“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Chances are someone has asked you that question before. But maybe it’s time that we start asking a new question, answering only for ourselves this time.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? Better yet, who do you want to be at this very moment?
Your purpose is something you can find and apply not only in longer-term pursuits but in daily life. The journey of finding purpose may not seem easy or simple, but it will make all the difference for your happiness and fulfillment in this world. So how exactly do you find your life purpose? And why does it matter?
First and foremost, it helps to get connected to how it feels to lack purpose. For some, lacking meaning in life can manifest as suffering. Others might feel stuck in a constant place of confusion or indecision, which can also contribute to suffering. Though we might often struggle to define how it feels to lack purpose in life, we can still begin to recognize some of the ways it shows up in our lives.
Have you ever wondered whether a lack of purpose is the reason you often feel unfulfilled or generally indifferent towards life? Once you have a clear life purpose, it will inevitably begin to serve almost like a compass in your life. Once you recognize the meanings behind your existence, it not only gives you direction but can become the source of motivation that propels you.
On the other hand, to lack life purpose adds a level of difficulty – from making simple decisions to choosing who to befriend – that we often fail to see. So, instead, we blame our inability to decide or succeed in life on our incompetence or shortcomings.
Not only does lacking meaningful purpose make each decision all the more challenging; without purpose, it is hard to make sense of suffering. In other words, the more conscious you are of your purpose or where you find meaning in life, the easier it will be to see why things happen the way they do. Until you do this, you are more likely to stay stuck in a state of suffering rather than learning or growing from its lessons.
Having a life purpose can help you reframe how you perceive and react to life’s conflicts, crises, and obstacles. If you recognize the bigger picture and see the meaning in situations, you can see each one as a learning experience. Without a sense of purpose, even the smallest challenges and difficulties can feel disheartening or distressing.
You can begin to search for more meaning by recognizing where and how you are suffering in life. In what ways do you feel that a lack of purpose or meaning shows up for you?
Once you are in touch with these feelings or sensations – like confusion or frustration – accept all of them, despite how negative they may feel. See them for what they are – become aware but don’t be pulled away by them.
Finally, begin to cultivate more gratitude in your life. The more frequently you practice showing appreciation for what brings you joy, the more effortless it will be to recognize and attract what you truly care about.
Finding out what makes you happy and what drives your actions daily is one way of understanding yourself better. The better you know yourself, it will help guide future decisions on where to take your life next. And, at that point, you will naturally be living out your purpose.
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