Have you ever thought about what your purpose is? Have you ever wondered how you might be able to find your purpose? Whether you’ve found your purpose or aren’t sure where and how to get started on your purpose journey, we’ve got you covered with inspiration for taking steps closer to a more purpose-filled life.
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How do you define purpose?
Everybody defines purpose differently, so the first step to finding your purpose is to determine what purpose means.
A definition that has always resonated with Coley centers around purpose is tied to a natural inclination at the beginning of our lives. Or, in other words, what our childhood selves lean into before running up against the pressure of society.
“There’s some core part of us, even where we’re little, that knows what we’re meant to do in some way.”
Similarly, Nina emphasized a need for individuals to define what pleasurable work feels like or what feelings one wants to experience in life to reach a true sense of purpose. For example, a feeling of gratification after hustling hard for something may create a sense of purpose for some.
Define and determine what purpose looks like for you as the first step by your own standards.
Where am I supposed to get started with discovering my purpose?
If you aren’t sure where to get started, you aren’t alone.
Nina shared that finding her purpose wasn’t a journey she embarked on until her twenties. She felt that she was moseying through life a lot of the time, fulfilling others’ expectations instead of defining her aspirations.
She overcame this by exposing herself to more people and figuring out which elements of life, from those around her, she wanted to incorporate into her own life to be happier.
Coley didn’t necessarily know how to get started either. She didn’t know what she wanted for herself and her life, but she began exploring her curiosities and trying new things until she could find what stuck. Even though she worried others perceived her as inconsistent, she needed to explore what worked to discover her purpose.
Seasons of exploration
Not every season will be a purpose-filled one (mainly if you aren’t sure what your purpose is yet), but there are ways to take advantage of the seasons of exploration.
Read this: What is purpose anxiety?
Utilizing bridge jobs for discovering your dream job
If you feel stuck in a career that doesn’t feel like a perfect fit for your purpose, consider it more of a bridge job — a bridge to the job you truly want.
Bridge jobs can help you get to the next level without feeling overwhelmed trying to make significant moveintes into your purpose. When you figure out your purpose, don’t feel pressured to move full steam ahead into that role if it’s something completely different from what you’re doing.
Keep in mind that a bridge job is what you make of it. How you frame it for yourself and the ways you choose to take advantage of that time are up to you.
Have you ever thought about what you want to do in life outside of yourself? What do you want to leave behind? What kind of footprint do you want to leave on the world once you’re gone?
Legacy thinking can help you explore your identity deeper as you think about what you want to be known for. This larger-than-life lens can pull you out of the day-to-day if you’re having a hard time thinking about your purpose on that level.
“I don’t think that we should not have money goals or want to be financially secure. All of those things are great, but what’s the bigger reason?”
What’s most important to consider is that everyone has something to offer. We can all learn something new from someone else, so dream big and focus on the more significant impact you want to leave, even if it seems unattainable at first.
Living with intention
Your purpose doesn’t have to be over-engineered and specific. It can be simplistic and more of a guiding light for your choices on a regular basis.
Nina’s purpose: Collecting as many experiences that she sees as fun or enjoyable in whatever way possible to enjoy her only life.
Nina leaned into her purpose by challenging herself to turn life occurrences into learning lessons or battle scars and looks at them as souvenirs for the only life she has. This perspective has made every single day and moment more meaningful and intentional.
Choosing to participate in life actively is purposeful.
Read this next: Still feeling out of touch with your purpose?
How will you start leaning more into your purpose?