How to Discover Your Purpose and Fulfill Your Destiny

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:12
It can be really hard to feel like you're not sure what your purpose is in life. However, no matter what your situation is, there are things you can do to live in a more meaningful way. Start by reflecting on the things you feel the most...
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It can be really hard to feel like you're not sure what your purpose is in life. However, no matter what your situation is, there are things you can do to live in a more meaningful way. Start by reflecting on the things you feel the most strongly about—what makes you really happy, and what are the things you most wish you could change in the world? Once you identify that, take small steps each day to be the person you want to be, and if necessary, make big changes along the way to make your dreams a reality.

Method 1
Method 1 of 4:

Discovering Your Purpose

  1. Step 1 Reflect on the things that make you feel excited.
    Everyone has things that make them light up when they talk about them. To find yours, ask yourself questions like: "What do I really love to do?" and "What do I like to talk about, read about, or post about on social media?" These can be clues toward a path that will be fulfilling and meaningful for you.[1]
    • Try carrying a journal and write down every time you feel really engaged in something. You could also ask your family and friends if there are any subjects you seem really passionate about when you talk about them.
    • For example, if you love reading about the latest technological developments, you might really enjoy a career as a software engineer.
    • If you love spending time outdoors, you might enjoy working as a commercial fisherman, a farmer, or a park ranger, for instance.
  2. Step 2 Consider any special skills or talents you might have.
    When you're trying to discover your purpose, think about anything that comes especially easily to you. You'll be more likely to feel like you're living a purposeful life if you're using your unique talents, whether those are natural or learned.[2]
    • If you're naturally very organized, for instance, you might enjoy working as an event planner, which requires meticulous attention to detail.
    • If you're especially stylish, you might enjoy working at a high-end boutique or as a personal stylist.
  3. Step 3 Take your education and training into account.
    While you might decide that your purpose will take you in a completely different direction from anything you've ever done before, you may discover there's a way to combine your passion with skills you've already learned. As you're contemplating what direction you want to go, think about any specialized skills you learned on the job, any certifications or degrees you've earned, or other training that might be useful.
    • For instance, if you are really passionate about helping animals and you have a degree in English, you might decide to start a blog raising awareness about the needs of the different shelters, rescues, and wildlife preserves in your area.
    • If you want to help homeless teens and you have a cosmetology degree, you might visit a youth shelter once a month to provide free haircuts.
  4. Step 4 Examine the things you wish you could change in the world.
    When you're reading the news or browsing social media, pay attention to the causes that really touch your heart. If something makes you feel especially upset or indignant, you might find purpose by helping others who are facing that issue.[3]
    • For instance, if you feel upset every time you see a picture of a dog that's chained up, you might find it rewarding to volunteer with an animal rescue.
    • You might also find inspiration from situations you or your loved ones have been in. If you're a survivor of abuse, for example, you might choose a career in social work.
  5. Step 5 Imagine your life as a narrative and daydream about the ending.
    Try to look at your life so far from a big-picture perspective, and imagine yourself as the protagonist of your own story. Ask yourself where it would make sense for the story to end if your life continues on that path. If you're not happy with that outcome, ask yourself what ending would make you really happy. That can be a big clue toward your purpose.[4]
    • For instance, if you're unhappy in your job or in your current relationship, staying where you are isn't likely to give your story a happy ending. If that's the case, think about the changes you need to make to end up where you want to be.
    • As you're trying this exercise, daydream about what you would do if you had no restrictions. Disregard any thoughts about what you "should" do or how other people might like you to live.[5]
    Oprah Winfrey
    Oprah Winfrey, Entertainment Mogul

    Design a meaningful life that you feel good about living. "The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn't simply tell a story about what you want to be, but that tells a story about who you want to be."

  6. Step 6 Make an inspiration board if you need help visualizing your path.
    If you're a visual person, create an inspiration board full of pictures that inspire you. Don't think about what should or shouldn't be on the board—if you see a picture you like, save it. Once you get about 15-20 pictures saved, start to look for recurring themes that might give you clues to what you're most passionate about.[6]
    • For instance, if you notice that a lot of your pictures are of far-off places, you might be happiest if you work in a flexible career that leaves you plenty of time for traveling.
    • If your pictures include a lot of music-related images, you might be most fulfilled working in the recording industry.

    Tip: To make a digital board, create an account on a site like Pinterest, then save pictures that you come across on various websites, blogs, and social media. If you'd prefer a physical board, try cutting out pictures from magazines and pinning them to a corkboard.

  7. Step 7 Use these insights to help you define what you want to do.
    Try to think creatively about how you can combine your education, passions, and strengths into a personal or career path that will fulfill you. Remember, there's no dream that's too silly or far-fetched—you'll be happiest when you feel like you're living your purpose, whether that's bringing joy to others through performance art or running your own nonprofit organization.[7]
    • For example, you may discover that you get most excited about nature, you love working with kids, and you feel real strongly about giving back to your community. In that case, you might decide to start an after-school program serving underprivileged youth in your area.
    • If you're still not sure what you can do, try reading career blogs or books by people who have been successful in their industries. Also, talk to as many people as you can about what they do for a living—you might be surprised what professions are out there that you've never thought of before!
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Method 2
Method 2 of 4:

Putting Your Skills and Passions to Use

  1. Step 1 Take up a hobby where you can use your skills.
    After you've identified your unique skills, think about different hobbies that might make good use of them. Not only will you get to enjoy being naturally inclined toward your new activity, but you'll also be reinforcing your natural talents by using them regularly.
    • For instance, if you enjoy tending to your houseplants, you might start a raised bed or a balcony garden.
    • If you love to read, you might join a book club, or you might even try your hand at writing your own book!
  2. Step 2 Look for opportunities to use your talents to help your loved ones.
    If you find that there's something you're especially good at, think about ways that you could use that skill to help enrich the lives of your family and friends. Not only will you get the satisfaction of using your talent, but you'll also get to experience that happiness that comes from brightening someone else's day.
    • For instance, if you're really great at crocheting, you might make a beautiful blanket to gift to a friend who's expecting a new baby.
    • If you're extremely organized, you might offer to help the next time a family member is planning a garage sale.
  3. Step 3 Volunteer...
    Volunteer to help causes you to believe in. If you want to feel like your life has more purpose, consider donating time to an organization in your area that you feel strongly about. Spending your time helping others will not only give you a sense that you're contributing to your community, but it will also help you put your own problems in perspective.[8]
    • For instance, you might volunteer to help collect toy donations for children in need around the holidays, or you might spend your time serving food at a soup kitchen.
    • If you're passionate about helping animals, you might volunteer at an animal shelter, or you could foster animals that are waiting to be adopted.
  4. Step 4 Try online classes or freelance work to break into a new career.
    Even if you discover that your true purpose lies in a different career path, it's not always feasible to just quit your job. However, you can take online classes or find freelance gigs to help you gain the skills and experience you'll need to eventually transition to doing what you love.[9]
    • For example, you can often find freelance jobs for writers, photographers, and web designers online.
    • If you want to be a pastry chef, you might take baking classes in the evenings until you feel confident enough to start applying for jobs.

    Tip: Remember, there are plenty of ways to live a purposeful life, even if you don't have a certain dream career. Many people find fulfillment in working a steady job, then spending their free time engaging in their hobbies or being around family and friends.[10]

  5. Step 5 Move to a new city if you need more opportunities.
    If you feel like you're being held back because you live in a place that doesn't have many career opportunities, or even because you don't fit in with the local culture, it might be a good idea to consider a move. Starting over somewhere new can be scary, but it can also provide you with a whole new world of possibilities that wouldn't have been available if you stayed where you were.[11]
    • If you're considering a move, don't just move somewhere blindly. Visit different places until you find the one that feels like the right fit for you. If you can't do that, read as much as you can about the area before you go.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 4:

Living More Meaningfully

  1. Step 1 Cultivate strong relationships with people you love.
    One way to live a meaningful life is to have close relationships with others. Make an effort to spend time with people who make you feel good when they're around, whether that's your family, friends, or coworkers.[12]
    • If anyone puts you down or makes you feel bad about yourself, you don't necessarily have to cut them out entirely but do try to limit the time you spend around them.
    • Try to create a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. Spending time around people who are different from you can help broaden your worldview and help you define your place in it.
  2. Step 2 Practice being grateful...
    Practice being grateful for the things you have. Get in the habit of finding at least one thing each day that you can be grateful for. Practicing gratitude is a great way to become more aware of the good things in your life, which can make you feel like your life is more meaningful.[13]
    • Try writing down whatever you're grateful for each day in a gratitude journal. Then, when you're having a bad day, you can read back over the journal to remember all the positive things you have in your life.
    • Nothing is too big or too small to include in your gratitude practice. You can be grateful for everything from your family and home to your favorite iced coffee or a book you enjoyed reading.
  3. Step 3 Go on adventures.
    It's hard to feel like your life has a purpose if you do the exact same thing day in and day out. To avoid that, look for any opportunity you can to do something out of the ordinary, no matter how small. Adding adventures to your life will help you break out of your status quo, and you might even come across new and exciting opportunities you wouldn't have found otherwise![14]
    • For instance, instead of eating lunch at the same restaurant every day, you might go a little further out of your way to try a new spot that just opened.
    • On your days off, you might go to a flea market, hike a nature trail, or take a day trip to a nearby town.
    • If you have a long holiday coming up, consider taking a cheap flight somewhere you've never been before!
  4. Step 4 Challenge yourself to try new things.
    If you feel like you're coasting along comfortably, it can be hard to feel like you're living a meaningful life. To help overcome that, push yourself to learn something new, like a skill that could help you advance your career or a hobby that you've always wanted to try.[15]
    • For example, instead of surfing the web for an hour after work, you might use that time to learn woodworking, study a new programming language, or practice cross-stitching.
    • You could also challenge yourself to try a harder version of something you already do. For instance, if you usually run a mile after work, you might push yourself to run 2 miles (3.2 km), instead.
  5. Step 5 Consider starting a spiritual practice to help you find meaning in your life.
    Many people find that opening themselves to a higher power can help them feel like their life has more meaning. If you consider yourself a spiritual person, or if you're at least open to learning, look up some of the different faith-based groups in your area. Read a little about each one to learn which ones fit your beliefs the best, then attend a few services to find the one where you feel the most comfortable.[16]
    • You might visit churches, synagogues, or temples in your area, for instance, depending on your faith.
    • If you don't have any particular faith but you're open to the idea of a higher power, you might look for a non-denominational or Unitarian church in your area.
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Method 4
Method 4 of 4:

Pursuing Your Dreams

  1. Step 1 Start setting small...
    Start setting small goals once you define your purpose. As you reflect on your greatest strengths and passions and you begin to get an idea of the type of future you'd love, start thinking of steps you can take to start on the path. These don't necessarily have to be big, life-changing shifts, especially at first—start from where you are right now, and work your way toward your goals from there.[17]
    • For instance, if you've discovered you'd love to work as a fashion designer, you might take sewing lessons or practice making clothes for your friends.
    • If you want to work in early childhood education, you might try to find work babysitting or working as a nanny to gain experience that will help you later on.
    • If your goal is to make a living as a photographer, you might start by saving up for a really nice camera. Then, you could study online tutorials to learn all the features of your camera. From there, you might offer to take free photos of your family and friends as practice, then move up to freelance work, and eventually grow that into a full-time career.
  2. Step 2 Write down your goals to keep yourself focused on them.
    Sometimes achieving your goals can take a long time, and it can seem hard to keep yourself motivated. However, if you write down the goal you want to accomplish and post it somewhere you'll see it often, it can help keep you on task—especially as you start seeing progress![18]
    • For instance, if your goal is to become an astronaut, you might write "Travel to Space!" on a piece of paper. Then, post it on your bedroom mirror so you can see it every day!
  3. Step 3 Don't let other people's opinions hold you back.
    No matter what you decide to do, the choice should be your own. If you're really determined, don't let anyone tell you that you're not smart or talented enough or that the path will be too hard. Keep in mind that that's only their opinion, and you're the only one who can—or should—control your destiny.[19]
    • With that in mind, do seek counsel from people whose opinions you respect and trust. They may raise concerns that you haven't thought of before, and you might need to take those into consideration when you're making plans.
  4. Step 4 Be patient as you try to fulfill your purpose.
    Finding your purpose can be a life-long undertaking, so don't expect the answer to come to you all at once, and don't worry about rushing the process. Just look for opportunities to make small changes that will get you closer to feeling like you're fulfilling your purpose in life.[20]
    • You might even discover that your goals change after you've been doing something for a while. Constantly evaluate yourself, your interests, and your needs, and make adjustments along the way when you need to.
  5. Step 5 Stay dedicated to your goals, even if it's hard.
    If you really feel passionately that you've found the path you want to take, it's going to be worth it to keep pushing through, no matter what obstacles come your way. If you have a positive attitude, you're patient, and you're committed to hard work, chances are, you'll reach your goal in time.[21]
    • Remember, a setback isn't necessarily a dead end, so don't give up just because things don't go right the first time!
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