10 Actions You Can Take Today to Help You Discover Your Life’s Purpose
Trying to figure out what is really important to you and what can add more meaning to your life? Are you struggling to discover your life's purpose?
It can be hard to realize what your life's purpose is; it's a big question to ask yourself. Here are 10 things you can do.
10 Actions You Can Take Today to Help You Discover Your Life's Purpose
1. Write out your life’s vision.
Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight, it takes time to form. So don’t worry, spend as much time as you need creating it. It may take several days or even several weeks.
Start with thinking about your dreams, hopes, and aspirations, as well as your values in life. Ask yourself what you want and why you want it. Be honest with yourself and remember that it is OK to dream big.
Be sure to focus on your wishes not what someone else expects of you.
And focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.
Make sure you think about all the areas of your life: romantic relationships, friendships, family, career, personal growth, hobbies, health and quality of life, and so on.
After you’ve outlined the most important things, add specifics.
Your vision should provide some detail about what measurable results you are going to achieve in your life and when.
And finally, don’t try to make it perfect. Relax and make this exercise fun. You can always come back to it later and change something.
2. Make a list of things you love to do.
A few questions to ask yourself are:
- What does your ideal day look like?
- When have you been happiest in your life?
- What makes you feel really alive and energized?
Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down everything that comes to mind. Even if it’s something really small, like “reading a good book” or “crossing things off the to-do list”, or something big like “traveling”.
The purpose is to make the list as long as possible. After you’ve done it, go through your list and mark the things that are your favorite. This way you will be able to narrow it down to the things you really love to do and you won’t forget anything.
3. Write down all your talents, passions, and values.
Go even further, write down all your talents, passions, and values.
The goal of this exercise is to get you to get an even better idea of who you are.
First, write down all the things you’re good at or are very knowledgeable about. Remember, you don’t have to be really talented or gifted, just good at these things. Don’t be shy. Try to come up with as many things as possible. Maybe even talk to your friends and colleagues to ask them what you should put on that list. Their answers may surprise you.
Second, list your real passions and interests. You can take all of the things that you put on your list in the previous step, but also add the things that are just important to you – your values. For example, friendship, health, spirituality, adventure, love, etc. If you know your values, then you know what you want, you know who you are, you know where you stand.
4. Try things you’ve never tried before.
Now that you have a list of things you know you like to do, it’s time to find something you had no idea you love. So get out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve never done before.
You might actually already have a bucket list of things you always wanted to do, start with them. (Or, if you don’t, brainstorm as many new things as possible that you could do in the nearest future).
Become the “YES” man, be more open to new activities and ideas. Your friend is inviting you to go somewhere you’ve never been before? Go! Saw some exotic food on the menu? Try it! A new group class at your gym? Join it!
You will become less self-centered, and begin to have a wider view, which will make it easier for you to figure out your life purpose.
5. Go someplace new.
Traveling is a good way to connect with other people and cultures, learn something new and reduce stress.
It will help you get to know yourself better because travel helps us break habits and expands our awareness. A break from routine can help us assess what really matters in our day-to-day lives.
6. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with your life?
Yes, answer the million-dollar question. Not only will it help you understand what you really want to do, but it will also become more clear how much money you actually need and for what.
For example, if your answer is “to go traveling around the world”, realistically you don’t need a million dollars for that, you can make your dream come true with much less money. You may realize that your crazy dream is actually achievable and you can start making steps towards it.
7. What would you want to be remembered for?
Answering this question will help you stay on the right track and do the things that will lead you towards being the kind of person you want to be.
This is not an easy question to answer, so maybe try breaking it into several easier ones like:
- How did you treat others?
- What was most important to you?
- What did you do for those you loved? What did you do for your community?
- How did you use your talents, time, and energy?
- What would make you proud?
When you combine the answers to all of these questions, you will get your life’s mission statement. A few sentences about how you want to live your life and what you aim to achieve.
8. Read an inspiring book (or books).
For example, something about the Law Of Attraction, like ‘Origins‘, or something about your other interests.
Or read inspiring quotes. Here are a few to get you started:
If you can't figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.— T.D. Jakes
If you organize your life around your passion, you can turn your passion into your story and then turn your story into something bigger – something that matters. — Blake Mycoskie
You can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. — Steve Jobs
If your life is cloudy and you’re far, far off course, you may have to go on faith for a while, but eventually you’ll learn that every time you trust your internal navigation system, you end up closer to your right life. — Martha Beck
9. Talk to strangers.
Meet your neighbors, talk to someone on your commute, or chat with people in your local bar or pub. Of course, remember that there are boundaries and don’t push it if you see people are not interested in talking to you. But make an effort to meet someone new.
When you talk to people you don't know and who aren't like you, you get the chance to break out of your comfort zone and change your view of reality altogether. This can spark creative ideas, give you a chance to look at your life from a different angle, and plenty more.
To get you started, here is my story of how I tried to discover my life purpose and live the life I always wanted to. Maybe it will help you look at your situation in a new light, too.
10. Reconnect with old friends.
At the same time, do not forget about your old friends. They have known you for a long while and may give you good advice and remind you of the things you’ve actually wanted for many years.
And they won’t judge you for having “insane” dreams, they will be there to help you achieve them. So pick up the phone, and arrange a catch-up right now.