The most common question that comes up, and the one people ask for help with, is ''what's my purpose?'' Why do so many people want to know what their purpose is? Why are people so unhappy and frustrated by this feeling of not knowing what their purpose is? Why are people haunted by this a question of purpose, and what is this feeling of something missing, or just out of reach?
First and foremost you need to figure out what makes you happy.
Where people get stuck is not knowing what makes them happy. Purpose and happiness are inextricably linked, and the quickest and best way to get to your purpose is to find you happiness, your bliss.
The average person works 40-50 hours a week, 2000-2500 hours a year: wouldn't it be great to spend that time doing what you love, or even like, rather than something that you loathe and makes you unhappy? Spending this much time on something that does not create happiness is truly toxic.
When we're unhappy or depressed we’re contracting: we’re ripe and rotting and in a word, dying. When you're on purpose you're expanding and elevating: you're green and growing, alive and living.
When you're on purpose you're expanding your consciousness, and when you're expanding your consciousness you’re having an elevating impact on those around you, increasing the collective consciousness, and ultimately, changing the world! This is why it’s so important to be on purpose, and why so many people feel compelled to find their purpose: they want to feel alive and like they're contributing positively and meaningfully to the whole. This is why we need to find, and be, on purpose.
The good news is, once you work out what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about, you can find a job, set up a business or do some kind of work that is in alignment with that. Interestingly, many people seem to think that being on purpose and making money are mutually exclusive.
Let me tell you that it is totally possible to translate being on purpose to an income generating activity.
I know it’s possible, I've seen it with thousands of people. So if you’re one of those people in a job that you hate, you feel like your life is wasting away, and your days seem so long and painful, don’t lose faith because I know it’s possible for you to find a job that’s on purpose.
People who are on purpose have happier relationships and make more money!
The kinds of choices that we make account for 40% of what makes us happy. So making choices every day that have meaning and purposes makes us happy. Expressing our creativity makes us happier, and making other people happier makes us happy! We’re happier with experiences rather than buying things. Spending money on experiences that generate lovely memories and spending money in our community make us happier. Surprisingly enough, only 10% of our happiness comes from our living conditions. Also, part of the happiness quotient is that we need to be around quality people for 6 hours of every day. Emotions are contagious so surround yourself with people who have a positive effect on you. As Deepak Chopra says, don’t spend money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like! Same goes for time,
Don't spend what little time you have with people you don't like or who aren't good for you.
People sometimes do a deal with the devil. They’ll do a job just for money, because they feel like this is what they need to do to provide for their family. But if the job that you spend so much time at makes you miserable, how are you really helping your family? Doing a deal with the devil is doing a job for the sake of paying bills, at the cost of your own happiness and the happiness of the people around you.
For example, you're ready to leave school and you know in your heart that what you really want is to become an artist. Then your parents tell you that being an artist is not a "stable" or a "safe" job, and will not provide enough income for everything that you’ll need to pay for. So you take a job that makes “enough” money, and slowly but surely you begin to get miserable. When we're not fulfilled in our own lives, we start looking for fulfilment from things outside of ourselves such as possessions, luxuries and indulgences we never knew we needed, until now. And of course now there is never enough money to get those things you need to finally make you feel happy. This creates a vicious cycle because you think you need more stuff, but this stuff can't give you the fulfilment you're looking for. The sooner you realise this, the sooner you can stop buying all that expensive stuff you don't actually need. By the way, the ego wants to keep you on this hamster wheel, but that’s a topic for another post.
Happiness is an inside job. Being of service will lead you to your purpose.
Set your life up around what you love. If you happen to get a Ferrari from doing what you love, you'll actually appreciate it.
People speak about having it all. Let me level with you: you can’t have it all. In fact, do you really want it all? In having it all, the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect schooling, the perfect everything, you're probably going to have to do a deal with the devil. Have you ever noticed how people with too much money seem to have a lot of problems? Similarly, people with not enough money also suffer!
Very rich people think about money all the time, and very poor people think about money all the time.
What you really want is enough to make it possible for you to be on purpose all the time, where being on purpose means spending time with your loved ones, doing things you love, together. If you think your family wants you to work harder to make more money, you’re probably wrong. Most probably they want you to be around more so that they can spend more time with you!
A balanced life is having a purposeful life. You need to work out what the balance is for you to having a happy life. You need to make time for the things that make you happy. Being able to live a life of purpose means fitting your work around those things that make you happy and keep you on purpose. Mostly people get this the wrong way around and try to squeeze all the meaningful stuff around their work, which means that all the important stuff often ends up falling by the wayside.
There is nothing more inspiring and beautiful than watching someone do something that they love. Whether it’s a child absorbed in their favourite hobby, sport or playing with their favourite toy. There’s so much joy and happiness in that activity, and that joy is contagious. Similarly, there’s nothing more miserable and depressing than watching someone do something that they hate.
Career dissatisfaction is the biggest happiness killer.
Did you know that people experience their boss ignoring them as worse than their boss criticizing them? This is where your 6 hours-worth of quality people each day becomes important. We humans are social beings and much of our happiness comes from healthy and satisfying relationships.
If you're getting confused between goals, means and purpose let’s look at Mother Theresa as an example. Mother Theresa’s purpose, if I may make a guess, was almost certainly to be of service to humanity and to God. Her goal to achieving this purpose was to take care of the poor, sick and disadvantaged. Her means was acting on her goals: she did help the poor, sick and disadvantaged. And you know what Mother Theresa said about work:
“To work without love is slavery”
Slavery and happiness are fundamentally incompatible. So, your purpose is your passion and your passion is your purpose. Being of service will lead you to your purpose.
Now listen to the meditation below.
Below is a 7 Minute Meditation that will help you feel into your purpose. It might be handy to have a journal close by where you can write down any thoughts, inspirations or epiphanies. Comment below and let me know about your experience of the meditation, and ask any questions, I'm happy to answer them!
"Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned... something that's got to be remembered"
Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
- Finding Your Place in the Sunshine
This is a meditation to help you reflect on your purpose.