How do I find out my true purpose in life?
I hear this question often and this is what most people in the course of a journey of awakening seem to be most interested in – how do I find my true calling and what is it I am supposed to do with my life, now that I have seen Truth?
Interestingly enough, in most cases the question is about finding a job.
There are several issues contained in this question. First of all, I think it is so popular because many people are not satisfied with their vocational choices or their career, and secondly because a job seems to be easier to change than say a relationship or overcoming an other convictions, that may contribute to being unhappy.
I usually respond by saying: “Why do you think the true purpose in life is a job?” and mostly people look at me in disbelief. But I am completely serious.
This question touches on a major paradigm shift when we are starting to live by what is true, as opposed to what we believe or want to be true. For example, I might have pursued a certain career path, because the money was good, the status highly respectable and I had the opportunity and or qualifications to do it. I may not have been happy and I may not see myself doing this job for the rest of my life, but it seems to be a fair compromise.
The thing is, truth does not know a compromise. Truth is truth and will not align with the rules made to serve a particular system. One of these beliefs is that we have to work, be productive, make money, save, have a pension plan and eventually are entitled to benefits when we get sick or old. It may look reasonable – but it is a belief regardless.
And it is a quite strong belief, because it is about financial security, which is related to the need to food, shelter and belonging. To understand one’s own identifications and beliefs regarding the systems we deem rock solid, because they are an intrinsic part of our (Western) society and we do not see how it could work differently.
In my own story, I walked out of a job because one day I just could not do it any longer. I often used to joke and say the worst thing about my job is that I am bored, but they pay me well for the inconvenience. It turned out, that being bored with something is not good enough when we are in the process of aligning ourselves with what is true.
So there I was, and I knew I could not go back to what would have been the easy option, but I did not know what I wanted to do, other than I had an impulse to move in a direction I had some previous experiences, but it felt more than an interest or a pastime, than something I could live of.
However, I took the plunge and started a business everyone told me was a crazy idea.
The thing with finding one’s purpose is one has to give it time to unfold. In my case it goes in parallel with my own development. The further I go, the more I do away with my own convictions, beliefs or identifications, the more I can see what it really is I am born to do. And from my own experience (I am not fully there yet, but I can see the direction), there are several good indicators one can identify that point in the right direction.
- There has to be a willingness to live an authentic life. This is the first and most important driver. Ask yourself if you are willing to do that.
- Make a list of what you always loved to do – but be aware that this is just the basis. So if you like to take photographs, it is just a pointer to your talents and what has been motivating you to learn a skill.
- Finding one’s true purpose in life cannot be money driven. Forget about the money, focus on what you love to do and do it with everything you have got.
- Uncover your own hidden identifications and expectations that may be in the way. Are there concerns about what your family may have to say about it? Or is there a fear that you have to change your lifestyle or location? It is extremely important to know oneself in that respect and to understand what has been driving our choices to support or abandon what we really love to do ?
- Be completely open what exactly the purpose might be. You do not know that and life will show you in time. Not my will but thine.
If you are able to follow the above, the true purpose will reveal itself in time. It certainly did for me and it did for everyone I know, who is following the same principles of being committed to living a life based on truth. It requires to take a leap of faith, in order to align oneself with truth and start acting in a way that often defies reason. It takes courage and it takes commitment, but it brings a sense of fulfillment, marvel and wonder, when you see the path unfolding in front of your very eyes. It may not be without error or obstacles, but very soon you are able to differentiate between decisions that help to support yourself walking the path – like for example taking a part time job to help financing the transition – and the choices you make to build your new endeavour.
To find one’s purpose in life takes three things – honesty, persistence and faith. If you can find that in you, then just take the leap – and fly.