Purpose is a hard thing to define. It’s one of those intangible qualities that everyone takes for granted that they have achieved until the day they realise it has alluded them. The best way you can hope to put some definition of the concept is that purpose is that feeling when you wake up in the morning and right away you know what you need to do and why you need to do it. It’s something that pushes you forward and gives you something to strive for – an outcome to reach. Most look for in their career, and the lucky ones who find it get a sense of fulfillment from their work beyond the salary and success.
However, there are many out there who struggle to find their purpose and there are many reasons for that. For instance, finding purpose takes a certain level of self-awareness. To be able to step back and examine your life, the important things in it and your passions is not as easy as it sounds. The day-to-day responsibilities often blind you to such simple details. That’s why people generally seek out their purpose later in life. When they’ve achieved a certain level in their career and become financially comfortable, they start to consider whether those things have really given them purpose. However, this is also a time when professionals look to establish a work-life balance, spending less time focused on their careers. So how do you find purpose when work is no longer your main focus?
The first thing you have to do when seeking your purpose is remove ego from the equation. I said above that realising your purpose takes self-awareness, but it can be hindered by being self-centered. This might seem like a bit of a contradiction as seeking your own purpose seems like an inherently self-centered endeavor. However, when your ego is introduced into the equation, it becomes less about finding your purpose and more about what a purposeful life would look like to others. Humans can’t help but compare ourselves to others and what have achieved. A true purpose has to remove all those considerations and focus on what it brings to your life alone.
One approach you should take to realise your purpose is by searching for your passion but without any expectations. A lot of us have those passions in life that, if money and other responsibilities were no longer a factor, we would devote out lives to. When work starts to become less important, some people take the opportunity to pursue those passions, and some think this is where they can fid their passion. But this is where self-awareness becomes important. You have to consider the expectations you have for this pursuit. What are you really hoping to get out of this, what outcome are you seeking, and does it seem like something that will ultimately give you purpose?
Success isn’t something you should be considering when seeking purpose. That’s why finding a purpose outside of work is achievable. When you remove the typical career motivations, financial benefits and other distractions, you can get to the heart of what matters to you and begin seeking something bigger than yourself. It’s still not an easy thing to achieve but approaching it in the right way, sets you on a path to finding what you are looking for. Good luck!