Napoleon Hill said – “There is one quality one must possess to win – and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to possess it”.
Now, in these unique and changing times – called the ‘new normal’ – more than ever we all need purpose.
Today, with all we’re exposed to, to succeed – instead of getting stuck in a downhill spiral – purpose becomes the key to achieving good to great things in life; even during these seemingly negative times. When one determines what one’s purpose is and begins pursuing it, they become motivated with the knowledge and ideas – whether absolutely clear or just forming – of the direction in which they must move – or were meant to move – in order to advance instead of getting stuck in the limbo of lost dreams.
This isn’t just about success in your career or financial life, it includes family and personal relationships. Psychologists tell us purpose can also be used to fuel your motivation to get healthier, too.
For most, it’s not easy to find their purpose in life. And during these life-altering times it’s easy to become lost and depressed. More difficult to come to terms with your purpose or pursue it if you know it. That said, if you have no purpose it’s easy to succumb to the pressure of life and the obstacles it consistently throws at you. Which may eventually cause you to ‘give up’, turn inward or turn towards unhealthy activities.
“If you want to be fulfilled, happy, content and experience inner peace and ultimate fulfillment”, says Jack Canfield, “it’s critical that you learn how to find your passion and your life purpose”.
Believe it or not, you have the opportunity – during this unique turn of events – to take back control of your life and begin to achieve a life with purpose, of fulfillment.
If you’ve been feeling depressed, deflated or even defeated during this ‘new normal’, and no longer know your purpose in life, it may be time to reevaluate what your purpose was or to consider constructing a new one.
Here are 7 tips for discovering and pursuing your life purpose:
1) Determine what your passion is.
As always, it’s essential to know what that something is which energizes you or passionately drives you. This could be anything from providing the best for your family by finding a job or career which allows you to stretch your skills, effectively utilize your expertise to gain a promotion or new job – to teaching your child to function well with others. To learning how to care for an ill family member. This led a sister to caring first for grandparents, parents and an aunt; which led to others hiring her to care for their family members.
Your passion (your purpose) can take you places you’ve wanted to go, to places you were unaware you wanted to go. And guide you into living a meaningful life with purpose.
2) Not sure of your purpose – seek guidance from skilled, experienced individuals.
Relying on others to dictate what your life purpose should be is far different from seeking guidance from a skilled coach, for example. In short, you may be failing to realize your calling because you’ve become accustomed to people telling you how you ought to live and what you ought to be doing. You may even have experienced this.
Close friends and family may have the best intentions when advising or telling you what you should be pursuing because they love you and want you to succeed. However, this doesn’t mean they’re right. They may have a picture of who and what they want you to do or become but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what you were created to be and do.
Asking the right people for advice is important if you honestly want to pursue your goals and purpose. A wise person would keep in mind the need to remain open-minded; to learn to listen to those with the skills and expertise to help, guide and educate them for the better – for additional success. Whether you need help writing a LinkedIn Profile, cover letter or resume – find the expert help you need. In short, find and get to know those with the expertise you need to guide you – whether it’s personal, financial or with your career. Get help from someone who can act as a shepherd, assisting you in the right direction; someone who will provide you with valuable tips and strategies necessary for you to develop or further develop your purpose and succeed. Empowering you to improve and progress farther faster.
3) Stay committed.
Living your dream or working on your vision can be challenging when you don’t have a strong support system; nonetheless, you must remain committed to your main goal, whether you have people to cheer you on or not.
Keep your vision consistently within sight to remind yourself of where you’re headed. Those who aren’t totally committed rarely reflect on their purpose or goals. They get caught up in the miscellany of daily life and forget about them.
Start thinking, “My vision is all the inspiration I need to keep on keeping on.” If you need some cheerleaders or people you can relate to and discuss your purpose, or goals, network with those who share them. For example – LinkedIn connections, industry groups or college alumni.
4) Keep improving.
Begin improving yourself in all aspects of life. If you’re job searching, seek out new strategies for finding a job, for interviewing once you discover it. Assess your skills, get certified, take hard-skills online classes. Discover how to break bad habits which may be holding you back.
When we push ourselves towards living a meaningful life – one with purpose – we discover capabilities we otherwise would have overlooked had we not believed our lives could be – or were meant to be – better than what they were, and we not taken intentional steps towards fulfilling our purpose.
In short, prepare yourself. Be ready and primed for the moment the right opportunity arises to grasp it and take the next big step toward realizing your purpose – your goal.
5) Psychologists tell us being open to new ways of doing things is essential when pursuing your purpose.
No question having a purpose helps provide direction in life. In fact, fulfilling your destiny will require changing your methods at some point. So, be receptive to new techniques, skills, approaches, procedures and ways of doing things – or reaching your goals – as you continue living a life of purpose.
6) Set priorities.
Staying on track and meeting your daily goals comes easy when you prioritize living a purpose-driven life. Therefore, make sure taking the necessary steps to reach your destination, daily, is at the top of your priorities list. If you’re searching for a job, updating your resume or LinkedIn Profile should be tops on your list. If you have decided to become a freelancer, top of your list should be discovering how freelance marketplaces work. If you intend to change careers, learning new skills should be top of your list.
7) Practice deliberately.
The only way you can become who you are meant to be – to fulfill your purpose – is by deliberately doing things which are guaranteed to turn you into the person you are meant to be. Don’t and you may be sabotaging yourself, your career and your purpose. For example, if your calling is to become a highly-influential environmentalist, start connecting with other environmentalists, read books on environmentalism, find online courses to enroll in. Be systematic and purposeful about it and your purpose will begin to take shape and carry you forward.
It’s rare when someone knows their purpose from childhood and sets to work to bring it to fruition from youth. Instead, for many it can be difficult to find their life purpose.
Not to worry. For most, purpose evolves over time, through experience and what eventually becomes a passion. That said, be aware of what energizes and drives you. Is this something you enjoy; something which encourages and prompts you to advance? Is this something which will not only help you but help others? If so, ask yourself if this is your purpose?
Finding and pursuing your purpose will be a lifelong journey which requires taking it one step at a time and regularly reevaluating it.
Here’s some wise words from Jack Canfield:
“If you are struggling and suffering you are probably not living on purpose”.
Jean L. Serio CEIC, CPC, CeMA, CSEOP