It’s the age-old question asked by people in different parts of the world – “What is my purpose in life?” In other words, “What am I here to accomplish?” Figuring out your place in the world can be a difficult feat, especially since nowadays, people expect you to have it all figured out at an early age. For a few lucky people, the calling does come early, and they spend their days living out their dream. But what about the rest of us?
For those of us who found our purpose later in life (or for those who are still searching), all is not lost. First, figure out why you are searching for your life purpose. Is it because of a deep interest in what you were meant to do in life, or because someone (or some article) stated you needed to have a purpose in life? If it is the latter, reconsider your search; there is no harm in simply floating through life (albeit being a productive member of society) for a bit. However, if you have the nagging urge to truly discover what you were meant to do in your life, read on.
Sit down and think: Are you satisfied with your life as it is? And I’m talking about the here and now. Where would you rank your life at this very moment, on a scale of 1 to 10? If you rank yourself around an 8 or above, consider yourself lucky. Anyone with that level of satisfaction in their current life has likely already found their purpose. Because remember, not every day is going to be filled with rainbows and sunshine; it takes an occasional storm to create that beauty.
Now, for those of you who rated your life at a 7 or below, let’s talk. If you’ve ranked yourself at those lower levels, you obviously have some sense of dissatisfaction with your current life. So, think back to a time when you were truly, 100 percent happy. Envision everything about that time in your life – what stands out, what was it about that time that made you feel good? Part of your answer might be tied to having less responsibility, feeling more carefree and having less to worry about. If that is the case, think about your current worries; how many of them could go away? Sure, it would be great if they could all disappear, but be realistic – how many of those current worries could you lessen or do away with? Start there – downsize your worries. It won’t be simple, especially if you’ve been worrying about those things for years. Keep a journal for a week if you aren’t particularly sure about all the worries you have; you can keep it with you to track worries throughout the day, or you can write it all down at the end of the day.
Once you have discovered those worries, make a promise to stop thinking about at least one of them for a week. If the thought comes into your head, have a mantra to eliminate it. The first few days will be tough, but by the end of the week it will get easier. Keep eliminating worries as the weeks go on until you feel more comfortable with your life. To eliminate your worries and repetitive negative thoughts related to them, you should focus on positive aspects of your life. Positive psychology became incredibly popular in the past 10 years as it is aimed on making ordinary life more fulfilling through changing person’s attitude and increasing his level of happiness in daily life.
After eliminating a majority of worries, you will be free to think about your life purpose once more. Worries distract of us from thinking about this, since we devote so much energy to the worries. Focus your energy on what makes you happy – it could be volunteering, it might be donating money to a charitable cause, or it could be a whole life overhaul. Remember, the point is to be happy and satisfied with the life you (not anyone else) chose.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Kaminsky is a blogger, a mother of two, and a PhD student at the University of Toronto. Anna is a strong believer in the power of positive psychology combined with Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy theory, and she tries to promote both through her writing and PhD research. You can connect with Anna on Google+
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