How do you find your life purpose or passion? And once you do, how do you live it?
I don’t believe we only have one purpose or one passion in life. Our lives change, evolve and at different stages we have stronger interests in some areas than others. Some things are extremely fulfilling and we feel like we are living our life purpose, which is fantastic, but that is not the only purpose of your life.
I feel I have been fairly fortunate in some ways to have experienced a lot in my 30 years, to have been pushed by life events in the directions I choose. I was a hairdresser and beautician followed by a finance blogger/author/speaker and now while I still blog and own those finance blogs, my speaking and writing and most of what I do in my life focusses on overcoming obstacles, motivation, domestic violence and homelessness. I speak more often on sharing some of my story followed by how I overcame all I did than any other topic. I am extremely passionate about helping to end domestic violence and homelessness and that is because of traumatic events in my life.
Photography courtesy of Travis Longmore Photography
How can you find your life purpose?
Get to know yourself
This sounds simple and can be easier said than done. I know I have always loved helping other people. I know it is my personal experiences and the desire to help others as well as be an example to my daughters that drives me. That part was easy to work out. But what if you don’t have a major defining life moment, like I did leaving an abusive marriage?
Here are a few things you can do to get to know yourself.
1.) Ask people who knew you growing up what you were interested in. I am talking about when you were really little. What did you have a keen interest in? What did you love to do or read? What did you want to be when you grew up and why?
2.) Look at your goals over your life. What have you worked towards and why? What drove you? What was the vision you had for you life?
3.) Do a mission statement. These are done for businesses but doing a personal one is not only eye opening, it is great for keeping you on your path as time goes on.
4.) Work out your values. We all have core values. For me, family comes first followed by integrity, health, charity/helping others, balance. You can read more about mine here.
To work mine out, I sat down and thought about the things that were most important to me. I wrote more than 5 to begin with, then narrowed it down further. I wrote what was important and why. As I thought more and crossed things off my list, it became very clear what mattered most to me.
5.) Create a vision board. Even if you aren’t interested in a vision board itself, the process can really help you clarify what you want in life, what you are passionate about and where you want your life to go.
A vision board is not just about cutting out pictures from a magazine and sticking them to paper. It’s about working out your goals, what you want in life, finding images to illustrate this, truly reflecting on your life then focussing on what you want. I have posted about the whole process here.
Personally, I prefer a whole wall with my vision board, motivational quotes, my goals and my calendar. I have a more detailed example from 2012 on my old site here. Remember, this is a few years old. My updated one will be shared soon.
How do you apply what you know to be able to live your life purpose or passion?
I feel luck to be living a life I love, to be following my passions and to be able to incorporate my interests into my every day life. It didn’t start out this way and it certainly didn’t land in my lap. I worked for it and I have lived by a few specific quotes.
Photography Ladina Photography
My parents constantly said this growing up.
These few quotes helped me get through the worst of things in my life and also helped me create the life I have now. In order to be able to live the life I wanted, true to myself, my passions and what I feel is my life purpose right now, I had to implement a few things:
1.) Be focused
You know what you want to be doing. Stop letting everything else distract you. Be focused. I use a vision board, motivation wall, affirmations written on my mirrors in permanent marker and many other tools to stay focused.
2.) Set SMART goals – Smart Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-bound
I have 10 steps to success with goals here. Having a strong desire is great, but without a plan of action, it is unlikely to happen. While you may not achieve all your goals, having them as a guideline to help you make decisions, take action when needed and live your life in a more focused, specific way
3.) Value yourself and your time
When you know what you want to do in your life, what your passion is and what you feel your life purpose is it’s easier to value your time and yourself. Make time for yourself, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed or run ragged (I did and it cost me, you can check that out here), don’t sell yourself short!
I know when I don’t meditate I am more on edge, I don’t think as clearly and I find it hard to stay focused. Meditation doesn’t have to be hours of sitting saying “Om”, studies have shown even colouring in has benefits. Find what works for you and incorporate it into every day.
All the goals, plans, ideas and desire in the world mean nothing unless you take action. If you know what you want to be doing with your life, go do it!