Finding purpose….where to start looking ??
Finding our true purpose can be a life mission. And an ever evolving one. This piece explores just one way that you can start digging for clues.
So what is “Purpose”?
Here’s what purpose is not:
• Something that can be well described by a job title
• What we do for money to cover basic needs – its greater than that
• Mythical, magical, always important and glamorous
• Locked in for the term of your life
So what is purpose? It’s the essence of:
• Why you are here
• What drives you
• It could be a source of resistance in your life – until you understand it
• What excites you and makes your heart sing
• It’s a deep driving force that you feel – and “just know in your bones”
• That feeling “This is me”
• It’s a something about you “Fully expressed”
• It can come in waves and be different at various life stages
And….it can often be a difficult depth or series of layers to discover about yourself.
Why is that ?
People think it will be easy to find – and perhaps latch onto what they think is “purpose”. And its often not the case. Hello late career changes….when you cant bare what you are doing one minute longer.
Here is one clue….(and there are many more)
What did you love to do when you were a child ?
Nursing Toys ?, Collecting Insects?, Burying your head in a book filling your head with facts or stories? Making mud pies? Playing mums and dads?
Whatever it was…it may just hold clues to what your purpose in life is.
I had a few things I loved to do when I was little.
One very memorable one, was my “Make and Do” book. I used to love pouring through the pages, and thinking – what am I going to do next? I was so excited about all the possible projects on the pages [tactile creativity, project planning and problem solving]. Puzzles and problem solving [yep]. I also loved to climb trees [adventure and freedom]. I loved exploring the rock pools at the beach, and fishing with dad [marine science, discovery, observation]. Helping mum cook in the kitchen and with sewing projects [creativity, domestic goddess]. And lastly I loved to set up shops – selling folded tissues – in different configurations, establishing a lemonade stand, and I networked with local companies (thanks to mums letter writing and typewriter ability) to contribute goods as prizes to a games booth I set up in 5th grade [networking, entrepreneur]. They are my great memories of what I loved to do as a child…and perhaps some pointers of my life passions and my life purpose.
And I also wanted to be a Princess. Yep – like every little girl.
So clues to me becoming a marine scientist, passionate cook and spirited sewer, and solopreneur were all there. I just needed the time to figure it all out.
What was I doing as a teenager ?
Still enjoying cooking and sewing. Boys were on the radar – so being “liked” by my peers and the boys that were not present at my all girls school was increasingly important. Going to underaged discos were what my life was about for a few years.
In Year 10…I was presented with this award for my sewing ability in Home Economics…see picture below.
clue to purpose…high school achievement
I wasn’t actually proud of this accomplishment. I thought – ”well where is that going to get me,” and could see my future as a “housewife” or something I considered to be similarly “daggy” – not fulfilling the ambition I had to “make something of my life”. So with quite a lot of resistance to pursuing anything creative in the “cooking and craft” field -I pursued marine science at university. And whilst I felt “accomplished” and one of the “lucky ones” to have a well sought after job – I soon found the work unfulfilling (although I think I was giving myself a hard time “not fitting in”, “not enough” for the job. – and was convinced I was “the problem” for many years). However, I know doing that study and work served a purpose (see the rest of the story HERE), and I kept following the stepping stones to find more ease in my life (also known as – pursuing a career that was aligned with my soul).
So what happens to these childhood dreams of “What we are going to be when we grow up?”.
Maybe we find out what it takes, the requirements, the hurdles and the effort to become what we want to be – and that throws us a few obstacles to navigate. For instance – “I want to be doctor….ahh, but I don’t like maths and science – english and arts are more my thing”. We begin to change what we want to be…by finding an “easier route”, or “popular route”, or “this will impress my family route”or one that will essentially provide “money for the cost of living”. For many of us its not a mindful or consciously thought out decision.
So how am I pursuing my purpose now?
I am certainly not a Princess. That childhood dream has gone. But I do feel incredibly important, cherished, loved, admired and adored by my family and those that are close to me. To me – as an adult – that is even better than being a “real princess“.
I am also coaching a range of women who have had a somewhat satisfying career, had children (or not) and now thinking – I want something different, something more in my life. They are thinking “I’ve had the career – and its not fully satisfying anymore …now I want something else. Just for me.” I absolutely love going on this purpose finding journey with them – and see what lights them up, and put the strategies in place to pursue something they (perhaps) hadn’t thought of before. Or alternatively….some aspect of their life was out of balance, with a few tweaks now it feels more in place, and with that tune-up, their whole lives are going more smoothly. So the problem solving alongside people and groups is still there. And I love it.
For me….my purpose now can be summarized as:
Empowering individuals to live their best lives through their true selves…and empowering groups (particularly Indigenous groups) to help make their vision become a reality.
That feels just right to me right now. And I am sure it will change over time.
What do you believe your purpose to be ? Can you give a few adjectives – without the job title ???
So what are some clues that you are not following your purpose now ?
– You think you have a dream job – but you are not content ?
– You feel that something is missing ?
– You are restless for something new/ more “you” ?
– You need to express yourself in other ways (eg – trying new creative pursuits, travel) – to escape your current reality ?
– You keep thinking about an idea you have….and cant get it out of your mind ?
– You have tried different jobs…but don’t feel fulfilled ?
If you have considered unearthing your purpose, or getting a life tune-up – I would be honoured to work alongside you. Book your free complimentary session HERE. In our free 45 minutes together, we can cover a lot of ground and discover a lot about what you would like to see in your future.
Also – I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment as to what you wanted to be “when you grew up” – or what passions you had as a child. What was that….and how has that morphed into the person you are now ?