Fear can hold you back and make you feel as if you aren’t able to achieve your dreams. When it comes to your life’s purpose, fear may keep you from really seeing your skills and potential for what they are.
Make a list of your fears and identify points that prove the fear wrong. What lies are you believing that are easily proven false? Disown your fear and repeat those opposite proofs as a mantra to boost your confidence.
If you feel you are “never good at anything,” then you might repeat the mantra “I’m created by a good God for a purpose. I can do all things through Him.” Whatever fears are holding you back, start combatting them with the opposite mantras to change your thinking.
Listen to Feedback
People around you can tear you down, but they can also build you up. It’s important to know the difference and only listen to the people who are truly trying to help. When people give you insight on where you struggle or where you thrive, you may be able to see where your purpose lies.
You might reach out to the people you feel are the most helpful and ask them what they think of when they think of you. Note the kinds of compliments you get on your natural abilities—like being empathetic or having helpful insight. Journaling some of the things you’ve heard from others may help you spot these patterns.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
As I keep mentioning, there are very toxic people out there who will hurt you and block your ability to see your life’s purpose if you let them. Self-care means avoiding relationships with negative people who drag you down—especially the friends, family and co-workers you feel obligated to be around!
Instead, surround yourself with people who inspire a positive change in you.
Start Connecting with New People
Act outside your comfort zone and connect with new people—in person and not through social media! We are MADE to be a community and need face-to-face interaction (I know this is difficult during a pandemic!).
It might feel awkward at first, but it will help you create community.
We can get stuck in an echo chamber if we only surround ourselves with people we already know and agree with. Branching out will provide a broader perspective and sense of empathy. This can also open your eyes to opportunities that you didn’t even realize were out there.
The key affirmation here is, “I have enough time, money and love to give.” You absolutely have enough RIGHT NOW to start making this difference. Repeat this on a daily basis—especially when that little voice tries make excuses to hold you back. This process doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. You DO have enough to start right now
Use any affirmations that help you get motivated and stay on task.
Clear Your Path and Live True to Your Life Purpose
I hope you will join me for more in my Healing Center. You will gain confidence and a plan to find your life purpose once you join. I’ll help you experience life without roadblocks, feeling supported and divinely guided. I also encourage you to grab this oil as you work on finding purpose: “I am purpose” healing oil.
I have every confidence you are going to find your purpose in life. This will not stay hidden from you!