All throughout my teenage years (and into my twenties), I had no idea what my purpose in life was. I would stare at myself in the mirror for extended amounts of time, and I would often wonder why it was that I was born into the world.
Part of me just never felt like I excelled at anything.
Of course, that version of excelling was determined by how others perceived me, but it left me feeling lost, confused, and somewhat hopeless for the future that was in front of me.
There are many reasons why we struggle to find our purpose in life. Sometimes it may be because all of the problems in the world seem too big to overcome on our own. Or because we feel so inferior to the world around us. Or because we just simply don’t know what we are “good” at or what truly matters to us.
Living a life without a purpose can be depressing at times, especially for someone who wants to create change. For me, there was nothing worse than waking up every day and simply going through the motions of life not knowing what I was supposed to be doing.
After years of searching for my purpose(s) in life, I have finally found them. I want to share with you some ways that I found my purpose in hopes that it inspires you to look within and find yours as well.
1. Find out what bothers you
Personally, this was the easiest method for me. One of the things that bothered me most was the increasing rate of depression within the younger population. Not only that, but also the fact that, despite being an illness, depression is something that a lot of individuals are afraid to come to terms with.
Throughout my battle, I lacked that person to relate to. I felt lost and alone as there weren’t many individuals (especially males) in their mid-twenties who were willing to admit that they were suffering from depression.
By the grace of God, I was somehow given the strength to overcome my battle. While it wasn’t easy, I wanted to create a positive from it – I wanted to use my experience to connect with others and to inspire others who may be experiencing some of the pain I was feeling.
2. Find out what excites you
Just like with finding something that bothers you, look within and find something that excites you. What is it that is constantly on your mind, something that you can’t see yourself living without, and something that gets you all fired up inside every time you think about it?
As much as it bothers me that mental health awareness is not where it needs to be, it also excites me. I feel a sense of pride in knowing that I have the potential to help inspire others, while, at the same time, being able to release my emotions.
While to potential to earn money might excite others, I get excited by the idea of knowing that I helped to positively impact a person’s life. Just the thought of doing so is what gets me going, what helps me to write even when I don’t feel like it, and what helps me to be open about my battles when I would rather lock them away.
3. Find out who you want to help
Is there a group of people out there that you want to help? Perhaps it is individuals who are homeless, individuals with special needs, or individuals who may be sick and need help in being cared for.
Whoever it is that you want to help, just help.
Not all superheroes wear capes. In fact, nearly all of them wear every day civilian clothes. That’s because the true superheroes are the ones who are willing to help others without needing to be recognized for it – individuals like you!
By asking yourself who it is that you want to help, that can help to uncover what your purpose is in life. Be willing to look within, be willing to let your ideas flow, and be willing to help.
4. Find out what you are willing to sacrifice
I just finished reading The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau. One of the stories that he tells was of an individual named Miranda Gibson who protested illegal logging by climbing a tree in Tasmania and living there for more than a year. Yes, that’s right… she lived in a tree for a year and didn’t come down. Not even once.
Just like with Miranda, you too can create a change. Nobody is asking you to live in a tree for a year, but ask yourself what you would be willing to sacrifice to help create a change for the greater good. For some, maybe it’s sacrificing eating meat to bring awareness to animal cruelty. For others, maybe it’s sacrificing a few nights a week to go volunteer. For me, it was sacrificing my ego to help bring awareness to others who may be dealing with mental illnesses.
Finding out what you are willing to sacrifice in life in support of a cause can be a great way to find your purpose in life.
Don’t worry if your purpose changes over time. In fact, you should expect it to. As you grow older and become wiser, you are going to become more passionate about different things. Life is a never-ending process, and you have an opportunity to create a never-ending change. But it all starts with asking yourself what your purpose it and using these four steps to help you find out.
Some days are definitely going to be better than others. No matter what though, always focus on being the best that you can be, and always follow your passion – even if it’s not something that others completely agree with.
Yesterday’s post: How To Help Yourself Through Depression – 5 Tips That I Use