Do you sometimes think if you could just figure out what your life’s purpose is, your life would be complete? I have done occasionally. I wonder what the point of me is, why am I here? What am I meant to be contributing to the world?
Purpose is the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists. In figuring out what your purpose is, you get to decide why you exist, why you’re doing something. Your purpose can be being intentional and deciding how you want to show up, who you want to be.
There are those who in their early years have a clear view of who they want to be when they grow up, a doctor, a lawyer, a writer. Most of us though probably don’t have a strong sense of who we want to be. I’d never have thought I’d be doing what I am now. I never really thought about what I wanted to be or do. R had very clear views. At first she wanted to be a forensic scientist and we helped her towards that route. We looked at what she needed to do at University and worked it backwards through A levels and GCSEs. When it became apparent that she probably wasn’t cut out for that, an opportunity arose for her to play with photography, and that’s where she excelled. She was a natural at it. She did photography at A level and even her teacher said there was nothing more she could teach her, she needed to go to Uni to do it, and that’s what she did. Unfortunately the world of photography is a difficult one to get into, particularly if you lack self-confidence, but she has eventually found a job that revolves around camera equipment and is happy taking photos for fun. She’s even had a couple of commissions over the last few years. She found her thing.
If you think about what has led you to this moment, you stop trying to find your purpose and focus on deliberately showing up as the person you want to be. It takes practice, but things will begin to change. When you refocus energy from resisting your job or what you do now into creative energy you can think about other things you want to experience. When we are curious about other opportunities and projects they lead to the next step, and the next, without necessarily knowing what the outcome will be.
You may still not know what the ultimate outcome will be but your purpose will be whatever you want it to be and whoever you decide to be. Beyond that you get to choose to involve yourself in things you’re curious about and that may take you down another route. Take the pressure off yourself and decide who you want to be as a human being then live that out no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
For me, I think I’ve taken choices, particularly at work, that have served my needs at the time. I reduced my hours when R was at school and I took a job that was much lower banding than I was used to. Not long into it, I started to see opportunities to make efficiencies, to make the process better and get more information out of it as a result. That lead to promotion. Eventually I went back to full time, and in a role that gave me opportunity to process and plan, and organise. Over the course of the next six years, I got promoted three times based on my emerging capabilities. As a result of that I was then head hunted for a job with a major increase in responsibilities. From there I’ve used my abilities to plan, process map and monitor. This has put me back into the project management world, which makes good use of those skills.
I feel that my purpose is to organise things and people, and look at processes to try to improve them. I also have a number of curiosities outside of work that I dabble in but so far have not taken the braver step into investing fully into them. I am keen to learn and explore areas of unfamiliarity.
I think I will always return to organising. It’s what I do. I must be my purpose.
One thought on “How to find and live out your purpose”
Who knows? I still don’t. So many things interest me. So many things but not enough hours. But still full of the ‘what’s my purpose’ question, ha 🤣