Why are we alive?
It’s perhaps the most existential question ever conceived by the human mind. A mere four words, and yet it can cultivate a whole petri dish of answers and interpretations. Ask a million people and you’ll get a million different answers.
But here’s the thing: If there truly is a reason you exist, do you even need to know why?
Why the Why?
Getting answers to all our why’s is not an easy feat. Walking on your paths (with emphasis on the ‘’S“) may seem discouraging to some. But getting there to where you are meant to be is ultimately fulfilling.
Let’s look at some points why knowing your purpose in life is beneficial and important.
It creates a clearer vision of life
People who know their purpose in life tend to be more focused and unstoppable. They know where to use their energies and have that sense of fulfillment for what they have accomplished. Meanwhile, people who do not know their purpose tend to be more scattered. They usually end up not completing what they planned for the day and end up just wasting their time.
It Makes You Put Your Heart Out Into Every Goal
You not only put your best foot forward when you want to be hired for your dream job, you also do the same if you know your purpose in life. It makes you passionate about all the things you do. It fuels your energy to achieve what you want in life.
It Maintains Your Focus on Your Goals
The path to your goal is not always going to be smooth sailing, but knowing your purpose makes the journey worth it. Even if you get bumped and bruised, you will not give up and be more resilient in reaching your goal. It makes you push to go further even when everyone tells you to stop.
Determine your “Why?”
Many people lived their lives doing everything they can, and yet they somehow find that happiness is elusive. If you want a life filled with success and fulfillment, you need to know the reason you are here.
Your very existence demands that you understand your purpose. You need to find something that drives you. Something in you that does not change.
You see, if you have a “why” you will have the strength and courage to achieve many things. When life knocks you down, you have a purpose to get back up.
Your WHY will be your anchor, it should be powerful enough to keep you going.
So, how can you determine your life’s greatest purpose?
1. What you CAN do?
If I will ask you why do you do what you do, what will be your answer? Is it because you love to do it, or because someone asked you to do it? Maybe you NEED to do it?
I know that there are times when life’s circumstances force you down certain paths and lead you to do the things that you don’t want. But one thing is clear, you CAN do what you do that’s why you’re there. Now, the only question is whether you like it or you just feel obligated.
At some point, what others want and what you want will be in totally opposite poles and that’s fine, just keep going. What is important in determining your WHY is knowing what you can do first.
Start from there. Figure out what you can do. We’ll tackle the next questions in the next item.
2. What you LOVE doing?
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”—Bishop T. D. Jakes
I reckon you already figured out what you CAN do. Now, let’s determine whether you LOVE doing it. If you don’t then figure out where that passion lies.
Start with listing the things that you LOVE or LOVED doing until you come up with a list of things you feel strongly for.
In this case, you need to start asking yourself again, “Why was I so adamant to start what I was doing in the first place? What happened along the way that made me change the way I see things?”
Or, “How far is what I am doing from what I love doing? Why haven’t I started doing my passion even just for a hobby?”
This assessment aims to lead you to the conclusion that your passion is something you really want to do and probably give you a little push to start pursuing it.
Once you are able to answer those “why’s” and you have confirmed that this is what you really love. Then, you will know that passion grows on its own. When you gain clarity on the reason why you do the things you do, you will discover that your passion for that thing will increase.
Remember, the more passionate you are about the things you do, the more impact you will create. In the next item, let’s determine the most important part of your WHY.
3. What you can GIVE to people?
The best example is presently displayed in the public eye. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the stage for so many public servants, health care workers, police officers, firemen, volunteers, just to name a few. Who are willing to give their 100% in what they do. By performing their duties, they give selflessly to their community.
You may think, “Of course, they are paid to do so,” but usually, the thank you they get are remembered better than their paid checks. The feeling they get when they GIVE a part of themselves more than make up for it, giving them an intense feeling of fulfillment.
The gratification they get from helping others makes them motivated to be of continued service to the people. This fuels their passion which in turn makes them give out their soul in order to accomplish their goals.
Knowing what you can do is good, but knowing what you can do for others is better. As Pablo Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
If you are having a hard time figuring out, start by looking back at your life. When people approach you for help, what do they usually want from you? What is it that people feel that you can give them?
What is it that you love giving to people? The things that make you smile once you get a thank you for it?
Start from there. Once you have figured out what you can GIVE, it will get better from there.
The universe can provide the opportunity to find your purpose in life, but it cannot command your feet to walk the path. You have to choose whether or not to go in the direction it’s taking you.
One’s purpose in life is not always about personal gains nor riches. Sometimes, our purpose is not about finding how we can benefit from the world, but about knowing how the world can benefit from our existence.
Pursue the purpose you believe you should take. If it’s service to the people, serve with your heart. If it’s sharing knowledge, teach with love. If it’s in the arts, channel your passion and let them feel your feelings through your work.
Whenever you feel lost, go back to the three steps we tackled.
1. What you CAN do
2. What you LOVE doing
3. What you can GIVE
Make these questions your pillars in staying in your path to finding your purpose.