If so – I want you to know – you are not alone.
Do you ever feel that you were ‘meant’ to be doing something else – but you just don’t know what that is? Maybe you feel stuck in a pair of golden handcuffs (in a job you don’t love anymore but you can’t afford to leave). Perhaps you are in a relationship which has run its course but you are afraid of being on your own, or of letting people down. Possibly your kids have left home and you feel like it’s now ‘your time’ but you have no idea what to do next. Or maybe you have been made redundant, and the thing that used to get you out of bed every day just isn’t there anymore.
It feels really hard to work out what your ‘purpose’ is or what it should be… doesn’t it? Some people just seem to know, but most people really don’t have a clue. And perhaps that’s because they are looking for ‘The One’. The ONE thing that they ‘should’ be doing… The ONE person who is out there looking for them… The ONE light-bulb moment which will make everything clear and then their life will make sense.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on your point of view), you are not St. Paul, who had an epiphany on the road to Damascus. Most of us don’t have just ONE thing. And that’s the issue really. If you search for your one purpose – you may not find it.
A better place to start is with what you are passionate about – what you love.
And then start doing that. You see it’s in activity, when you get into action, that you find your purpose. It is by trying stuff, not staying in your comfort zone, doing things differently – that you find your passion. And from passion comes purpose.
You might have always wanted to be a lawyer when you were at school – but when you get to Uni and do your law degree you find it isn’t what you thought. The reason you were passionate about doing that is because you have a strong sense of justice and injustice – and actually by volunteering for a charity – you find that helping others who have been the victim of injustice, and supporting them – THAT is your passion. And maybe you go on to become a social worker, or a psychologist, or a holistic practitioner, or a … (fill in the blanks).
Or maybe you decide that persuasion is your passion and you go on to become a Barrister, or a salesperson or a journalist.
Because you see, passion is the result of action. You don’t know whether you like something or not, until you do it.
Here are a couple of questions that might help you to determine what it is you might be passionate about.
Firstly – imagine there is no internet, no Facebook, no TV (I actually remember those days) – if you were kicked out of the house at 8am and couldn’t return till 8pm, what would you do all day? Oh and an important part of this exercise is that money is no object – imagine it doesn’t even exist. Remember there are no Costa Coffee’s to go sit in and scroll through Facebook. Would you go back to Uni? Would you learn to Ballroom dance? Would you go volunteer somewhere? Would you walk around talking to the homeless. Think about where you would go, who you’d choose to be with and what you would do… Perhaps you would sack your boss and start your own business? Maybe you would train people up in your business so you can step out and travel the world. Think about it.
Secondly – what kind of shit are you prepared to deal with? Nothing in life comes without a price. The price of setting up your own business might be less time with your kids (or more depending how successful it becomes, but initially – probably – less time). The price of going ballroom dancing once a week might be losing a night in front of the TV. The price of getting fit is sugar. The price of writing is that your book ideas might be rejected multiple times. The price of a high flying city career might be the 80 hours each week you have to work to do it.
This is what I officially call the shit showing up! Because I know after working with so many clients that as soon as you get into action your shit shows up – this is all the fears, the procrastination, the soap opera in your head – that nagging voice – telling you to just step back into your comfort zone – where it’s safe, it’s where you belong but it’s also where you have been unhappy, unfulfilled, and dissatisfied!
Are you prepared to pay the price because the truth is in life – even when you are doing what you love – sometimes it seems like life sucks. And you have to be prepared for that and able to handle the price of your choice, whatever that might be.
Thirdly – what makes you forget to eat or go to the toilet? We all have times when we are so engrossed in what we are doing, when we SO enjoy it, that time flows and takes on a different meaning and before we know it – it’s 6pm and we haven’t eaten or got up even to go pee. What is that thing for YOU?
And – last question (you can see how I’m a magnet at parties with this question) – if you knew you had just 1 year to live, what would you do and what would you STOP doing. You see, none of us know when our time is up. And you can drift through life thinking you have forever or you can live like there might not be a tomorrow. And I don’t mean thrown all caution to the wind. Well, perhaps I do actually. Why not choose 5 minutes of wonderful over a lifetime of regret?
Maybe it’s time for you to make a change. If you are feeling that you don’t know the purpose of your life then now is the time to find out. By doing things you are passionate about, you make a difference. And it doesn’t have to be just one thing. I coach public speakers (I’ve won awards for this). I’m an award winning author. I speak from many stages, all over the world. I am on the board of directors of the Association of Transformational Leaders . I do one to one mentoring. And along with my cohort, Marion Bevington, I run the Live Love Laugh Lounge and the Man Cave – groups that support women and men to Find Their WHY! and live their life on purpose.
So, remember – the purpose of your life is a work in progress. You need to live, take action, find your passions, and make a difference. Your purpose will come when you stop thinking and start doing. And remember – you don’t have to work it out on your own, and you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to us about joining our WHY’s women and men and remember to Live, Love and Laugh every day and continue to be you in your own unique way!