When you Need Help Finding Your Purpose…
This is something that some people search their whole lives for, while others seem to have been born knowing what they want in life. If you are among the majority that is still feeling stuck and not sure what your purpose is these five questions will help.
Mark Twain once said the two greatest days in a person’s life are the day they’re born and the day they discover why. Deep? Definitely. But let’s be honest it’s important to know your ’why’ in our careers and personally. We have all at one time or another asked ourselves, “Why am I here?”
“I believe that everybody has a purpose and was created for a reason,” says John Maxwell. “Your purpose is an anchor that keeps you grounded. It’s also your North Star that helps you soar. But it’s not always easy to find.”
If you are struggling to find your purpose start by asking yourself these five questions.
What do you do well?
This question helps you uncover that unique talent that helps you stand out and sets you apart from others. Perhaps you are good at motivating others, have an aptitude for electronics, or you are great with your hands. Whether you have a hard or soft skill, knowing what you do well will give you direction when thinking of ways to use your talent in finding your purpose.
What do your friends say you do well?
Sometimes, it can be hard to recognize your own talent. Especially, when you are looking for a marketable talent. When something comes naturally or easy to us, it does not always seem special in our own eyes. To get clarity, ask your closest connections what they think you are good at doing that they would pay someone to do for them. We all have blind spots when it concerns seeing our own self-worth, so asking others to help you identify your talents is a must. (Ask several so you can easily identify talents that are identified multiple times.)
If you could be or do anything, what would that look like?
This question speaks to your internal desires and can also give you clarity when searching for your purpose. When answering consider all the things you enjoy doing in your free time, projects you volunteer for, and things you seek out opportunities to participate in. Think about the times you are working and time flies or you can easily immerse yourself in when completing a task.
Hopefully, these things align with your talents that you listed and that your connections identified. Remember it is important during this point to not confuse purpose with passion. If you are passionate about something but you are not good at it, that should be a hobby not necessarily a career.
What gives you results when you do something?
Your true career purpose will have great potential for return, and this question helps you identify things you do that generate results. Case in point, if your talent is in sales, you likely hit your goals every month even exceed them. If you are good at innovative thinking or electronics, people should already be taking notice and seeking you out for ideas or bringing you their tech problems. Pay close attention to the tasks you do that people praise you for or that you have received awards for.
Strengths and purpose are more than knowledge, says Maxwell. “Knowledge is overrated”, he says. “I can ask Siri, and she’ll tell me what I need to know. But what value is something if you know it but don’t use it? The result of knowing or learning is action application.”
How can you get better?
Once you establish your uniqueness, next you will develop and strive to master it to set yourself apart. While having talent helps make you special, developing it further can make you stand out as an expert or specialist. Your growth potential is connected to your marketable strengths and when you work to improve those strengths, you will have a greater chance of career success.
Why purpose is important
When someone is wandering aimlessly, they usually have not yet identified their purpose in life. Once you discover your purpose, you can live life on purpose as intentionality helps you live your best life. Only in extreme rarities has anyone ever been successful doing something they did not like, and no one has ever been successful doing something they cannot do well. I observe professionals all the time doing things they do not really enjoy and wondering why they cannot find success or grow. Success happens when you know your purpose in life and having a plan of action to help you reach your highest level of potential.