What were you put on this Earth to do? I recently gave a talk to a book club that had read Sunrises to Santiago: Searching for Purpose on the Camino de Santiago and a kind man in the audience raised his hand and asked me a simple but incredibly difficult question. He asked, “So, have you found your purpose, and if so what is it?”
You may have asked yourself this same question. But how do you find your purpose? What if you have no idea what you were put on Earth to do?
What do I mean by purpose? This doesn’t have to be a big thing. It also does not have to be connected to the job you do that pays your bills.
- Keep it simple. I asked a friend what their purpose was recently. They said it was to be a good person. Simple.
- Your purpose is to find your purpose. Remember that your purpose will likely evolve as you grow and go through life.
- It usually has something to do with the betterment of the world. Maybe being a good parent is your purpose. Maybe you keep the park clean for kids in your neighborhood.
Here Are 4 Simple Ideas To Help You Find Your Purpose
1.) Meditation – I am big on spending time, even if only a few minutes a day, being completely silent. Meditation allows you to create space and ask this question. Try to start with 5 minutes a day and build from there. I try to meditate every night before I go to bed. My mind runs constantly but this helps calm the mind down. In addition to helping you open to your purpose, I also think it makes creative people more creative.
“You have to be available to the invisible voices that are swirling around you.” -George C. Wolfe
2.) Experimentation – Be curious and explore the things you have always said you want to try. As an outdoor enthusiast I have a great love for conservation. Is this my purpose, to help nature? Maybe. I don’t know yet because until recently it is something that always gets pushed back on my to-do list.
I am willing to bet that you might have that one thing that you have always wanted to try, but haven’t made the time. What are you waiting for? That thing you are curious about just might lead you to your purpose?
Remember, there will never be a perfect time to follow your ambitions and curiosities. You simply must decide the time is now and make it so.
3.) Travel – I open my last book with the line, “Travel is a way to make space in your life for the answers you seek.” I think the Camino de Santiago is perfect for finding your purpose. You spend time in nature, have deep conversations with pilgrims and have many days and hours to ponder this very question. There are many long-distance treks in the world that would be equally amazing.
If hiking is not your thing, nothing can make you feel more refreshed and alive than a journey to some amazing place in the world. Travel, for me, has been one of the most effective ways to discover purpose.
4.) Ask The Question – You have stayed with me up to this point so chances are you have already asked yourself this question. What is my purpose? The first step to figuring this out is to actually ask the question. I have never met a man more unhappy than one who has not found his purpose or direction in life. So ask.
The next step is to actually do that thing you were put on this Earth to do.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” -Mark Twain