I titled this blog post “How To Find Your Purpose” because this is the way many people think about their life purpose – as something to be found or discovered. I also used to think of purpose this way.
I felt that if only I could find my purpose (or even better, be told!), THEN I would know what kind of action to take that would bring me happiness, peace, and prosperity.
However, my many years of in pursuit of purpose has taught me one big lesson:
Purpose is not something that is found at all. It is created.
Give up the fruitless search for purpose
The search for purpose often looks something like this:
- devouring books, podcasts and TED talks,
- doing countless “What’s Your Passion?” worksheets and clever personality tests,
- asking every friend, psychic, and tarot reader around for their input,
- making exhaustive lists of skills and talents and trying to find a perfect job match,
- and of course, the good ol’ “waiting for a sign.”
It’s a passive search that is fruitless because, although it may offer you lots of good INFORMATION, it cannot offer you your purpose.
In fact, this kind of aimless searching often just leads us to more confusion, doubt, powerlessness, and overwhelm. From this low-energy state, nothing good can be created and nothing good can be allowed into your reality. This is also a disconnected state where we can be easily misguided by others’ opinions and the many offers of quickie solutions to our “problems.”
Not a fun place to be (says the woman who once lingered there for far too long).
Here’s what I suggest instead:
Take Aligned Action
True purpose is born out of taking ACTION that is aligned with the unique and powerful being that you already ARE.
Therefore, in order to discover your purpose you don’t need to search far and wide, but rather you need to connect inside with yourself so that you can feel, know, and trust who you really are. And then ACT on it.
Connect with yourself and purpose will unfold naturally
When you are connected with the brilliance of who you are as a unique human being – with your unique essence, your unique gifts, and your unique preferences – you naturally begin to think, say, and do things that are in alignment with your soul.
You become more fully alive and in the flow.
In this state, purpose simply unfolds.
When you’re in tune with your intuition, you begin to CREATE things and experiences that match up with your true self.
As you begin to find meaning and joy in your creations, you call this meaning and joy: YOUR PURPOSE. (Thanks to John P Morgan for this particular explanation.)
Before long you realize that you are LIVING your purpose, for purpose is what naturally emerges out of the creative state.
Learn to Follow your joy
So, let’s return to the question at hand: How do I find my purpose?
My best response: Get in touch with who you really are and begin to ACT upon it. Step into your role as a Creator and watch as your purpose unfolds without you having to search for it.
The fastest and easiest way to go about this is to simply follow your joy.
Follow what excites you.
Follow what makes you happy.
Follow what feels good.
Exercise: Follow Your Joy
- Close your eyes and relax your body and mind.
- Let go of attaching to your thoughts, even for just 2-3 seconds. Tune into a sense of quiet within your heart.
- Breathe and ask yourself: What is the most exciting thought I can come up with right now? Or, What thought do I have access to in this moment that makes me feel really freakin’ good?
- Then ask yourself: What does this thought inspire me to DO right now?
- Final step: DO IT.
Challenge yourself to actually follow through on what your inner self is calling you to do.
It could be as simple as taking a nap. Looking at your shelf and choosing a book that catches your eye. Calling a friend. Writing in a journal. Leaving the house without even necessarily knowing where you intend to go – let your intuition guide you.
I promise that the more you practice following your inner impulses, the better you will feel. The more clarity you will experience. The more inspiration will flow through you. And the more energy you will have to take action that propels you heart-first into your purpose.
Committing to the above exercise every day will deepen your connection with yourself as well as give you an immediate taste of what it feels like to live ON PURPOSE.
Try it out. Get addicted to this taste! Get addicted to this alignment!
Get addicted to being who you truly are.
A final note
Take a look around you. Notice that people who follow their JOY on a consistent basis are people who are naturally living out their purpose. The two go hand in hand.
They didn’t get there by searching or asking.
They actively create their purpose each and every day by prioritizing their own happiness.
Yes, they put themselves first. And as a result, the whole world benefits from the love and creativity that overflows from them.
I say it’s a win-win.
Stephanie Lin is a Certified Life Coach and Ascension Guide with a Master’s degree in Buddhism from Columbia University. Her passion is working with highly sensitive beings, guiding them through deep shadow work and teaching them to heal their heart, master their mind, and shine their Spirit.