Is Finding Your Purpose in Life Overrated?

February 2, 2022

Stephenie Zamora, a 37 year old white woman with brown hair smiles in a selfie against a mountain backdrop.

Is finding your purpose in life overrated?

It’s a fair question and a fairly common one at that.

My answer to this is probably obvious: no, it’s not.

What’s overrated is believing that we all have one set purpose in life.

In fact, that’s where we go wrong with the whole purpose conversation and why so many people hate the word. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, purpose is simple: Show up. Be yourself. Do what you feel called to do.

That’s it. That’s purpose.

For some people, they have a clear purpose in their life and work.

For others, they have multiple passions and interests that consume their life.

For everyone, purpose evolves as we do.

If finding your purpose in life is something that makes you crazy, stop trying.

Seriously, stop trying to find your purpose.

Instead, start following your whims and leaning into what calls you. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be some big, grand thing that’s altering the course of humanity. It doesn’t even have to seem meaningful to another soul in this world.

It just has to light you up and tug at your heart and soul.

Yours, no one else’s.

Paint and make art. Play outside. Go to museums that pique your interest. Take that class or go to that interesting event. Pick up an instrument and make some noise. Connect with new people. Go on new adventures. Write whatever wants to come out, even if it’s about nothing. Volunteer at that organization. Start that passion project. Research your heart out. Whatever it is that’s calling you right now, no matter how random it seems, go and do it. And do it with your whole self.

Your purpose in life is to be yourself.

If that involves specific work and impact, fantastic. If not, maybe your purpose is to enjoy the things that light you up.

Or maybe it’s both, and you’re meant to figure out your work down the line.

Trust your process; there’s no one right path to purpose.

You’re not doing it wrong if it what calls to you right now seems “small” or is reserved to your little corner of the world. Purpose is about contribution, and that contribution can show up in many different ways. There’s no right way to be purpose-driven. Really, the only requirement is to be yourself and do what calls to you with purpose. Be intentional and fully engaged in every step you take. Give yourself over to whatever calls you, and you’ll be living your purpose in life.

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