How to Find Your Purpose in Life

Intentional Living

how to

Find your purpose

Ready to learn how to find your purpose in life?

Welcome to out of the habit -- a blog dedicated to helping you find your purpose, fulfill your potential, and live intentionally. We are allllll about creating a life you love, and a significant part of that is finding something that you love to do.

For many, it's a career, for others, a volunteer opportunity, and for the most dedicated -- a way of life.

Your purpose is what you were meant to do. It's your calling, a gift you provide to the world in a way that no one else can. When you're thriving in it, it lights you up like nothing else. The feeling is indescribable, but you know it when you hit it.  

In the age of opportunity, we are blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by options. What we want to do with our careers, our lives, and our futures. But as exciting as all that is, the pressure and overwhelm that comes with too many choices is paralyzing.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that you want to do something that matters. If you didn't, you wouldn't be reading this. You want not only to survive, but to feel fulfilled. To contribute and to receive. 

But how do you know where to start? Backpacking trips around Europe, self help books, and countless motivational speakers all claim to be able to teach you how to find your purpose. And they can call be helpful -- 

but honestly, if you ask me, I think that finding your purpose is a lot less linear than we make it out to be. I don't think it's simple enough to be hacked, unlocked, or tricked open. If you want to know how to find your purpose in life, I think you have to start by simply living.

That said, if you're really ready to get started and find your purpose in life, these are some really practical, powerful steps to take moving forward.

How to Find Your Purpose

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List your passions

Just like any good inspirational writer, I'm gonna tell you that if you want to know how to find your purpose, you need to know what your passions are/

The word "passion" gets thrown around a lot, and I'd argue that it's often in a poor context or inaccurate setting. Passion doesn't just mean something you spend time on or enjoy doing. In fact, there could be things you've done your whole life that you're not passionate about.

What drives you? What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning? What lights you up to the point where you can't think about, talk about, or focus on anything else?

"Passion" doesn't necessarily refer to a hobby or specific activity like mountain biking or playing the piano. Those are things you can be passion-ate about, but at the end of the day, they probably aren't your reason to live.

I'll give you a personal example. I'm a pretty high-energy, outgoing person, and I like getting really excited about life. That in and of itself is fun for me -- but what I get really passionate about is helping other people enjoy life's little moments. It FILLS ME. It's a big part of why I write for a living -- I literally wake up excited to get to work, and that's a feeling I'll never stop being grateful for.

Your passion usually has something to do with the way you interact with the world. If you love mountain biking, maybe it's getting to explore the earth and be out in nature. If you love piano, maybe it's the ability to tell stories without using words.

All these are hypothetical, but spend some time thinking about what electrifies you and how you like to impact spaces you're in.

Identify opportunities

If you're anything like me, once you know that you're passionate about something, you're going to want to go at it full force. But it may or may not be clear on how to do that, and even if it is, it's not always the best place to start.

I know, I know -- I just told you that I do something I'm passionate about everyday and how great it is. But that didn't happen overnight. Identifying my passion for encouraging enthusiasm and excitement didn't get me to where I am. If you want to learn how to find your purpose in life, you need to look for opportunities to use hard skills to fill pain points that connect to your passion. 

Let's back up a step -- look around you. What industries are booming right now? What's trending on Twitter? What concept, idea, or mindset is taking over social media? 

Put the idea of instant career success on hold -- chasing your passion is not the same thing as chasing a paycheck. Just look. Start searching for opportunities in your everyday life where that passion could be helpful, powerful, and relevant. 

Find pain points

Chances are, if it matters to you, it matters to other people. The things that you are passionate about are probably things other people are craving. Listen to the pain points of the people around you, particularly the ones you see connected to aforementioned opportunities.

You can ask around too -- message friends, post on Facebook, share a question box on Instagram. Look at how other people are or are not meeting this pain point and how you can do so differently.

Learn new skills

I hate to break this to you, but being passionate about something doesn't mean you're good at it. If you want to know how to find your purpose in life, you'll also need to know how to get humble and admit that you can grow a little here and there.

Learn and develop new skills every chance that you get. No job, lifestyle, or calling contains ONLY things that you love, so even getting good at things that you don't necessarily can be quite useful. 

Chase new experiences

On a similar note, chase new experiences. There's a lot about life that you just don't know until you know. Things about yourself, the world, and how you want to spend your time. Stepping out of your everyday usual lets you experiment, experience, and just learn. 

It's hard to determine what exactly your passions and purpose are if you never give them a shot. 

Do hard things

If I could, I would scream this from the rooftops, tattoo it on myself, and reach out to every single person reading this to tell you that if you're going to take just one thing away from this blog post, it should be this.

Do. Hard. Things.

For us coddled westernized millennial/Gen-Zers (I say it with love), doing hard things sometimes doesn't carry the weight for us that it should. We refuse, say no, or find other ways or options around what we're doing. 

But doing hard things is the only way to find out who you are or get to where you want to go. It's gonna suck, but man oh man, does it feel good on the other side. When something challenges you, embrace it. Even if it doesn't change your views, opinions, or person, it will make you more confident of who you are. Be okay with some hard work and uncertainty.

Don't rush the process

Honestly, the idea of finding your purpose is severely overrated. Sorry -- I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear -- but it's true. Don't force it, rush it, or get too attached to any one idea. Your purpose in life may not be linear at all. Slow down, enjoy the moment you're in, and find purpose where you are.

You may have different callings in different seasons of life, and that's TOTALLY okay! 

Don't over-romanticize it

I know the whole "be the main character, romanticize your life" thing is super popular right now, and I'm all for it -- but be careful. Liking the idea of doing something or being someone is not the same thing as making it a reality. Making yourself the main character can set you up for a victim mentality when things go wrong -- and there will absolutely be moments when they will. 

As you discover how to find your purpose, make sure that you aren't equating your purpose to your worth. Your worth is unchanging, unflinching, and is not tied to your potential, your success, or your any accomplishments (or lack thereof). 

Finding your purpose is a bit of a lifelong experience, and that's very okay. Throughout life, the lessons you learn, and the things you go through, you're going to change and grow and become different and more than you ever knew you could be.

As you go through the chaos that the journey can be, we are dedicated to bringing you content, resources, and support. We've got your back, and we can't wait to see what you do with your life!

For more on intentional living, check out the blog here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!!

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