Our purpose in life is one of the biggest decisions we will make, but also one of the hardest. A purpose informs many of our goals and what we define as success. Without a purpose, the lack of direction can contribute to feelings of directionlessness and unhappiness, making it important to determine what your life purpose is.
Yet the question, “What is my life’s purpose?” is somewhat misleading. It implies that you are here for one predestined reason only, and you must determine what that goal is and achieve it. The truth is that you determine your purpose in life, you can have several purposes, and you can define or redefine your purpose at any point in your life – you are never too young or old.
How to Discover Your Purpose
Life purposes come in many shapes and sizes. Some people emphasize a life goal that helps others, while other people seek to follow their passions. You can also choose a life purpose that lies at the intersection of those two. With so many options, here are questions that will help you narrow down a purpose to one that matches your passions, needs, and abilities:
- What Makes You Happy – Consider the small moments in your life that bring you joy. It may be a certain job at work, doing something for others, or building relationships. Build your goal around these joys.
- What Makes You Feel Fulfilled – Looking at your life currently, think of what aspects bring you a feeling of contentment and fulfillment. Cultivating these parts of life will help your long term happiness.
- What Gives You Energy – Next, ask yourself what gets you out of bed in the morning and what you look forward to. A life’s purpose will be a long journey, so choosing something that will keep you motivated is key.
- Where Do You Envision Yourself – Picture yourself in 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years and imagine what you will have accomplished. What you imagine is often good guidance for what you should strive for going forward.
Much of the self-reflection that leads us to our purpose can be challenging to answer. These are probably not questions you are asking yourself every day, and coming to answers is often a process. This is why working with a psychologist can be another great way to help find your purpose. A psychologist is trained to guide you through the questions inherent in identifying your purpose.