Why is purpose so important? Maybe because life is not just about growing up, getting a job, retiring, and dying. Wouldn’t it be reassuring to realize that your work and your life makes a positive impact?
A meaningful purpose sets the right context for our lives. Otherwise, we are a confusing combination of goals and non-goals going through space and time in a funk.
But how do you know what your purpose should be? It cannot be something that other choose for you. It has to emerge from what you value and starts with discovering your passion.
1. Discover your Passion
Think what you are passionate about. Write it down and be as descriptive as possible. Identify what makes you happy, what you love to do.
This will help you discover what is important to you. If you are interested in writing or about learning how to draw, or anything else, try to integrate them in your daily life. Set aside time to do them.
There will always be work, responsibilities, and commitments. And life, as we know, passes by slowly but steadily. So commit to your intentions. The opportunities and ways to achieve your purpose will begin to show up.
2. Live According to Your Values
Your values help you determine how you intend to live and also inform your decisions. If your values are positive and genuinely deep, the result will also be meaningful.
You will start to see changes in yourselves when you act according to your values. You will become more open and generous. Let’s pick one thing you really feel about. Say you really care about your family and friends.
If someone close to you is going through a rough patch, you can talk to them and hear them out. That would make them feel better. When you do things that align with your values, it is natural to feel that what you do has some purpose.
3. Support a Worthy Cause
Ain’t we all doing same things, over and over? Almost all of us seem to be going somewhere but not sure if it’s the right direction. For a change, we can do something different. Give back to society by supporting a worthy cause, in our neighborhood or locality.
What is close to your heart? Teaching children, community development, providing healthcare services…whatever works for you, do it with conviction.
You can donate money, volunteer your time. Promoting the cause on social media and letting others know about it can really help the cause and the concerned organization can gain useful visibility.
4. Show Empathy Towards Others
Generally defined as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, empathy can be an effective way to connect with others. When you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you are able to understand what the other person might be thinking or feeling.
So how do you practice it? If you see noxious things like racism, hate speech, online or in person, speak up, say something.
Use your empathy to connect with anyone who is being bullied or discriminated against. It doesn’t take much to be a good, kind human being.
5. Simplify Your Daily Routine
It strikes us sometimes if we are just going through the motions or if all this makes any sense. To give your life meaning and a sense of intent, work on having a more simplified approach to your daily routine.
What takes away your time, distracts you? Checking social media once or twice a day (instead of 20 times!) or letting go of a few commitments in your day can help you feel less stressed and more focused.
Remove distracting things from your daily routine. Over time you will have a simplified routine which will help you put in more energy in things you are passionate about.
6. Live in the Moment
How satisfying it feels to think too far into the future. We try to guess outcomes, results, and feel that doing so will help us control our lives. But life has its own ways to undo our overzealous planning.
So it is better to enjoy the moment at hand. Focus on savoring what you are doing, appreciate the things you already have. We all wish we had more money, more success but it is also important to acknowledge what we have accomplished so far.
A big part of living in the moment is being grateful for all that you have. Avoid stressing about the unknown. When we enjoy doing something, we are more likely to remember it later.
It is time to take a pause, assess what you have been doing (intentionally and unintentionally), and get a hold on your life. Identify your purpose and let it permeate your work, your relationships. Over time you will see your world getting better, you getting better.