I find that a major cause of anxiety and depression can be a result of feeling unfulfilled in our daily lives, which is often brought on by not living to our fullest potential because we are not fulfilling our true purpose. You may not not know what your purpose is or perhaps you do know, but are unable to put it into practice for a variety of reasons.
We all need purpose. Even someone who has had a long, successful career and is now retired needs a purpose, which is often why retired people take up hobbies, volunteer or even return to work! Without it, we can feel numb, frustrated and depressed, with many people simply ‘making it through’ the working week and living for the weekend. This saddens me, as life should be about so much more than this and I truly believe that everyone was put on this earth for a reason and that we all have special gifts to give.
The popular book ‘The Alchemist’ tells the story of Santiago who goes in search of his ‘personal legend’, which is our destiny in life- the act of discovering our purpose and pursuing it. Within the book, he learns to follow his heart, listen to his intuition and be mindful of the omens that life provides us with.
People often do not pursue their calling because of a variety of reasons that range from fear of failure, lack of financial stability, being unsure where to start or unable to identify what their calling is. The Alchemist teaches us to never stop believing that there is a greater plan out there and to believe in the power of pursuing our purpose. The book’s author, Paulo Coelho said that ‘people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of’ and I believe that is true.
Here are some tips for finding your purpose:
- Ask yourself what you love and what comes easily to you
We all have passions and gifts. How can you merge the two? What interests and excites you? Start there, then go deeper.
2. Listen to your instincts
We were all born with a strong inner compass that informs us of the things that bring us joy. Connect with that voice and honor what you love by allowing yourself to live it.
3. Work with a life coach.
Often it is hard to ‘see the wood for the trees’ and finding a place for our passion can be overwhelming. This is where a professional life coach can be really helpful in guiding us towards our purpose and helping us to set solid goals to bring them to life.
4. Do ‘The Passion Test’
The Passion Test was developed by Chris and Janet Atwood to help you find your passion in life. They are the authors of the book ‘The Passion Test – The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose’ and have helped people in more than 50 countries on their journey to fulfillment.
5. Find your Ikigai
Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means ‘a reason for being’ and is usually used to indicate the things that make one’s life worthwhile. The term roughly means ‘the thing that you live for’ or ‘the reason for which you wake up in the morning.’ Read all about start-up founder Chris Myers’ journey to find his Ikigai here.
6. Take action!
Jack Canfield said ‘you have the power to achieve greatness and create anything you want in life – but you must take action!’ Taking action can be a scary thing, especially when you don’t necessarily know where to start, but nothing can change unless you do something about it. Surround yourself with like-minded people, give yourself deadlines, find ways that you can get inspired and set goals to hold yourself accountable. You’ll be amazed how things begin to happen once you just start. Remember that passion + action = a purposeful life.
You were born with a purpose and have your own unique gift(s) to share with the world. Whatever your calling, know that you are worthy of success and worthy of being happy on a daily basis, not just on the weekend or when you’re on vacation. Life is short, so go after your dreams and goals, and don’t stop until you get there.
Do you know what your purpose is? Are you living your purpose or do are you still trying to figure it out? Leave us a comment below.
With Love, Ione