How to effectively find your life’s purpose

You like your job, but it doesn’t excite you anymore. You’re entering the job market but aren’t sure what you really want to do. You feel stuck, or like something is somehow missing from your life. You long to find your life purpose, but you don’t know where to start.

We’re all souls having a human experience, trying to figure out why we’re on this Earth.

And from my countless existential crises, self-help books and glasses of wine, I found my purpose. I’ve also helped hundreds of women find their life purpose and take on fulfilling, meaningful roles that create impact in the world.

Without a life purpose, you’ll continue feeling stuck, like you’re moving in circles, watching as time continues to pass you by.

A life purpose is like a compass, guiding you over life’s path. Keeping you centered, focused and clear on what really matters to you and what you want from life.

Here’s the truth: you already know what your life purpose is.

The answer is waiting inside you. You just have to know how to pull it out.

Here’s How to Find Your Life Purpose in 4 Easy Steps:

1. Find your Ikigai

Ikigai is a Japanese term which, loosely translated, means “a reason to live,” or our life’s purpose. The diagram below shows the intersection between four main areas of our lives:

Ikigai is the common ground between what we love, what we’re good at, what the world needs, and what we can get paid for. It’s a great first step to discover your purpose.

Finding and realizing your ikigai will not happen overnight. By working toward our ikigai over time, we will continue to grow and develop in our chosen fields or professions. And because our ikigai is our choice, we can feel a sense of autonomy over the journey it takes to get there.

Ikigai is often not something grand or extraordinary, which makes it approachable and realistic for many people. In that way, it also improves our wellbeing because we are always working toward something meaningful.

To create your ikigai, start with each of the four main areas of the circle. Write down the activities and topics you love and the things you are good at. Next, think about what the world needs, specifically from you. Finally, what can you be paid for in relation to your talents and experience.

Next, start making connections between each of the circles. For example, what do you love that the world also needs? What are you good at that you can be paid for? Answering these questions will help you identify ways of achieving balance within the circles.

When you feel that you have an adequate sense of yourself, brainstorm a few things that could be your ikigai, or how all four areas could intersect and what that might look like in your life. Then ask yourself what you need to start and stop doing to get there.

2. Disown your Fears

While the ikigai exercise is a great way to start brainstorming and visualizing our life purpose, it can be overwhelming to try to achieve it.

We tell ourselves a lot of stories about what we can and can’t do. Fear holds us back from achieving our goals and dreams.

Fear is the number one killer of confidence. When we fear the outcome or a part of the process, we don’t move forward. Taking action leads to increased confidence. Fear creates this vicious cycle that keeps us from realizing our goals and dreams and, in the process, robs us of our confidence.

Start by making a list of your fears in relation to finding your purpose. What about this discovery process is frightening to you? What are the unknowns that make you overwhelmed? Think about how this contributes to your level of self-confidence.

Next, identify the evidence that proves your fears wrong. What lie is your fear trying to tell you?

Check out this example:

Fear: I am afraid that people will laugh at me or tell me I’m crazy for following my passion or discovering my life purpose.

Evidence: I have a great family and wonderful friends who have always supported me in various stages of my life.

Evidence: If this is truly my purpose, everyone will see it and agree that I was meant for this.

3. Claim your Values

Once you’ve erased your fears about pursuing your purpose, you can begin to identify your core values. Start by making a list of everything you value, or use this list of common core values for inspiration. Then, narrow that list down to five of your most deeply held values.

Looking at your list, think about how your current life and work support and reflect these values. How do they show up for you on a daily basis? What examples do you have of times when you have truly lived your values?

Next, think about which values you may be ignoring or not giving enough attention to in your current situation. How can you bring more attention to these values? What do you need to start or stop doing to fully embrace and live these values?

Our values represent who we are at our core. When we deeply understand and claim our values, decisions become easier to make, and we can start putting our dreams into action.

4. Take Powerful Action

Which brings me to the final step. We can’t begin to live our purpose without taking action. The difference between where we are and where we want to go is what we do.

Some of us are already on our way to living out our ikigai. Others have a little more work to do. Start by identifying where you fall on that continuum. Then, think about where you would like to be next year.

Next, break down that goal into 12 concrete actions or changes you need to make. Grab your favorite planner, notebook or online calendar and assign one action for each month for the next year.

By focusing on just one area of improvement per month, our goal becomes more manageable, and we are more likely to follow through with these small actions.

The Takeaway

Finding your life purpose doesn’t have to be a pie-in-the-sky dream. We can all discover our life purpose if we give ourselves the time and space to consider these powerful concepts. We can find what’s missing and take realistic, manageable steps to bring more of that into our lives.

Take action now: Sign up for the free 30-Day Life Purpose Challenge! Over 30 days, you’ll use the Ikigai and daily journal prompts to guide you to find your purpose. You’ll spend time reflecting on what you love to do, what you’re good at doing, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs from you. When you sign up for the challenge, you’ll also receive a downloadable workbook with prompts to guide you. At the end of the challenge, you’ll put all your work together to define your Ikigai, or your life purpose! Sign up for the free challenge and discover your life purpose now!

How would you live differently if you discovered your life purpose? Drop a comment below.

Finding Purpose Is the Key to Living Your Best Life

Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.

Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.

The combination of a successful career, a loving family, and a strong social network may seem like the recipe for a perfect life. However, even those who can check each of those boxes might feel like something is missing—and that “something” is their purpose in life.

“Finding your purpose” is more than just a cliché or a dream that will never be fulfilled. It’s actually a tool for better, happier, healthier life that too few people attempt to use.

Only around 25% of Americans adults cite having a clear sense of purpose about what makes their lives meaningful, according to one analysis of the subject in The New York Times,   while 40% either claim neutrality on the subject, or say they don't.

Why Do You Need a Sense of Purpose?

A 2010 study published in Applied Psychology   found that individuals with high levels of eudemonic well-being—which involves having a sense of purpose along with a sense of control and a feeling like what you do is worthwhile—tend to live longer. Other researchers   found that well-being might be protective for health maintenance. In that research, people with the strongest well-being were 30 percent less likely to die during the eight-and-a-half-year follow-up period.

There’s also research that links feeling as if you have a sense of purpose to positive health outcomes,   such as fewer strokes and heart attacks, better sleep, and a lower risk of dementia and disabilities.

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Research and Personality found that individuals who feel a sense of purpose make more money than individuals who feel as though their work lacks meaning.

So the good news is, you don’t have to choose between having wealth and living a meaningful life. You might find the more purpose you have, the more money you’ll earn.

With all of those benefits, it’s clear that it’s important to find purpose and meaning in your life. But purpose and meaning is not something that can be determined quickly.

Press Play for Advice On Self-Advocacy

Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, featuring activist Erin Brockovich, shares tips on standing up for what’s right, taking care of yourself, and tackling things that seem impossible. Click below to listen now.

The process requires plenty of self-reflection, listening to others, and finding where your passions lie. These seven strategies can help you reveal or find your purpose so you can begin living a more meaningful life.

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How to effectively find your life’s purpose

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If there’s just one habit you can create to help you find your purpose, it would be helping others.

Researchers at Florida State University and Stanford found that happiness and meaningfulness had overlap but were different: Happiness was linked to being a taker before a giver, whereas meaningfulness went more with being a giver than a taker. Being the “giver” in a relationship connected people with having a more purposeful life.

Altruistic behaviors could include volunteering   for a nonprofit organization, donating money to causes you care about, or simply helping out the people around you on a day-to-day basis.

Whether you decide to spend two Saturdays a month serving meals in a soup kitchen, or you volunteer to drive your elderly neighbor to the grocery store once a week, doing something kind for others can make you feel as though your life has meaning.

Graduation is a happy occasion, an important moment in life, and a big achievement. But, it is also a crucial juncture in life. When I was asked to speak at a baccalaureate service for local high school graduates, my message, quoting John Piper, was simple:

Don’t waste it. Don’t waste your life!

This message is important for us all. I’m sure, however, that wasting your life is not at the top of your to-do list. If you are wasting your life, you probably don’t mean to be!

You might be wondering then—am I wasting my life? How do I know? Well, in order for something to be wasted it must be spent in such a way that it does not accomplish its intended purpose.

Your life does have a purpose. And if you don’t want to waste your life, you need to know what your life is meant for.

Where to Find Your Purpose

The Bible, as God’s word spoken to you, is the place to turn to find your purpose. And I’ll make it even simpler: you can find your purpose in one short verse. 1 Corinthians 8:6 says:

For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

We are made by God, and we are made for God. That’s the answer. You exist for God. Your purpose is to spend your life for God, with Jesus at the center of everything you are and do. Unfortunately, there are two ways you can fail to do this.

Two Ways to Miss Your Purpose

Way 1: Spend Your Life on Nothing (No God)

I met Chris in 6th grade, and we were friends through high school and even through college. In high school and his early college years, Chris was bright, fun, creative, artistic, and well connected. But later in college, Chris became aimless, isolated, and joyless; one of the last times I talked with him he was stuck in a dead-end job that was not related to any of his talents, education, or his passions.

Over the course of our friendship, we had a few spiritual conversations. Chris was involved in youth band at church, he went on Christian retreats, and once when we were camping he told me that he believed in some higher force or the possibility of a god, but it was clear that Chris had no faith in Jesus Christ.

Chris’s problem was that he hadn’t come to terms with 1 Corinthians 8:5-6. He didn’t know what he existed for, or rather who he existed for. He had no passion for something greater than himself. No vision past the present.

Maybe this describes you, too. A missing purpose, fading passion, a lack of commitment to Christ. Reader, find that passion by spending your life—and spend it for the sake of Christ! Spending it for something else leads up to the second way to miss your purpose:

Way 2: Spend Your Life on The Wrong Things (False gods)

If the first way to miss your purpose is to drift aimlessly with no target, no goal, no purpose, no intentionality, the second way is to be motivated, driven, passionate, and laser-focused on entirely the wrong goals. You can achieve all the wrong goals.

You can attain the American dream, you can climb the corporate ladder, but Jesus tells us that to spend yourself for this is foolishness.

In a brief parable, he tells us about a rich man who had so much stuff he had to build even larger barns to put it all in. He was fat and happy. Living large. But God calls this man a fool because he can’t take these riches with him when he dies. What’s more, all the wealth in the world wouldn’t prepare this man to meet God, because he spent his life serving himself.

Money will be spent, beauty will fade, power will be limited, fame will be forgotten, and entertainment and pleasure-seeking will fail to provide the joy that you long for in life. Don’t miss your purpose in life by spending it on the wrong things!

The Way to Achieve Your Purpose

The good news is that your life has real meaning and purpose, and you’ll find it in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus, God the Son, died in the prime of his life – only 33 years old – never having sinned: not one impure thought, not one hateful word, not one white lie. A life perfectly dedicated to God.

That is a valuable life. A meaningful life. And the Bible says that Jesus laid down his own life for you and me. He sacrificed his perfect, meaningful life so that it could be applied to our imperfect and (seemingly) purposeless lives if we believe in him.

This is what we call the gospel – the good news of Jesus. Jesus spent his life for you so that you could spend your life for him. When you trust Jesus to save you from your sins he will do so, and he will give you a new life with incredible purpose and meaning. And there is great freedom to be found in this good news.

The measure of your life lies not in what you accomplish, or how much wealth you have accumulated, but in what Christ has accomplished, and in the riches of God’s grace. You can exist for God, through Jesus, whether you are mopping floors or marketing pharmaceuticals. In fact, the world needs both floor moppers and pharmaceutical marketers who will spend their lives to display the glory of God in Jesus Christ.

Considering what has been significant and meaningful in your life can help you determine your purpose.

Finding your life purpose, or your “why,” can give you direction in your life and career. But it isn’t something you can make up; it’s something you uncover about yourself. 1 Answering questions to help you recall what you have considered significant and meaningful throughout your life can be very effective in helping determine your purpose.

Recalling Positive Personal Life Experiences

A good place to start is by asking yourself the following questions about the most fulfilling, happy, and memorable times in your life:

How to effectively find your life’s purpose

  • What things do you love to do and what seems to come easily to you? Are you a natural leader? Do you love working with children? Are you at your best when helping someone else? Pay attention to those things that seem to come easily to you, that are enjoyable, and that others appreciate.
  • What types of things give you energy? Perhaps you’re someone who enjoys interacting with others and is very energized after hosting a community event; or you may be someone who enjoys spending quiet time reading but is equally excited about the new ideas you discovered. It’s also important to pay attention to the things that drain your energy for clues about what may not be your purpose.
  • When have you experienced the most joy in your life? Think about the times you were involved in something that made you feel strong or happy. What activity were you doing? Were you helping someone in particular? Were you expressing yourself in a certain way? Think about what these times had in common and look for possible patterns.

Recalling Issues That Affected or Influenced You

Answering the following questions can shed light on issues and situations that have had a strong impact on you, or that you have strong feelings and opinions about: 2

  • What causes do you feel strongly about, or who would you really like to help? 2 There are many problems and issues to solve in the world. Has something happened in your life that makes you want to fix a certain type of problem or injustice? Your feelings and reactions can give you hints about what you might find meaningful to be involved in and associated with.
  • What personal qualities or values do you most like to express to others? 1 Some people value helping others learn something new, while others value making others laugh and smile or feel better physically. What qualities of yours do you most enjoy sharing with others?
  • If the world was operating perfectly, what would it look like for you? 1 Ask yourself what qualities, skills, and talents you might use to help make that “perfect world” happen, and what that would mean to you.

Discovering your life purpose isn’t something that will happen overnight, but answering these questions can help you start to figure out what it might be. A big part of finding purpose is listening to your “inner compass,” or intuition, to help you know you’re moving in the right direction.

Translating Your Life Purpose Into a Fulfilling Career

Doing the work to figure out your purpose can give you a head start in determining what might be a fulfilling career for you. Career assessments 3 —which provide information on your values, interests, personality, aptitude, and skills—can help you explore careers that might be a good fit for you and help you decide what type of education to pursue.

If you are considering a change in career direction, perhaps something related to social change, one of the main ways to build your qualifications is to continue your lifelong learning by pursuing higher education—perhaps a college degree through an online education program. If you are a working professional, earning a degree online from a reputable online university such as Walden University may be something to consider. With Walden, you don’t have to take a break from your career to pursue a postsecondary education, and its Career Planning and Development Center provides students with tools to assess interests and skills, explore careers, research industries and occupations, and identify job opportunities.

Knowing your purpose can help you make decisions that can lead to a fulfilling and satisfying life, and earning a degree online can help you find a career that aligns with your life purpose.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we’re here to help.

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

This question has been asked for over billion times, and hundreds of thousands of people have attempted to give an answer.

Yet, each answer has been unique, individual and indefinite.

That’s because we approach the question all wrong!

You see, Purpose is something that cannot be defined.

We should not seek for defining our Purpose, but finding our sense of Purpose within that always aligns with activities and things we will later consider part of our Purpose.

It’s much simpler than it might sound, in fact, you can find your sense of Purpose in less than 14 minutes if you watch the video bellow!

To find your Purpose you should go through each of these steps.

Step 1. Find your Passions.

First, make a list of your Talents and Things You Love Doing. Intersect these items and find your PASSIONS.

Step 2. Find your Mission.

Second, make a list of the Things You Can Give to The World. Intersect the items on the list of Things You Love Doing and the Things You Can Give to The World to find your MISSION.

Step 3. Find your Vocation.

Third, make a list of Things You Can Ideally Earn From. Intersect the items on the list of the Things You Can Give to The World and Things You Can Ideally Earn From to find your VOCATION.

Step 4. Find your Profession.

Finally, Intersect the items on the list of Things You Can Ideally Earn From and your Talents to find your ideal PROFESSION.

Your sense of Purpose is the gravity in the middle of these 4 pillars.

1. The truth is there is no objective purpose !

The only general purpose of life is life itself.

It’s open world sandbox type of game.

You can do what you want.

Therefore, to take most out of this experience YOU need a purpose, some objective purpose doesn’t need you to start believe in it.

YOU need something to fill you up from inside, to fulfill you!

A direction in life, a way to play this game, a mission, a quest.

Otherwise you are lost!

You feel empty, and you try to be less empty by filling your Hole inside.

Find your purpose!

I do not say this lightly. This is not just some motivational mambo jumbo “you need a purpose” BS!

2. You REALLY need a Purpose biologically!

The biochemistry inside your body, the cocktail of chemicals inside your brain is much healthier when you have a Purpose to follow, a heart aligned direction you can go towards!

Studies find that having a Purpose, a bigger goal to follow, contributes to people staying healthy even as they grow old.

Sometimes having a bigger goal than your circumstances, a Purpose that you are following, can make the difference between life and death!

Having no sense of meaning or purpose could make a healthy person ill, on the other hand, as Viktor Frankl described, a sense of Purpose can be the only thing that helps you survive a death camp!

We were designed by evolution to have a BIG goal, a sense of Purpose, something we aim towards!

You don’t need to find a Purpose just to be happy and fulfilled, those emotions are a byproduct.

You need it to stay healthy while you push through the pains of life!

You need a Purpose so you can unleash the hidden reservoirs of potential within.

Your biology actually works much better when you are using more of your potential!

So finding your Purpose is not just some self help bullshit!

It’s a “Vitamin” your whole being needs!

Vitamin P!

3. Your Purpose Cannot Be Defined.

If you wait to define your purpose so you can start following your purpose, you will wait all your life.

You cannot FULLY define it!

You cannot say “my purpose is to make legs for chairs and that’s what I will do for the rest of my life”

If you can do that, AMAZING, good for you!

But it’s still not your purpose!

This can be part of your purpose, something that reminds you of this sense within, but it’s not your purpose!

And because the world around you changes, the details of your purpose can also change, and what you call your purpose can evolve!

What once inspired you might stop, what once you were passionate about doing might stop being aligned with your purpose!

What would people who say their purpose is to be an actor would do if they were born before cinema and acting ever existed?

Or let’s say you claim your purpose is to be a YouTuber but YouTube gets deleted, what happens to your purpose?

4. Your Purpose is a Sense.

Just like you have a sense of what’s the right thing to say to someone that you meet for the first time, just like you have a sense of what you crave to eat at certain moments, in the same way knowing your purpose it’s a sense .

I had this awakening few years ago.

I wanted to be an actor all my life! And one day I had an interview for an acting school in a nearby country from where I lived.

However, I didn’t have enough money to pay for enrolling. I didn’t have anyone to borrow it from.

I knew deep down in my soul that my purpose has something to do with acting, filming videos, sharing my message and expressing myself.

As I was watching YouTube videos on “how to become an actor on your own” I realized, I can start filming videos and upload them on YouTube!

I can write! I can express my messages in other ways!

It’s not acting per se, but what acting allows you to bring into this world. And there are other things that can provide you the same opportunity!

So I realized that your Purpose is not what you always think it is. Yes, that thing that you believe is your purpose can be aligned with your Purpose, but it can also be replaced, because your Purpose is a sense that adapts to the changes of the world around you.

That’s why we say that your PURPOSE is like gravity, different objects and planets can come into orbit, but they can also leave.

How to effectively find your life’s purpose

This article series is available for download as a free PDF ebook. Click the button below to download.

This is part 1 of a 7-part series on how to find your life purpose.

  • Part 1: How To Find Your Life Purpose: Introduction
  • Part 2: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Life Purpose
  • Part 3: Why Earning Money Is Not Your Real Purpose (And How To Know What Is)
  • Part 4: Two Important Things that Led Me to Discover My Real Purpose
  • Part 5: 6 Things to Consider Before Discovering Your Purpose
  • Part 6: How To Discover Your Real Life Purpose in 30 Minutes
  • Part 7: Living in Alignment with Your Purpose

How to effectively find your life’s purpose

“The biggest threat to our well-being is the absence of moral clarity and purpose.” – Rich Sherman

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.” – Richard Bach

Have you ever wondered what is the meaning of life?

What is your life purpose? Do you know what you are here on Earth for?

Most people don’t think about their life purpose.

For many, they see life as doing what they are told and living out a pre-defined existence. Life is about studying, working, starting a family, having kids, going for a holiday once in a while, and then dying from sickness or old age at some point.

To them, the idea of having a purpose is dumb or even “hippy.” They are more interested in following the latest fads, following what the media says, shopping, and following the life path as defined by society and government. Questioning things is just being silly.

For the apathetic who are jaded about life, life is just… life. Eat, sleep, wake up, get things done, rinse and repeat. They don’t see the point about thinking deeper or creating a meaningful life.

For the nihilistic who find no meaning in life, they feel that it is pointless to find a life purpose. To them, life has no intrinsic meaning or value. Why find a purpose if something has no meaning?

But what if I were to tell you that you have a specific purpose in life? One that’s different from what you have been taught all this while? One that’s greater than anything you have ever imagined?

What if the meaning of your life is far greater than anything you’ve been told about yourself and the world, but you just can’t see it yet because you have been repressing your true and highest self?

How To Find Your Life Purpose series

  1. are looking for your purpose,
  2. aren’t sure if you are living your purpose right now,
  3. aren’t interested in finding a purpose yet you are reading this page for some reason, or
  4. don’t believe that you have a purpose or that life has a purpose,

then this series is for you.

For some of you, you may be skeptical about this series. For the nihilistic of you who believe life is meaningless, you may think that this series is utter rubbish. For the apathetic of you who don’t care about whether you have a purpose or not, you may view this series with scorn. Life purpose? Who cares?

That’s fine. The point is that you’re here at this blog, and you’re reading this now for a reason. To you, I invite you to read this series with an open mind, without bias. Do not approach this series with judgment, scorn, or expectation, but simply with an open intent to learn. For it is when we adopt an open mind that we learn the most, as opposed to evaluating things with a closed mind and skepticism.

At the end of the day, there’s no harm in reading this series, except an hour or so of your time invested. If you don’t like what you read by the time you are done, you can close shop and move on. If you hate the content, you can leave and never come back. If you disagree with some of the content, you are welcome to embrace your own views, without obligation to change any opinion. I do not expect you to change anything about yourself.

But, let’s say that somehow, through the course of this life purpose series, you discover something new about yourself and your life.

What’s going to happen? Firstly, you’ll be able to take this knowledge and apply that right away. You’ll be able to use this nugget of information to further yourself in your journey. Secondly, you’ll become wiser than before you read this series, which is the goal of everything I write on this blog.

And let’s say… through this series, you find your life purpose. Your life purpose that has eluded you all this while, but becomes so clear all of a sudden.

What’s going to happen?

Suddenly, life as you know it will be different. Suddenly, you discover a whole new spectrum of life that you never knew before. Suddenly, you wake up each day with a new-found zest of what’s to come, and what you’re about to do — more than you have ever done before.

How to effectively find your life’s purpose

I’m not saying that you’ll find your life purpose just by reading this series. That depends on how far along you are in your self-development, how much thought you put into this series, and how far you take the content and exercise that I’ll be sharing in the next few parts.

All I’m saying is, having a purpose is a part of living a conscious life. I want to support you in living your best life ever. By keeping an open mind (and heart), you allow yourself to gain new insights, in turn accelerating your path toward living your highest life.

If you feel that you have full clarity of your purpose, I invite you to read this series with an open mind and see what comes out of it. Sometimes, it’s possible that what we think is the truth isn’t the truth, in which it’s by adopting an open mind that the real truth will come to us. If what you think is your purpose is truly your purpose, it’ll come back to you by the time we’re done.

My hope is that by the end of this series, you’ll be several steps closer toward finding your real purpose — in turn, living a conscious life of your creation. Whether you find your purpose or not is a secondary effect that happens when the right things are in place. Like I often share with my clients, progress, not perfection, is the key.

Here’s my hand — I’m stretching it out to you now. In the next few parts of this series, I’ll be walking you through the journey of finding your purpose — your highest mission in life.

Proceed to Part 2: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Life Purpose, where we look into what is a life purpose and why it’s important to have one.

This is part 1 of a 7-part series on how to find your life purpose.

Ever thought about what your purpose is in life? Some of us live our entire lives trying to figure out the purpose of our existence. Some people fail, and some people succeed. And then there are those people who know their purpose, but still they get diverted from them.

When you know the purpose of your life, you tend to live a more meaningful existence than those who don’t. Yo u tend to live each day to the fullest, because you know who you are, where you’re coming from, and where you’re going.

Read on learn more benefits of living a purpose-driven life.

How to effectively find your life’s purpose

Your ‘Why’ Matters: The 10 Benefits of Knowing Your Purpose in Life

There’s no greater gift than to honor your life’s calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.

It helps you stay focused

When you know your life’s purpose, it becomes easier to focus on what matters the most in your life. By keeping the focus on one particular goal, you are able to find your direction and stay away from the distractions.

It makes you feel passionate about your goal

Knowing your purpose helps you find your true passion, and the passion becomes an important driver for you to achieve something extraordinary. Whether it is a childhood dream or a newly adopted lifestyle, the passion will push you to reach your goals.

It gives your life clarity

People who know their purpose in life are unstoppable. They are true to their purpose and shape their life accordingly. People who don’t know their purpose in life are not clear about what they want, and therefore waste their time on futile things.

It makes you feel gratified

When you have a purpose in life, you express it constantly and base your decisions, thoughts, feelings and actions around that overarching purpose. A person who knows their purpose tends to make a greater impact through their work, which encourages a feeling of gratification.

It enables you to live a value-based life

With purpose come values, which are an integral aspect of a person’s life. Values are the rules that guide our decisions in life and help define our goals. They are what tell us when we’re on the right path or wrong path, and help us find and connect with others who share our way of viewing the world.

It makes you live with integrity

Knowing your purpose in life helps you live life with integrity. People who know their purpose in life know who they are, what they are, and why they are. And when you know yourself, it becomes easier to live a life that’s true to your core values.

How to effectively find your life’s purpose

It encourages trust

People who know their purpose report a surprising increase in synchronicity and serendipity in their lives. With all this comes a deepening of trust and faith in other people, hence they consider themselves an integral part of the universe.

It infuses an element of grace in your life

People living their life with a purpose often report to be living their life with grace as well. This quote by German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe sums up the idea and intention at its best: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.” When you commit to living your life with a purpose, amazing things can happen.

It helps you find a flow in life

People who find their purpose tend to live in the flow of the universal stream of consciousness. They allow things to happen and change in their life rather than fighting against it. They tend to challenge themselves and battle against their fears.

It makes life even more fun

When people know their purpose in life, they enjoy every minute of it. They are able to take pleasure in living a purpose-driven life, and are better at tackling every situation in a creative way. Even the dullest thing becomes beautiful and creative when you’re motivated by purpose.

Wrapping up

The benefits of living a purpose-driven life are clear. When you live your life with a sense of purpose, you begin living positively and start seeking out new opportunities. You start experiencing everything that you feel will make a difference.

Relationships are also affected in a positive way when you live life with purpose. You seek out new relationships, nurture the existing ones, and build stronger connections with the people around you. You become more helpful to the people you love and become a role model for your family and friends. You tend to live your life with more curiosity, try to stay away from destructive habits, and try to seek out good ones that will help you create a difference in the world.

So if you are still looking for the purpose of your life, don’t put it off any longer. Make it a priority, and you might soon find the peace and serenity that comes from leading a purpose-driven life.

Do you feel lost or as if something is missing in your life? Maybe you want to make a bigger difference in the world than you feel you are, but you aren’t sure how. So many of us walk through life, feeling numb and desperate for a deeper connection, but aren’t sure how to get it.

The two greatest days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out what your purpose is, but if you don’t know what your purpose is than you don’t know why you are here, and it can be hard to keep going.

I know this feeling all too well. I used to suffer immense inner turmoil while trying hard to find my purpose. I was in a job I hated, working in advertising under fluorescent lights, and suffocating from the stale corporate air. I saw people like Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake shine so brightly when they performed. I wanted what they had, infectious passion, a thirsty love for life and an unyielding connection to their work.

I struggled daily to figure out my purpose, but it wasn’t until I took a step back and realized that my purpose isn’t “figure-outable” from my head that I found a way to get there. I thought to myself, “Maybe the problem isn’t that I don’t know what my purpose is; the problem is the way I am trying to find my purpose.”

We can’t think our way into our life’s passion and purpose, we have to do our way in. This means taking steps towards what you want, and removing those things in your life that you don’t want. I left my successful corporate job on a mission to find my happy, and it came by taking one step at a time and exploring many different passions. If you are looking for your purpose and passion, stop looking and start doing. These steps will help you.

How to Find Your Purpose and Passion

1. Get More Action

You can’t think your way into finding your life purpose; you have to do your way into it. Take a mental note from Nike and Just Do It. The more we act, the more we get clear on things. So instead of overthinking it — Will this work out? Should I try that? What if I don’t like it? What if I don’t make money at it? Start taking steps toward your goals and start trying new things. This will help you get out of your own way. I struggled for years trying to find out what my purpose was. This cycle only created a deeper lack of clarity. It wasn’t until I started doing that things changed for me. I began writing, and sent a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul. The second I received the letter of acceptance was unlike any ever before, love flooded into my heart and I knew that this was what I had to do with my life. You see though, I had to start writing to learn that my biggest passion was indeed writing. That only came with consistent action.

The experience is the reward; clarity comes through the process of exploring. Action is where you get results.

2. Drop From Your Head to Your Heart

Your heart is your best tool to access your true purpose and passion. Ask yourself what you love? Start taking steps to do what you love. When you are inspired and connected to your happy self, inspiration floods your heart and soul. When you lead from your heart, you are naturally more joyful and motivated to explore. By doing what you love, you will be inspired and gain insights into what brings you the most joy.

3. Break Up with The “ONE”

Many of us struggle because we try to find that ONE thing that we are meant to do; but trying to find only one thing is the reason why we feel like something is missing. The notion that we have only one thing we are meant for limits us from fulfilling our greatness. Take me for example; I have six different job titles. I’m a life coach, travel writer, author, speaker, teacher, mentor, designer, and each thing I do brings me joy, but none of these are my purpose, they are my passions. So start getting in touch with your passions! When you lead a passionate life you are living your life on purpose.

Let go of thinking there is only one purpose for you and embrace the idea that our purpose in life is to love life fully by putting ourselves into our life! This means we jump in and try new things; we stop resisting the unknown and we fully engage in what is happening right here, where we are. To lead a purposeful life, follow your passions. When we live a passion-filled life we are living on purpose, and that is the purpose of life.

That feeling that something is missing goes away when you lead a passion-filled life. The need to seek our purpose comes from a lack of passion. When you don’t feel connected to your life, you lack purpose and passion. To fix this emptiness simply add more passion. To boil it down, remember this simple equation:

Passion + Daily Action = Purposeful Life

Consider that the real purpose of anyone’s life is to be fully involved in living. Try to be present for the journey and fully embrace it. Soon you will be oozing with passion, and you will feel so purposeful and fulfilled you will wonder how you lived life without it. Enjoy the journey into your own awesome life.

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my purpose in life?” Sometimes it takes years to figure out. I was on that road to finding my purpose for a long time before I stumbled upon it a few years ago. It had been staring me in the face the majority of my life, but I just didn’t recognize it.

Sometimes your purpose is hidden in the day-to-day activities of home, work and leisure. It is often difficult to recognize, and may be cleverly masked behind something you don’t enjoy, for instance, your job.

Discovering your purpose requires taking a close look at your current interests, as well as searching deep into your past – as far back as your childhood. There are four elements I find extremely helpful in defining purpose:

1. Your childhood. When you were growing up, was there something that you had always dreamed of doing? Did you want to be a doctor, a nurse or a police officer? Did you wish you could fly an airplane, win an Olympic gold medal, or be a singer in a band? Your dreams as a child may be directly related to something you want to do now.

The desire to be a doctor or a nurse may indicate that you enjoy helping people. If you wanted to be a pilot or an athlete, you may prefer adventure and taking risks. The dream of singing in a band may signify that you enjoy taking center stage and music is important to you.

2. Strengths gifts and talents. Do you have a particular gift or talent that is unique to you? Is there something that others say about you that highlights a particular strength? Input from those who know you best (i.e., family, friends and co-workers) can be very enlightening.

These strengths, gifts and talents that are unique to you, are keys to defining your purpose. Personality type and strengths assessments can also aid in discovering your purpose.

3. Your values. These may include beliefs and customs that originate from your family and your background, but are all relevant to discovering your purpose. For instance, your childhood dream of being in law enforcement may indicate community, justice and rules are strong values for you.

4. Your roles. I’m referring to your roles at home, at work and in the community. Are you a parent or grandparent at home? Are you a manager or committee member at work? Are you a scout leader or fund-raiser in the community? Taking a look at your roles at home, work and in the community, and determining which roles you value the most, can help you in defining your purpose.

When you discover your purpose, it’s like watching a wizard pull a rabbit out of a hat. You anticipate it is in there somewhere, but when it becomes visible, it’s a big surprise – and like magic! Finding your life’s purpose can help you gain clarity on your long-term goals and help you make positive changes in your life.

And now I’d like to invite you to get my free Special Report: 10 Keys to Achieving Your Goals. To get yours, go to http://www.powerdrivetosuccess.com.

Kay Fontana is a lifelong learner, natural explorer, and navigator of Life. After watching family and friends struggle with chronic health issues, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, asthma, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and cancer, seeing the effects of the standard American diet (SAD), experiencing a series of devastating losses, and working through her own health issues with diabetes and asthma, Kay became very clear about her life’s purpose. Kay’s focus is on the whole being and connecting heart, mind, body, and soul for an abundant life. On her journey, she has learned from leading experts in the field of health, nutrition, healing, and spirituality in order to help clients achieve optimal wellness.

Some people discover their purpose early in life or have their educated or experienced parents discover it for them. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is reported to have said, “I didn’t ever consciously decide to pursue writing. I’ve been writing since I was old enough to spell, and just sitting down and writing made me feel incredibly fulfilled.”How to effectively find your life’s purpose

Yet some others don’t discover their purpose until late in adulthood, but when they do, it is joy all the way. They call such people ‘Late Bloomers.’

It doesn’t matter whether we believe it or not, we are all born with specific purposes and gifted by the Creature with special skills to achieve such purposes. There are special reasons we are here on earth, and we must discover it.

Discovered

When you would have found your purpose a feeling of contentment and joy overwhelms you as you work in the gift zone. The joy is irrespective of immediate financial rewards. Energy level is at the brim, and you don’t seem to run tired. Most workaholics have found their purpose and work in their gift zones. Unfortunately, while others think they are killing themselves, workaholics don’t feel so.

This piece is specifically for people to who purpose has become elusive. I must confess that I am not an expert in this field. So to write this, I relied heavily on experts such as Robert Taibbi and Dr. Susan Biali, a medical doctor, health and happiness expert, life and health coach, professional speaker.

Many people think that purpose should be obvious and easy to identify, an idea that leads to much frustration and disappointment. However, as you go through this journey, gaining wisdom about yourself and receiving delicious, surprising clues from life, your sense of purpose will evolve and change.

The search

For the search, Susan suggests the following thoughts:

What do you love to do, that you would do even if you don’t get paid for it? What is so you that you would just have to do it, no matter what?

What do other people say you’re really good at? Be careful of going in a direction just because others think you should. That said, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the way others compliment you. Is there anything that you’re particular good at that people tell you that you should do professionally, or do more of?

What is the one thing you want to experience, or do, or accomplish, before you die, so that on your last day on earth you feel satisfied and have no regrets in that area? What is that thing, for you? Don’t worry if you don’t have an answer yet. Keep asking the question, and keep your eyes open for clues that will come your way. Because the answer will show up, in perfect time. I promise you that.

Hammer it out

Rather than wait for your elusive purpose to evolve, Robert suggests these “wait-and-get” exercises

Write it out

First write in long hand on a piece of paper, “What is my life purpose?” And then free associate and write whatever comes to mind – I have no idea, I want to be an astronaut… — it doesn’t matter just write. Whenever you write something that has an emotional punch – where you go “Yeah” – circle it. Keep going.

After about 20-30 minutes you will hit the wall – This is stupid, I have no good ideas – write those down and keep going. After about 40 minutes you will find yourself circling around a theme (this is like cluster writing) – I want to teach others, I want to help my children to be independent and compassionate. You may get a clear purpose statement, or something more loose like a mission statement, but definitely more solid. The next step is to dwell on it, see how it fits, see how you can integrate it into your life.

Childhood dreams

Think back to what you wanted to be when you grew up. The fireman, the doctor, the writer, whatever. Have any of these dreams persisted? If the dreams have changed over time is there some unifying quality that runs through – helping others, being creative or adventurous, bringing joy or challenge …what? Again, don’t think outcome – be a doctor and make a million dollars – but look for the larger impact on your life, your loved ones, the world. Write it out if that helps.

The idea here is that childhood fantasies about our adult selves are elemental dreams that tap into our core selves before life lays on its heavy hand of right and wrong, should and want, they want we want and scrambles us. The next step is to translate this one thing, this quality into your everyday goals and life.