Trying to find your purpose in life can feel like an obsession. And it’s an obsession that makes sense, given that your ‘purpose’ quite literally means your ‘reason for being’ – what could be more important than that? The answer actually depends on the type of person you are.
For easy-going fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of people, having a life purpose is often less of an issue. But when you’re a natural seeker or a high-achiever, having no clear purpose in life can leave you feeling desperately lost.
So, are you struggling to figure out what you’re meant to do with your life? Here are the five best ways to find your purpose in life.
How to find your purpose in life
Stand still more often
There’s a saying that we love here at Soul Level Hang: when you don’t know what to do, stand still. It’s a game-changing way to approach life because it gives you the room to pause and make decisions that are best aligned with you really want in life.
If you’ve been asking ‘what is my purpose in life’ for a while now, you’re probably starting to feel hopeless and a little desperate. Neither of these form a good frame of mind for making big decisions.
The truth is that you don’t need to find your purpose in life – it’s the lesson you were put on this planet to learn. It’s already with you and always has been. But if you’re deafened by the noise of everyday life because you’re busy chasing distractions, you may not hear it. That’s why it’s so important to stand still for at least a few minutes every single day. Doing this is the only way you can start to hear your soul speaking to you.
Meditating is obviously a great way to stand still daily (read more about how to meditate if you’ve tried it and just can’t do it) and you can start really small by doing just five minutes a day. But if that’s not your thing, there are lots of other ways to stand still each day.
Just choose an activity that puts you in flow – it could be running, playing an instrument, singing, being out in nature or doing the dishes. It doesn’t matter as long as it gets you into a zone where outer distractions turn to white noise and you feel fully present in the moment.
Follow the good feeling
The public speaker and law of attraction expert Esther Hicks (also known as Abraham Hicks – the group of consciousness she channels) says that being in alignment is the only thing humans should focus on when trying to achieve anything. Her teachings say that everything you want and need is already yours, but it will only appear in physical form when you’re in alignment.
The quickest way to get into alignment is to be happy – that’s it.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re having a good day, one good thing happens and then another and then another? But when you’re having a bad day, you’re a magnet for trouble and drama? That’s the law of attraction at work. Energy flows where your attention goes.
If you feel lost and confused, stop worrying about trying to figure things out and instead, try focusing on doing things that feel good. When you’re in alignment, you not only think more clearly, what’s meant for you also appears – whether that’s in physical form or as an inspired thought.
Just remember to act on the thoughts that do arise as they will start to point you in the direction of your purpose.
Remove the pressure
If you had to choose one dish to eat for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Take a minute to think about your answer.
Remember that you won’t be able to eat anything other than that dish forever.
Are you still happy with your choice?
The chances are you probably ummed and aaahed over that question. Perhaps you chose your favorite meal and then thought about other dishes you like almost as much and realised you couldn’t really commit to never eating anything else for the rest of your life.
It’s not a subtle analogy, but it perfectly demonstrates the issue many of us face when we try to find our purpose. We often assume it’s a single thing we have to do forever, and the level of pressure that adds can make it near impossible to choose.
But what if we told you to focus on now only? Don’t worry about if you’re going to feel fulfilled by the thing or even enjoy it one year from now – you only have to focus on what feels good to you right now. What would you pick as something that feels on purpose?
That’s the secret to being on purpose. It evolves with time, so you don’t have to worry about identifying something that will be a perfect fit forever, you just have to focus on something that intuitively feels good to you right now and then follow that path and let it unfold naturally.
Spend time with people who aren’t like you
Regardless of how well-travelled or well-read you are, your life experience is always limited to some degree. And this means that your perspective about what’s possible for you is also limited. The best way to expand this perspective is to spend time with people who are nothing like you. They’re likely to have different perspectives and experiences that can often shift the way you think.
This matters because right now you’re stuck and unable to figure out how to add more purpose to your life. The problem isn’t that you haven’t thought hard enough, it’s that the tools you have to work with are limited. Expand these tools by expanding your mind, and the answers you’re looking for may start to flow.
So, spend time with people who are much older and younger than you. Then seek out people who speak a different language, come from a different culture, and belong to a different social class than you. Soak up their way of thinking and navigating life. There’s no way your perspective won’t shift if you make a habit of doing this.
Read, read, read
Just like spending time with people who aren’t like you can add mind-blowingly new perspectives to your life, so can reading. Think about it, reading is probably the quickest and most convenient way to soak up the experiences and viewpoints of a huge variety of people you’d never meet in your day to day life – either because they live hundreds and thousands of miles away from you, they’re a figment of someone’s imagination or they lived many many years ago.
But when you open the doors of your mind to the influence of characters from different times in history and different parts of the world, you start to appreciate what’s possible for you, what truly inspires you and makes you feel fulfilled… and that’s when you start to get in touch with your purpose.
So, make it a habit to read one book a week for just one month and see what happens. We think you’ll be surprised at how much self-growth you’ll achieve.
And if you’re looking for inspiration, get started with this list of best books on the meaning of life.