The journey of finding your purpose is often filled with trial and error, stops and starts, mistakes and learning — and that’s okay. That’s all part of it. However, a gentle nudge in the right direction can save you a lot of time and frustration.
There are three common misconceptions around finding your purpose, and they could be holding you back in your journey. Here are three little known truths about finding your purpose:
1. Your Passions Are Not Your Purpose
You might bring your purpose to life through your passions, but they are not the purpose itself.
Your purpose is deeper than your passions. Your passions are interests, hobbies — things you love to do. Your purpose is your ultimate life goal, your dharma, your why. It’s unchanging, whereas your passions will evolve and develop over time.
For example: Your purpose is not to be a writer, but being a writer might be how you bring your purpose to life.
Or, your purpose might be to inspire people to eat whole, organic food. Depending on what your passions are, you could: write a cookbook, start a blog, host a TV segment on the morning news, become a nutritionist, develop a national program that is taught to kids in schools, grow organic produce and sell it at farmers markets, start a community garden…
2. You Don’t Need To Save The World
As children, our ambitions were HUGE. We wanted to be astronauts! We wanted to be the president! We wanted to be an elephant! (My little brother, aged 3.)
Although what we actually do when we grow up ends up being a little more “sensible,” we still have big dreams.
The issue with those big dreams, is that sometimes they’re not what we actually want, but what we think we should want.
There’s a fear that our purpose isn’t enough. It kind of feels like you’re aiming to low if your purpose isn’t based around saving the world.
The truth is: You don’t need to save the world. Your purpose, no matter how simple it is, can have an impact that reverberates throughout the world.
Because you living your purpose inspires others to do the same.
A person living their purpose of teaching kids about the importance of healthy, whole food may inspire another to follow through on their purpose to heal those who can’t afford healthcare, who may inspire yet another to live their purpose of creating a movement that changes the way the general public have a voice on government legislation.
Living your purpose is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter so much what you do; what matters is that you do it.
So forget about whether your purpose is enough. It is. Concentrate on bringing your purpose to life, and let that be how you contribute to the world.
3. You Don’t Need To Quit Your Day Job
Imagine this: You waltz into work one day, walk directly to your boss’ office, and with a huge smile on your face, you say, “I quit!” Then you’re out the door, and living your dream life.
That would be an incredible feeling, wouldn’t it?!
But if you have bills to pay and mouths to feed, throwing in your day job might not be the best option for you right now.
That does not mean you can’t live your purpose. You can still bring your purpose to life with a day job.
- Discover a way to make a living from your purpose, or
- Use the resources your day job gives you (cold hard cash, miscellaneous skills) to bring your purpose to life another way.
If that sounds ridiculously simple, it’s because it is. Your job can either be your purpose, or it can support your purpose. Either one is fine. And you can switch from one to the other at any time.
For instance, your day job might be being a lawyer. Your purpose might be around teaching others to heal themselves through food. You might start a sideline blog. In this instance, your day job supports your purpose. Later, you might build your following and land a book deal. So, you quit your job and your purpose becomes the way you make your living.
You see? There is nothing stopping you from finding your purpose and living it today. You don’t need to quit your day job.
And you know what? Your job becomes much easier to bear when you know it’s allowing you to live your purpose.
So, with those three points in mind, dive into this question: What is your purpose?