What is my purpose? Life is short and unpredictable. Some people will live long, content lives and go to their final resting place at peace. But others may be taken from this world too early before they had time to accomplish all that they wanted in their lives.
A common trend among people who are facing their last moments of life is regret. Regret for all of the things they didn’t get to do. Or shame for wasting their precious short life doing something that didn’t bring true fulfillment. And for not discovering and exploring their life purpose.
If you want to live a full and happy life with no regrets, you have to discover your “Why.” Not everyone will live a life of greatness that will change the world. But everyone can experience great moments that can change the life of one person. Use these sixteen steps to find out your why in life so you can live a life of purpose, fulfillment, happiness, and inner peace.
Step 1: What Do You Love?
Everyone has an extraordinary passion that helps us escape the chaos of our busy lives and be in the moment. Some people like to enjoy the outdoors by cycling, hiking, or viewing wildlife.
Other people prefer to get lost in art, whether it’s painting, sketching, playing music, writing, or doing some dancing.
Defining your passions in life is the first step in finding out your life’s purpose. For many of us, our passion is the driving force behind finding inner peace.
When your day becomes chaotic, and you need a stress-relief, think about the activity you use to get back in sync. This life-saver is part of your life’s Why.
Step 2: What Do You Get Lost Doing?
For many people who are not yet on the correct path towards their life’s purpose, the minutes seem to drag on when you’re doing things you don’t enjoy, like work. Yet time goes by quickly when you’re doing something you love. We all know the saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”
When you discover what is my purpose – the driving factor that gets you up every morning and causes you to make sacrifices to keep doing it – you start to find true happiness.
If you love what you do, you feel excited at every opportunity, and you experience a stronger sense of pride for your accomplishments.
Think about what makes the time go by faster without making you feel like you’re sacrificing a piece of your soul to achieve it. This passion is part of the Why of your life.
Step 3: What Can You Not Stop Doing?
Most people have one thing in their lives that they have to do, no matter what sacrifices they have to make. Think about your life. What is something you can’t resist doing, even if it annoys other people?
Avid runners will get their miles in, no matter the weather conditions. A writer may stay up all night even though they have to get up early the following day because there’s a scene in their mind they have to get out. Musicians play on streets, in garages, or for non-paying gigs so that they can share their music.
If something drives you so much that you can’t resist the call, chances are it’s something you’re meant to do with your life. Stop ignoring the signs.
Step 4: What Drives You?
We all have an inner force that drives us forward. Maybe you have a spouse, children, or a pet that you adore more than life. Perhaps you have the desire to honor your parents and make them proud, so you have their approval. Or you could be a goal-setter who has firm plans of what you want to achieve in your future.
When you have a solid reason to succeed, you have a purpose for your life. Figuring out what motivates you to live is a vital component of discovering your life’s Why.
These motivators will serve as your inspiration to never give up, to keep pushing forward until you’ve achieved what you’ve set out to accomplish. Failure will not be an option. The only failure is not to try.
Step 5: What Makes You Happy?
One of the best motivational stories we can give you goes like this –
“A teacher asked a boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said, “To be happy.” The teacher told him he didn’t understand the assignment. He replied, “You don’t understand life.”
While you should want to live a successful life, you should care more about living a happy one. Money will not buy you happiness, and your job will not care if you die.
It’s essential to spend your life doing things that make you happy. The money you make isn’t going to do anything for you after you’ve left this life. As you draw your last breath, you won’t be thinking about money.
If you could categorize your life from the day you are born until the day you die, you may end up with regrets to see that you spent more time working and less time living. When you live with a purpose, you won’t waste a single day because you did what made you happy. For that, you’ll be the richest person alive.
Step 6: What Would You Do If You Didn’t Need Money?
An excellent exercise for figuring out your life’s cause is to envision what you would spend your life doing if you didn’t have to worry about money?
If you didn’t have to work for a paycheck, would you take a low-paying job playing in a band or painting on the boardwalk? Would you lead humanitarian efforts to help others in poor countries?
Or would you still be doing the same job you do now? When you love what you do, it’s not working. Instead, you’re getting paid to fulfill your life’s purpose. You can only reach happiness when you’re doing what you are meant to do.
Step 7 – Imagine You Only Have One Year to Live
Most people want to avoid thinking about their death. This fear leads them to put off things they want to accomplish because they believe there will always be time later.
But nothing in life is guaranteed – especially your last breath. Freak accidents occur all the time, and many people run out of time to do everything they’ve dreamed of trying.
Imagine that you’ve gotten news that you only have one year left to live. Would you spend that year working your regular, miserable job and doing the same boring routine? Or would you chase your dreams and try to leave behind a legacy of giving it all you got?
Because life is short and unpredictable, don’t wait until later to start your life’s purpose. If you know what you’re meant to do, go for it full-force.
Step 8 – Set Your Values
Without values, you’ll never be able to live a life of purpose. Your values are part of who you are, and they affect what you do with your life.
Think about the important things to you – family, friends, pets, personal possessions, hobbies, job security, etc. What gives your life meaning and brings you joy?
Once you’re through listing all of these different things, combine them into categories or themes – love, success, pleasure, etc. These themes are your core values, and they will play a part in the Why of your life.
Step 9 – Learn Your Strengths
We all have things that we’re good at doing. Maybe people know you for your strong ability to give advice, make plans, organize events, or for your artistic skills.
Your strengths are a crucial component of discovering your life’s purpose. You may be good at things because they come naturally to you, but it’s also because you do it a lot. Practice makes perfect.
If you’re having trouble figuring out your strengths, ask your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone that you associate with or assist.
Step 10 – Determine Your Talents
We all have an innate ability to do something so well that it’s almost natural. These activities are a significant part of who you are as a person.
Your talents are often clues to your life’s purpose. When you indulge in your talents, you lose track of everything except being in the moment. Your mind is at peace, you feel overjoyed, and nothing else matters.
If you’re experiencing discontent in your life, you might be suffering from deprivation of your life’s purpose. Not doing what you love to do can make you feel like you’re slowly dying inside. Doing what you love is like replenishing your soul’s gas tank. It gives you the fuel needed to keep going and be happy.
Step 11 – Figure Out Your Escapes
Life is stressful and exhausting. Having to constantly live up to expectations and complete all the things on our to-do lists can take its toll and leave you feeling spent and miserable.
To recharge your batteries, think about what you like to do to escape. Do you put on music and go for a long drive or a run? Do you play music, paint, make something with your hands, or sweat the stress out at the gym?
Your escapes are another clue to your life’s purpose. You feel peace and joy from these things because they’re what you’re meant to do. When you find a way to make your escape part of your regular life, you’ll be on the path to successfully living your life’s purpose.
Step 12 – Remember Your Childhood
Thinking back on your childhood is a fantastic way to discover your purpose in life. As a child, before all of the pressures of adulthood, you only do things you love, and that makes you happy.
But as we enter adulthood, we tend to give up the things that make our souls sing to chase green paper that many people seem to denote our success in life.
To truly embrace your Why in life, you have to learn how to embrace those things you loved to do before life became so stressful. Take time to reflect on your childhood.
For most people, there are patterns throughout your life that revolve around the things you’re supposed to do. Figure out the theme of these patterns to discover what gives you enjoyment.
Step 13 – Help Others
People who have discovered their purpose in life have learned that helping others brings you happiness and inner peace.
Even if you’ve never experienced someone helping you, you still feel joy at doing something nice for another person. Just because someone looks fine on the outside doesn’t mean they aren’t in turmoil on the inside. As the late, great Robin Williams said, “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.”
When you do something for another person without any expectations of compensation, you feed your soul positive energy. Something as simple as holding a door open for a mother whose hands are full or paying for a stranger’s coffee can fill you with happiness.
Compliment a stranger. Listen to a friend’s problem and offer advice. Or volunteer to help those less fortunate. Donate to a charity. There are plenty of ways to be selfless and help others without much effort.
Step 14 – Teach and Be Taught
Along with helping others, many people who have discovered their life’s purpose want to share their knowledge with others who share the same interests or passions.
Having another person who understands your drive, who has also experienced the feeling of getting lost in the moment and forgetting everything else, allows you to connect with someone who won’t judge or think you’re crazy.
Teaching others also lets you learn new things about yourself, about the subject, and life. Don’t be afraid of not having all the answers or having a different perspective. Share your knowledge, your beliefs, and let others do the same to you.
Step 15 – Stop Caring What Others Think
When you’ve discovered your life’s true purpose, you’ll start on a journey that will give every day of your life meaning, even if you don’t do anything others consider significant.
But along your path, you will always have speed bumps. There will be plenty of people who may not understand your need to fulfill your life’s Why.
You have to learn how to ignore the naysayers. If what you’re doing is making you happy and gives your life meaning, you’ve discovered the secret to life. Other people won’t understand until they’ve found their way.
Don’t let age, experience, or fear stop you from achieving what you want to do. Everyone has to start somewhere. If someone has spent more time doing something, naturally, they might be better than you. It doesn’t mean you can’t be as good once you’ve put in the blood, sweat, tears, and effort. You have to pay your dues.
Step 16 – Analyze Your Motives
What is my purpose? The final step to discovering your purpose in life is to analyze your motives. Why do you want to learn about your life’s purpose? Are you feeling unsatisfied with your current situation?
Do you feel an intense urge to become successful or impact the world or history? Are you hoping to find inner peace and fulfillment?
Keep asking why for every answer you get when you’re trying to answer the question of what you’re meant to do with your life. Analyze the recurring themes to your answers to find out your biggest motivations. You’ll have better success at learning your life’s Why when you know what’s driving you to make the change.