In order to Elevate your life, we work with a simple set of 5 principles that serve to rise you to your fullest potential and create a long-lasting transformation. Today I will be talking about the fourth principle: Purpose.
Discovering our purpose can feel very heavy and difficult when we aren't sure what way to turn. A little over 3 years ago I was totally lost, unsure which way to turn. I believed there was something so much more powerful that I was supposed to be doing but I had no idea what that was or how it would manifest itself. The key I believe now looking back at my journey was the sheer desire to understand the answer to this question.
I asked myself every day, what is my purpose? Knowing that at some point the answer would appear. Some of us receive the call loud and clear, for others it is more of a gentle reveal. My path opened up slowly, but surely, and I truly believe it was down to my deep desire to understand how I could be of service to the world.
I believe that people are usually in 1 of 3 categories when it comes to finding your life’s purpose:
You don’t believe we have a purpose other than to be happy and enjoy life.
You believe we have a purpose but have no idea where to begin to discover it.
You know what it is and are moving closer in alignment with this every day.
Our purpose is something that has been with us our whole life and it is not something new or that we even need to discover. This may come as a surprise but trust me it will have always been there for you. It just depends how deep you have buried it. For some of us it may go as far back as childhood.
There are some practical tips that I would love to share with you to help you open up and remember your purpose more fully.
The first place I began to tap into when discovering my own purpose was my values. I figured if I didn’t have a good sense of what was important to me then how would I know what to cultivate more of in my life.
I would like you to take a moment and ponder on the following questions:
What do you stand for?
What do you really care about?
What habits/ beliefs/ attitudes do you wish to embody?
Once you can determine who you are and what you stand for you’ll have a better chance of moving towards a life that is in alignment with what you truly care about.
We can use our values as a compass.
Every year at a minimum, and some times more when life takes its drastic twists and turns, I pull out my values cards and sort through. I have a pack of 100 values which read things like: love, gratitude, spirituality, independence, compassion, self-acceptance etc.
I will pour these cards all over the table and start the journey of narrowing them down so I can come to 4 or 5 values that I truly cherish for this present moment and what I would like to bring more of into the future.
My current values are:
Love, Presence, Gratitude, Listen and Laughter.
What are yours?
Gift vs Challenge
As I mentioned earlier, our purpose is something that has always been with us. It is our gift but it can also be our biggest challenge, it all depends how we use it.
I personally found that one of my gifts was to speak, I had always been vulnerable and willing to speak up – sometimes too much though! I used to think that it was a bad thing I spoke a lot, I now realise I had to channel my gift into the right environment and speak to topics that would benefit others from hearing about such as love. Instead of aimlessly using my words to just make sounds.
I would like you to consider the following:
What is my biggest gift?
What is my biggest challenge?
What have I loved since I was a child? If you cannot remember ask your parents or caretakers to help you jog your memory?
These questions will stir the pot and help you gain more awareness of the key moments in your life.
This still may feel like a stretch for you. If that is the case I would like you to bring your awareness to what and where you feel happiest. The simple things in life, our day to day activities are very telling.
Where and how do you spend your time?
What are your likes and dislikes?
These questions provide an easier guide to helping you onto the path. There is also a direct correlation of what you love or did in childhood plays a part in this too, so don’t be afraid to dig deep.
What would I do if I had no obligations?
Now I want you to believe you are absolutely free. Free of expectation, responsibilities, financial weights – it is all gone. You are totally blissful and can do anything you wish.
What would you do? Take 5 minutes to sit with this question.
This may look like taking off and travelling the world, starting your dream business, re-training in a new field or quitting work to spend more time with your family. Take some time to write down all of the possible answers.
A fun way this can be done is to write down all of the different types of imaginary lives you would lead. This is an exercise from Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way, her book provides a 12 week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. A key step in the process to awakening the path to purpose.
Do not over think this exercise or judge the answers you receive.
In my experience with my own journey and that of others, our purpose rarely ever screams out the exact job title we are designed for. It is usually much more subtle than this. There is a gentle call, a call to take the first step on the path.
What will your first step be?
Maybe it will be to dedicate time to the book you have always dreamed of writing, or maybe it will be to go back to art classes.
Whatever the call, honour this, it is the first step towards investing in yourself and your purpose.
I hope that you found these tools valuable in learning how to discover your purpose. I will be back with the final part of this series where I will share how to Elevate your life and rise up to your fullest potential.
With love & gratitude,