Finding your purpose in life is often one of the most difficult things we desire to do. What job is meant for you? How do you know what you really want to do in life?
After all the hard work studying, you’ve finally graduated from school. After all the hard work applying for a job, you’ve finally landed a job that pays you. And after all the hard work finding other jobs, you’ve finally landed a job that pays you well. Happy? Why not? Isn’t this what you really wanted to do all along? What seems to be missing? Why do you feel as though you’re starting from the very beginning? Worse, you feel you don’t even know where to start. For the first time in a long time you ask yourself, “What do I really want to do in life?”
I’ve asked myself the same questions, and of all the questions I’ve ever asked myself, this is one of the hardest indeed. But there is a way. And we must believe that all those who seek ernestly finds the answer that they seek.
Following are some of the things that helped me realize what it is that I really wanted to do, what it is that would make my life worthwhile and meaningful. It’s certainly not an easy journey, and it’s easier said than done. It may take even years for some, but take heart, and believe that it is never too late to find the answer you’re looking for.
1. Remember you childhood dreams
We weren’t always the growups we are today. Once upon a time we were just kids learning to walk, talk and find our way in this world. Once upon a time we had the imagination to dream and to feel in our hearts what we really wanted to do. But something happened along the way. The necessities imposed upon us and the prejudices society taught us made us think differently. We lost touch of the child within us, the child who knew how to dream and to believe in that dream.
Get in touch with that child again. Hear his voice. Pretend you’re not afraid of the many difficulties that lie ahead. Pretend you haven’t heard of what the many other grownups around you say a responsible person should be doing. Think everything is possible, as when the time you believed in magic and fairytales. Think God can grant you your heart’s desires. What do you want? What would you ask for? What have you asked for when you were once a child? Did you want to be a doctor then and heal people? Did you want to be a teacher and feed the mind of young ones with knowledge and wisdom? Did you want to be an artist and paint the world with colors? Set yourself free. Oftentimes, what we really wanted to do, we already knew since when we were but children when our hearts were yet pure and our minds unbridled by the many rules the world has taught us later when we grew up.
Now that you already have the means to support yourself, you can finally do things you’ve only dreamed of before! On my part, I was able to go to places I’ve never been to; I was able to attend seminars like 3D animation, scriptwriting, and playing the guitar; I was able to buy a digital camera and experiment on taking pictures; I was able to buy an oven and the ingredients needed to bake and cook; I was able to play computer games as much as I wanted and design my blog for hours using the computer I bought myself; I was able to buy the books I’ve always wanted to read.
I have the means now to finally explore the things that delight me and interest me. I can finally nourish the dreams the child in me used to dream only with her heart and with her head.
Explore. Don’t think you need only to do the things where you can get outright monetary returns. Just set yourself free, now as an adult who knows how to enjoy yourself. Do what you want. It will lead you to those things you would want to be doing all your life.
3. Make a survey
The people around us usually have clues about our strengths, talents and skills, and the things that we enjoy doing. Ask these people. They may even tell you things you haven’t realized yet, like a good singing voice you’ve always kept to yourself before! Or you may discover that you’re a good leader, and that you inspire the people you work with. You may discover how many people count on your wisdom and insights and thus, seek your counsel for important decisions in their life. Make a survey, and let it guide you in your discovery.
4. Fear not your own beauty and strength
In your journey of discovery, you may sometimes get a vision of yourself, your best self, the one you’ve been searching for all along. But oftentimes too, we immediately disregard this vision, for we cannot believe it to be true. It overwhelms us to think we can be that beautiful and talented and strong. We regard it as an illusion we can never reach, and we settle for the next best thin that comes to our mind. Don’t do that. For God did not intend us to settle for something lesser than His greatest plan for us. God made us to be the best and most beautiful we can be so that other people may best be blessed as well through us. Don’t belittle yourself. And do not be afraid to see yourself for who you really are, and for who you were truly destined to become. Shine forth your light and fear not your own beauty.
5. Accept your gift
Once you have faced the vision of your destiny, learn to accept it with all your heart and spirit and mind and soul. Deny not your gifts, and deny not the accountabilities those gifts carry with them. If you have the gift of entrepreneurship, accept it. Accept that you have the power to lead many people. Accept that these people will count on you. And fear not that you may fail them in the end. Instead, fear that you may not even begin and give them the chance therefore to have a leader as good and strong as you are.
6. Do something you won’t ever get tired of doing
Once you have explored your many interests, learn to discern which of these things will delight you only for a time, and which of these things will give you joy forever. As for me, I once enjoyed my guitar lessons. But then I soon got tired of practicing and playing the same music again and again so I can master it. I didn’t want to hear the song that way. It made me lose interest in the song. But I found out I could compose songs, and that I do not tire of composing them.
Realize that when you choose something, your passion in doing it must be that great so as not to tire of doing it all your life. Can you imagine painting everyday of your life? Can you imagine practicing golf for hours for all the days of your life? What is it that you won’t ever get tired of doing? What is it that even if others attempt to stop you, you would still be doing just for the sake of doing it? Something you could never stop yourself from doing, because stopping yourself would mean stopping the very flow of life in you?
7. Do what enriches you and blesses others at the same time
I’ve realized that when I write from the heart and from the very depths of my soul, the words I have written do not only help other people, but those very words inspire me first of all. Such is when I know that I have practiced my passion, when I feel enriched instead of feeling exhausted, when I feel that I have received and I have been blessed instead of feeling deprived and spent. I noticed too that when I write from the heart, other people are blessed, they are moved, and in one blessed moment, our souls touch, and our souls are both blessed by the God that gives us all good things.
It is thus that you know you have truly found your gift: when the thing you do both enriches you and blesses many others along the way.
8. Set aside what others deem as right, beneficial and noble
Although I’ve suggested to you previously to make a survey of what others think of you and your gifts, you should also be careful that you don’t listen to everything people tell you. Try to sense if they are sincere, and if they’re truly speaking from the wisdom of their hearts. Other people merely repeat what others say without reflecting on it. Other people would dictate upon you what worked for them, and what may not work for you.
Most of all, when you have already discovered what you really wanted to be doing, set aside the prejudices of the world and trust the God who entrusted to you this mission and these gifts. Do not let the opinion of others belittle you or tell you that there are other tasks far nobler or greater than the one you’d like to be doing.
9. Do what really makes you happy and complete
God has implanted upon your own heart the desires that would truly make you happy. These are the thing that will guide you in your journey. These are the things that will shed its light in your path where there were only shadows and uncertainties before. Discover the deepest desires of your heart. For it is such desires that if fulfilled can really make you happy and complete.
Above all these things my friend, pray. Seek for the counsel of God’s Spirit and God will guide you all the way to finding your purpose in life. Pray for enlightenment. Pray for perseverance. And then pray for the courage to use your gifts. It is such that you will know God has a great plan for you, and it is God Himself who will help you to make your dreams come true.