Finding My Purpose
First let me start by defining what I'm talking about when I say "Purpose" because people can understand purpose and 'Meaning' differently.
It is my firm conviction that as people living in the developed world in the 21st century we would all like our life to have purpose. I believe purpose has nothing to do with getting or having. It's not the car you drive or the house you own or the job you do.
Our desire for purpose is only satisfied when we are contributing to the lives of others in some way or another. Trust me, there are as many ways to do that as there are people on the planet and YES you do have a purpose. We all do.
If you don't feel that right now, that's ok. You are in the majority. Where you are ahead of the rest is in the fact that you're looking. Kudos to you. Millions of others are living without a real sense of purpose and have settled for that.
The search for your purpose is a noble and worthwhile cause. One I'm passionate about. It does raise a lot of questions though and I can't address them all here. My goal here is to lay the foundation and inspire you to embark on the journey.
How long will it take to find my purpose?
The exact answer is, somewhere between a few seconds and a lifetime.
Using myself as one example. When I look back, I can see I first knew my purpose when I was around 18. It didn't come up for me as a serious question though until I was in my fifties. It took me several years after that to really understand it.
A good example at the other end of the scale is environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg. Regardless of whether you agree with her not, here was a young girl who at 15 had a crystal-clear understanding of her purpose. She started to act on it long before anyone was watching.
Your purpose is already there.
You may already have a sense of your purpose. If you do I encourage you do press in and learn more about it. The journey we go through is often one of subtraction. Taking away everything that is not our purpose.
When we're younger we have some very practical things to take care of.
Things like finding a life partner. Creating a secure environment for ourselves. Things like a good job and a home. We have the biological urge to recreate and nurture our children.
All these things are important and can feel like our purpose at the time. Which is why it's often not until we reach midlife, when the doing and getting and having stage has eased, that we start to ask, what else is there? Which tells us that while all the other activity was important, it was not your purpose.
Why look for your purpose?
When you are connected to your purpose you have energy. It's the source of enthusiasm and eagerness. Consider the feeling you have when you're heading off on Holiday. The excitement and eagerness. Imagine having that feeling every day.
When you're connected to your purpose the universe tends to get out of your way. I'm not saying you won't have setbacks or problems. I am saying things go better when you are 'in the zone' as they say.
When you are living your purpose you are fully satisfied, there's no feeling of lack or want or emptiness or scarcity.
When you are living your purpose, you are contributing to others. If humans only ever did what was in their own best interest, we would still be picking berries of a tree and living in caves. It is only by working as a community that we have what we have.