If you find yourself shuffling through your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s (or even later) and feeling the disappointment of not knowing your life purpose, be assured there’s still time.
You may be surprised to discover you actually have more in common with people you have admired that seem to have achieved finding their purpose and have prospered, and have had impact on the world. Because as these highly prosperous and purpose-filled people eventually figured out, your dreams have no age limit — and neither does your life’s purpose.
Most of us struggle to know what we want to do with our lives, even if we’ve already finished school, got a job, changed careers, met our life partner or had children.
The length of time or number of attempts and reattempts it takes to discover your ‘calling’ isn’t the issue. The problem lays in the possibility of regret — in never having acknowledged what our purpose might be and then acted on it.
Finding your purpose means finding a way to impact the world in a way that fulfills your heart, confirms your gifts and calling, and gives you peace, joy and contentment. Your purpose aligns with your dreams, your values and your actions.
It gives meaning to your existence.
Mark Twain famously declared that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
So how do you find out why you were born?
Trust that you really do have a higher purpose by finding the Higher Power: God
Just because you haven’t discovered it yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t! Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, see any ‘wrong turns’ as an opportunity to figure out what you don’t want and what will not get you there. Know that some of the most purpose-filled people are those who have reinvented themselves time and time again…failed over and over again.
Listen to your inner knowing
Learning to find and then live your purpose is largely an inside job. You need to do soul-searching. So go somewhere you can sit without distraction and connect with God in a way that works for you. Journal. Meditate. Speak to someone you trust. Just get out of your head and into your heart. Don’t let your failures disqualify you… they are actually your qualification. Your brokenness is key as God is closest to the broken hearted. Rejecting your brokenness is like rejecting a huge part of your purpose and identity.
Identify your passions, your values, and your goals
Do things that will get you where you know you want to go. In the book of Jeremiah it states, “when you get serious about finding Me you won’t be disappointed, as He already knows the plans He has for you. You’ll find your passions, values, gifts and talents will emerge as you get in touch with. your purpose.
Take action, every day
Once you begin to hone in on your passions, values and goals, work on aligning them with your actions. Commit to honoring them as best you can, every day. How can you take action right now, even on a small scale? Once you start taking inspired action, notice how it feels.
Passion is the key to a purposeful life. When you are inspired and connected to what brings you joy, you find the motivation to create and experience even more of what lights you up.
Think about your answers from a purpose-driven posture and connect them to the action of helping others and raising them up to be all they can be in whatever place you find yourself. Grow where you’re planted. How can you use your purpose to leave a lasting effect on the world? Is there an issue you care about? How can you start to contribute to it? You may not fix all of humanity’s problems on your own, but you can contribute. Walking in your purpose will bring fulfillment, peace and joy to your heart knowing you are doing God’s will for your life.
Don’t just make it about money
If you can channel your calling into a career, then great! However, living on-purpose can be achieved in many ways – it may well be in your current job or career.
“If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living — that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing. Work to live, not live to work. You can find your purpose peeling potatoes.
True success is really about living life on-purpose.
BH/ Rebecca Sparks/Adapted/ Inspiration: Nicole Murphy
Resource: Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren