Finding Life Purpose: Four Things You Need to Know
Without life purpose, you are purpose-less, adrift throughout life. To find your purpose, though, takes some experience and maturity to be live more consciously, more on purpose, more soulfully.
Once you become a “grown up,” you aren’t necessarily an adult, even if you are biologically full grown. That is, you are not a completely conscious, developed human, although you can continue to grow expand if you choose. Growth is no longer automatic.
Science Breakthrough for Mental Stages of Development
The conventional wisdom used to be that growth was largely physical — what you see is what you get. Yes, the mind of a child develops to a teen and adult, corresponding with school grades — and then you ‘graduate’ into adulthood.
It was a breakthrough for science when in recent years it was discovered that new brain cells could grow in an adult. The old notion of limited growth was upended. Growth didn’t end after you started so-called adulthood.
But what’s more profound is you can spiritually transform yourself — and finding and living life purpose is (potentially) part of your most important development.
Four Keys for Finding Life Purpose
Here are four things to know about your all-important purpose.
1) You must take care of your survival needs. Get your head above water, so to speak, and then swim where you want to go..
If life is always a day-to-day struggle in feeding yourself and your family, paying the bills and getting by, it’s hard to see a bigger world, much less contribute to it. Take care of your responsibilities, go one step at a time. Don’t let your challenges define and limit you. Yes you have bills and conflicts, but that is only part of it.
A study conducted at Hope College in Holland, Michigan showed if participants took a difficult experience and viewed it for two minutes as an “opportunity to grow, learn or become stronger,” they experienced positive change.
The negative event did not create a threat response with elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Instead, their bodies and muscles actually relaxed.
The lesson here: take care of yourself, and in the process, keep learning and growing.
2) Use your gifts, talents, skills and interests.
The spiritual journey is built right into us. What we do well and enjoy is exactly what we are here to do and develop. If you like music, or children, or construction, or research follow those interests.
Important note: Have a goal to see where it leads you to a better place. By having larger-than-self goals, you naturally start to think bigger, more globally.
You then determine where you are best meant to serve:
with individuals (one-to-one)
with societal change
or with helping to change humanity. (period)
3) You don’t have to be perfect.
Many coaches and holistic practitioners resist niching (having a specialty area like pain-relief, helping singles find a partner, growing a business), mistakenly thinking they will limit themselves by being too specific with what they offer.
Ironically, for example though, people want help from a specialist, a person who can directly relieve their specific pain, or a relationship specialist that can help them with a relationship.
So too with finding your life purpose. You can’t don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to “get it right.” You can’t know the future anyway. But you can take your next step, using your talents and skills. And you can only take one step at a time.
Breathe, relax, consider your next step and then take it.
4) Look at life from the end of it.
Studies show, and common sense confirms, life is about living not being afraid to live. Mistakes are inevitable.
You train yourself when you fall to have a reflex response to get up again. Mistakes, however confounding, become a growth opportunity. But missing opportunities out of fear can be regretted.
Psychologist Randi Gunther reported that:
“I have asked hundreds of people to go back in time and remember a pivotal decision they had made in the past. I query them with ‘If you could go back in time, knowing then what you know now, would you have made the same decision? If not, would you have chosen to take a more conservative route or taken a greater risk?’
“Only one person out of all those I’ve queried has told me he would have opted for more security. All the others, in retrospect, would have taken more risks… they tell me.”
You will fall and err and that’s part of crafting a purposeful, fulfilling life.
Final Thoughts on Finding Your Life Purpose
So living fully, purposefully goes something like this…
Once you get into early adulthood and start meeting your lower needs (safety, security, belonging), you then can focus more on your higher needs of self-actualizing and self-transcending.
You become increasingly more aware of the world, in broader and deeper ways. You have a larger context to live out your life.
Naturally you want to craft the best life for yourself, from moment-to-moment, day to day, keeping in mind the big picture of your life and the world.
You don’t need to be perfect, which is an impossibility anyhow, as you know. Strive for excellence, not perfection. You Just keep following your heart, developing your skills and talents, using your life as an instrument for bringing out the best in yourself, which you trust in turn will help others in the process.
Living your life fully, on purpose, becomes a life-long work of art that takes a lifetime.
For more on developing your life purpose see our Spiritual/Holistic Life Coach and Healer Certification Program.