Are you wondering how to find your purpose in this life?
We're like glow sticks, you and I.
Glow sticks are fine and good when we get them, solid little chunks that take up space. But it isn't until we break them, crack them, bend them until they split that we active their brilliance. Until we see what color they were made to be and we're able to illuminate the world around us with their beautiful glow.
It's the same with how we find our purpose.
Can we uncover our purpose without the bending, cracking, and breaking open?
Sure. There are plenty of people who've found their calling without having to walk through a challenging chapter or big life transition first.
AND, for most of us... it takes a truly life-changing chapter to activate us.
So, let's talk about what it takes to find your purpose (and the purpose of your path)—who you’re here to be and the work you’re here to do.
In order to find your purpose we have to start by answering the big question of: what is ‘purpose’?
Are you ready to find your purpose, but don't know what that even means?
Purpose is your calling—what you feel called to do in this lifetime
You were put here for a reason, with your unique personality, skills, passions and point of view. You’re meant to do very unique work in this world.
“And what’s that?” you might be wondering.
To find your purpose, you need to understand the difference between a calling and a whim. This is an important place to start, and both are crucial to the process.
Definition of a WHIM: “A sudden or capricious idea; a fancy. Arbitrary thought or impulse: governed by whim.”
Definition of a CALLING: “A vocation, profession, or trade; a call or summons; a strong impulse or inclination.”
Let’s take a closer look at the difference between the two and how they come into play and help you find your purpose.
A calling is magnetic and all-consuming.
Callings draw you towards them. They start as a tiny nagging thought or feeling, then begin to consume your mind and drive your everyday life. They can’t be ignored. You’ll feel a sense of urgency and a strong inclination to follow a calling, whereas a whim is oftentimes fleeting.
Whims are impulsive and may feel as though they’ve come out of nowhere. Callings start deep inside of us, stirring and growing over time until they simply can’t be ignored any longer. Ignoring a strong calling will leave you feeling frustrated, unfulfilled, antsy and very discontent with your life and career if these things are out of alignment.
The core focus of a calling is always present.
If you feel called to care for animals, inspire healthy lifestyle changes in others or end global warming, that will always drive you, regardless of how you choose to act on it. If you’re called to care for animals, you may be a veterinarian, create a nonprofit against factory farming, become a vegan health coach or even just foster shelter animals until they can find their forever homes. You may even do one or more of these in your lifetime, but the core of what calls you will always be present.
If you’re called to inspire healthy lifestyle changes in others, you may be a health coach, write a cookbook, start a gluten-free baked goods store or become a personal trainer. You may also just love to cook healthy meals, learn about organic urban farming and keep yourself in shape, effectively inspiring those around you to do the same. Inspiring change is always present.
Whims, on the other hand, vary greatly. There may be times you feel a desire to be active, social, rebellious or experimental, while other times you feel the desire to be still, go inside yourself or cut ties. They are necessary, but they are also temporary.
Callings are about contribution. Always, to some degree.
Whether you feel called to make art or change the course of global warming, all callings are about contributing to the world. Through your words, actions, presence and creations. This is why they matter.
Your views, experiences, voice and ideas are meant to be shared and your calling will align itself with some way to express these things, though the medium varies from person to person. Your calling is as unique as you are.
Whims are more selfish and focused on you — what you feel the desire or need to do for yourself in this moment. Achieving some desired feeling, experience, knowledge or connection. Whims feed and fuel us, allow us to rejuvenate our spirits and refill the well of ideas and inspiration, but they’re narrow by nature.
If you’re struggling to find your purpose, start by asking yourself these questions:
What is it you feel compelled to do?
Sit with it and decide, has it been nagging at you or does it feel impulsive and random?
Callings draw you toward them. They start as a tiny nagging thought or feeling, then begin to consume your mind and drive your everyday life. They can’t be ignored. You’ll feel a sense of urgency and a strong inclination to follow a calling, whereas a whim is oftentimes fleeting. It may be too soon to tell if this is a new calling, so keep working through the questions.
If so, it’s likely a calling.
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