Finding Your Life Purpose Comes From A Focus On The Whole, Not The Parts
A common question I often hear from Stonyhill-Nugget readers and coaching clients is how do we discover our “life-purpose”. They hear that the path to happiness and success in life is directly related to discovering our life purpose, but they want to know more about the skills needed to actually accomplish that important goal.
What seems to be missing and frustrating for so many people today is their inability to discover a deeper sense of why they are here. What were they meant to do with their lives? They often say “I have a good job, a great family, a college degree, enough money to get by on, but I’m not happy. Life feels like a treadmill. Something is missing in my life. I don’t feel a sense of meaning or purpose in my life.”
The discovery of our life-purpose is much easier than most people think, but it does require looking inside and thinking carefully about a few important questions.
The first question is what do you most value or love in your life? What motivates you and gives you energy? What do you have a passion for? The answers to these questions will be the bedrock or foundation of your life purpose. Most of us tend to look out into the world when we want to figure out what our life purpose could or might be, but it’s not uncommon to discover that we intuitively knew our life purpose very early in life. Because our life purpose is so much a part of who are, we tend to discount our gifts, our inner-wisdom, those things we are passionate about, and begin to look to the outside world for the knowledge we already possess.
The second question we need to think about in the quest to discover our life-purpose is simply—-how could we use the discoveries from the first question to add value to the lives of those around us? Life-purpose is almost always about contributing to the world, not getting something from the world. Until we make that shift in our thinking, our life purpose will elude us. Part of the frustration and dissatisfaction we experience around the lack of meaning in our life comes from our confusion between life-purpose and career. A career is often about financial success and recognition. When we earn money or prestige living into the deeper meaning of our life-purpose, it will come to us as a by-product; not as a primary goal. Our life purpose is primarily other focused; not self-focused.
To discover our life-purpose, the third question we have to ask ourselves is what it would mean to shift our focus from the pieces and parts of reality; the “stuff” that fills up the days and years of our life… and begin to focus our attention on the wholeness of reality. Our modern culture encourages busyness, and it rewards those who become experts in narrow scientific subjects or highly technical fields. The tighter and more specialized our field of expertise, the more “successful” we are likely to be.
If our goal is discovering our life purpose it will require that we learn to look at the wholeness of things; the wholeness of reality. The wholeness of our life; The wholeness of our planet; The wholeness of humanity. Stated another way, our life purpose comes into sharper focus when we move out of the small world we’ve been living in, and begin to embrace the larger contexts of reality. For example, instead of a focus on the world immediately around us, our world becomes larger. We begin to think about the creation of things that have not yet been created. We begin to wonder about the evolution of human consciousness, or how we might contribute to the healing of our planet by protecting the life forms that, like us, refer to our planet as “home”.
Our life purpose can use the skills and wisdom we have gathered in the first half of our life, but those skills and wisdom have to be applied to the wholeness of reality if our goal is to embrace the life we were born to live; if we are to become the person we were meant to become.
Stated simply, the focus of our life purpose will always ask the question… instead of simply existing day to day, how can I begin to use my gifts to change the world and add value to the lives of others? How can I make a difference?
When you can answer those questions, you will have found your life purpose.