What is my life's Purpose? – The Problem with this Question & 3 Questions to Ask Instead
Do you grapple with these questions too?
Why am I here?
What is my life's purpose? When will I find it? Will I find it?
You’ve been searching for your purpose for months, even years. Then one day, you think maybe, just maybe, you’re getting close. You chase after it but as you’re running down the dock, you realized the ship has started pulling away. And dammit, Purpose is on that boat!
It’s your worst fear...going through life only to realize the ship has sailed.
And yet, here you are, sitting on the dock, mourning the loss of all the “would-have-beens” if ONLY you had figured this out sooner. If ONLY you had acted quicker and snagged Purpose before it was too late. But like a sketchy lover, Purpose has run off to sail into the sunset.
Here’s the twist.
Purpose is not out there somewhere. Purpose is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...an illusion.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Purpose, in and of itself, is not an illusion. Purpose, treated as a separate entity, outside of you, is an illusion.
Your purpose is within you. It always has been, always will be. When you’re chasing the illusion, you’re failing to see what’s already in your possession.
I can hear you already: “fine, Katy, that’s great and all but if that’s the case, how come I haven’t figured it out yet?”
Okay, let’s break this down to help you understand a new way of understanding purpose.
Imagine you’re walking in the forest. You’re trying to find your way and as you walk along, you notice bread crumbs along the path. What you also notice is that once you pick up one of them, you start to see more along the way. Your ability to “see” has been heightened. Those bread crumbs represent the moments, events, details, experiences that serve as vital clues for you. Let’s talk about what might show up as the bread crumbs in your life by asking the following three questions:
What naturally and easily brings me joy?
Maybe the fact that you love nothing more than to drink a warm cup of coffee while admiring the view outside your window seems irrelevant to your purpose.
Or that snuggling up with your 5 year old, watching your favourite movie, creating beautiful art, walking with nature, or laughing with your friends are all just...life’s little moments. Actually, they’re more than that. Each of these require you to be there to create those moments. That joy that you create within yourself and for others is a powerful means by which you are living your purpose.
Pay attention to what brings you joy. Those are breadcrumbs within you. The more joy you create in your life, the more joy you’ll produce for others. Joy is the secret ingredient that cultivates your higher purpose.
2. What do you find meaningful?
Pay attention to the things you do, feel, or experience that create a sense of fulfillment for you. Is it holding the door open for that elderly woman with her
walker? Is it those moments when time seems to disappear because you’re losing yourself in the process of doing something you love?
What meaningful things reflect back the values you hold on to? Is it financial security? Family? Quality time with loved ones? Freedom? Pay attention to what matters the most to you - these values and principles you live by are the most sustainable bread crumbs of all. To pursue a life that misaligns with these values is to send purpose packing.
3. What are your gifts for the world?
This isn’t rocket science. Perhaps you’re the friend people go to for a good
laugh or the one people feel safe with because you’re so non-judgmental. Or you’ve been the person known to get things done, quickly and efficiently. Maybe you’re that person at work that people naturally look up to because you know your stuff and you’re good at it?
Whether you see it or not, you have a unique set of skills, experiences, talents and interests that were embedded in you through both your DNA and life experience. These breadcrumbs can seem small, insignificant and hard to find because we’ve never given them much thought. Pay attention to the gifts you have to give the world. By delivering these gifts to the world, you’ll find joy, fulfillment and purpose within you. You were not given these gifts to hoard them, bury them or throw them away. In fact, you are responsible for cultivating them and creating powerful ripples during your lifetime.
As you tap in and begin to fully understand your gifts, your purpose will pour out in ways you might never have imagined. You have a calling on your life and it’s time to answer the call.
The very fact that you may be “searching” for your purpose is really just a clue that you get to know yourself better.
The golden nuggets inside of you - they’ve been there all along and perhaps the only thing that’s been missing is the ability to trust yourself.
Self love and the journey of life go hand in hand and we are not mere biological masses walking the earth for no apparent reason. Your arrival on this planet was for a reason. And YOU are responsible, 100%, for giving yourself the permission to go there. Take yourself on. Be the person you were created to be and there, lo and behold, you will find your purpose in all its shiny glory.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you truly are.” - EE Cummings
- Katy Suik is a Professional Transformational Coach with big dreams and a whole lotta heart to share. She is relentless in pursuing her fundamental belief that every single human being is hard-wired for greatness and has a sacred calling on his or her life! Working predominately with women, Katy yanks out the amazing-ness of each human being and challenges her clients and participants to level up.