How do you feel when you read an article or hear a talk on the topic of finding your purpose?
What is your immediate reaction when you are in a workshop and the presenter asks you to define your calling?
Typically, people address purpose as a serious matter and think that it will take a long time and hard work to find it.
In almost every talk, class, or workshop that I host, there are a few people who say, “I am here to find my purpose.” You can easily see the seriousness and even a sense of anxiety emerging when they talk about purpose. Purpose, they think, is heavy stuff!
Allow me to turn that notion on its head:
Purpose is NOT complicated.
Purpose is simple and fun.
Purpose is easier than you think.
Here is what I want you to know about jumping off the hamster wheel of “finding your purpose” so you can start living your purpose right now.
- Comparisons will get you nowhere.
Your neighbor always looks confident and focused. Your girlfriend seems to have it all figured out. Meanwhile, you are struggling. Every time you compare yourself to the people around you, you immediately feel “less than.” STOP! Not only is your neighbor’s grass not always greener, but even your best friend will never be fully transparent. You cannot really know how others are feeling deep inside.
- Purpose is not about achievement and accomplishment.
Society teaches us to connect purpose with achievement. We grow up believing that finding your purpose will happen once you have accomplished certain milestones: You get a degree. You pass a certification exam. You read self-help books until you finally acquire the knowledge you need to find your purpose. The truth is that you are born unique. You are the only person in the whole world who is exactly like you. Finding your purpose becomes easier when you accept that expressing your gifts fully IS your purpose. Once you beacon in (connect to your inner light!), you can beacon out (share your bright light with the world!) In this article, I elaborate on the process of sharing your light and expressing your gifts.
- Your purpose does not have to be your profession.
There are people like me—entrepreneurs, coaches, speakers, and others—who earn a living doing what they are passionate about. There are also stay-at-home parents who make parenting their purpose. There are people who do not feel rewarded in their jobs but who find meaning by helping others. You are unique, and you have a gift to share even if you are not working or you have a job that does not fulfill you.
- Purpose is not a destination.
If you spend your life focused on finding your purpose, you might feel frustrated and dissatisfied. You are preoccupied with the future, thinking that you will find your purpose once you reach the finish line. In this conversation with Oprah Winfrey, spiritual teacher and author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Eckhart Tolle says, “Aligning your life fully with the present moment is the key to finding your purpose.” How would it feel if you started seeing purpose as a journey, and you focused on the now? How would you feel if you walked with purpose, felt on purpose, and didn’t put so much energy into the future?
- Shift from outer purpose to inner purpose.
Last week, in the Beacons of Change Inner Circle call, we focused on choosing an internal focus. The women in the sisterhood chose qualities such as alignment, freedom, joy, creativity, and pause as their purpose for the week. Seeing purpose as a destination makes the process of finding your purpose an external one. You are constantly seeking something that is outside yourself. Finding your purpose is simpler when you see it as an inside job.
- It’s all about love.
Share what you love. That’s the number one action you can take to stop trying so hard to find your purpose. Look deeply within your heart and do the things you love to do. THAT is living on purpose. Talking about the things you love to do is living on purpose. Getting excited about the things you love to do is living on purpose. Doing does not makes you feel fulfilled. Loving what you are doing is what makes you feel fulfilled.
My challenge to you this week, beloved, is to stop trying to find your purpose. Just stop it. The search will exhaust you. There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You are the rainbow, and your own unique journey is the pot of gold.