Many people talk about finding their purpose.
But how many people really take active steps toward doing so? Being a life coach is really all about helping people find their purpose. And as I’ve seen as a career coach and executive coach as well, when people seek their purpose, it often involves figuring out their professional purpose.
How do you know what your purpose might be, whether at work on in your life in general? The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong purpose. Doing what you are meant to do on the planet brings fulfillment and joy.
That said, it can feel frustrating if you’re unsure about what you’re meant to do. It can feel even worse if you feel like you’re working in the wrong direction, going at “cross-purposes” against what your authentic mission might be.
Here are some thoughts to help you identify your purpose and start moving closer to it today:
Ask yourself: what do you most enjoy doing? What could you do all day, even if you weren’t getting paid for your time? Although some of your answers may lead you toward activities that are more like hobbies and not really your true purpose, there still may be clues in your responses. If you enjoy socializing, but you work in a desk job with little interaction, you may be unhappy. Likewise, if you’re in a sales position but you prefer doing independent research or crunching numbers behind the scenes, your purpose may lie in a different direction.
Try out: new things. If you feel clueless about your purpose, you may be stuck in a rut. Fresh inspiration can wake you up to fresh ideas about what you’d love to do. Take some classes just because they interest you. Join some discussion groups, and find ways to meet new people. Talk to others about how they found their purpose; their experience may be useful to you.
Leave your: comfort zone. Sometimes we grow complacent about what we do for a living, and what we do in our lives. Maybe you’ve found a career where the money is good, or maybe you’re in a routine that makes it easy to stop thinking about what kind of lifestyle would really work best for you. Don’t let this happen to you make an effort to shake things up.
Don’t let: failure deter you. Maybe you have an idea about what your purpose is, but you’ve been bruised by some setbacks. They say that the only difference between failure and success is that those who fail stop trying, while those who succeed push on even in the face of failure, and don’t stop until they succeed. If there’s something you need to get better at, take the time to do it, even if it means facing multiple rejections or failures on your way to getting better at your craft.
And remember: your purpose can change over time. If something in your life has stopped working, consider whether an old purpose that you had focused on previously may have run its course. Life is long, and we can have many different purposes over time or even more than one at the same. Sometimes your purpose is not a specific activity or career, but more about your approach to life.
So if you haven’t identified your purpose yet, don’t stop trying; don’t stop striving. Your purpose is worth discovering. I’d love to help you discover yours.
Mark Strong is a Life Coach, Career Coach, and Executive Coach based in NYC. You can find more information at www.markstrongcoaching.com.