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"Nothing gives a person fulfillment and inner peace like a clear understanding of where he is going."– Thomas Oppong
Have you ever wondered what is your reason for waking up every day?
Some of us spend each day searching for our “why”, the purpose of our existence. Some stumble in their searches, while others make successful discoveries.
There are also those who have successfully identified their purpose but are still drifting down different paths, sidetracked by other activities.
Perhaps you came to this article because, like many others, you are searching for your own life purpose.
This is a legitimate question to ask, and this post will provide a step by step guide onHow to find your “why” in life. We hope these tips can clarify your purpose and, in doing so, benefit your career and personal life. First, let's talk about the importance of having a purpose in life.
what will you learn
- The importance of knowing your “why”
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- The main benefits of knowing your “why”
- Provide clarity in your life.
- It instills you with passion for your goals.
- It keeps you focused on your goals.
- Helps you live longer and healthier.
- Helps develop resilience.
- It allows you to live a life with integrity.
- How to find your why
- 1. Identify the things you can do to improve other people's lives.
- 2. Think of activities that you have done that have made you forget the passage of time.
- 3. Remember what you liked to do when you were a child.
- 4. Think about the things you are willing to do even if you look like a fool.
- 5. Notice what people ask you when they seek your help.
- 6. Imagine what you would do if you knew you only had one year to live.
- 7. Make a list of things you would be willing to go the extra mile for.
- 8. If you had the opportunity to teach others (for example, young people), what would you teach?
- 9. What job assignment would you do for free if you didn't need a paycheck?
- 10. What is usually the reason why people thank you?
- 11. If you had the opportunity to do something you love and not worry about the salary, what would it be?
- 12. What was your happiest childhood memory?
The importance of knowing your “why”
Simon Sinek, author of the bookFind Your Why: A Practical Guide to Finding Purpose for You and Your Team, write that only when you understand your “why” (or your purpose) will you be better able to pursue the things that give you satisfaction. It will serve as a reference point for all your actions and decisions from then on, allowing you to measure your progress and know when you have reached your goals. (Read this article for more books on discovering your purpose.)
The Japanese have the term "ikigai”, which can be translated as “a reason for being”. This is anything that gives a person's life a deep sense of purpose and makes it worthwhile. That's why you get up every morning.
The infographic below shows how ikigai can be used to discover your purpose in life. There are five questions for you to answer, as well as 10 rules to remember about how to apply ikigai in your own life.
For an old woman, her ikigai might be a granddaughter that she takes care of while her parents work. For another person, her ikigai could be her friends or members of her community.
RELATED: 12 Good Morning Routine Habits
Want to create a success-focused morning routine? Well, watch this video to learn the 12 morning habits of the most successful people in the world.
The main benefits of knowing your “why”
Provide clarity in your life.
People who have a sense of purpose are often seen as unstoppable. They are able to shape their lives the way they want. When you focus on your goals, you will have no doubts about what you are getting up to achieve every day.
On the other hand, without knowing your purpose, you will not know what you want out of life and you will be prone towasting your timein vain efforts. This can leave you confused and cause you to lose confidence in your work.
It instills you with passion for your goals.
When you know your purpose in life, you are more deeply committed to achieving your goals. The idea behind it is that you never have to settle for less than what you want in life. There is little chance that your ultimate goal will be to work for someone else or be someone's assistant. You probably want to create your own path. This goal will be fueled by your passion.
It keeps you focused on your goals.
When you identify your life purpose, it becomes easier to focus on what really matters. You will be better equipped to avoid distractions in order toreach your vision. You will practice this trait in the workplace, at home, and in social settings.
To stay focused on your goals, they must be important to you. Your subconscious mind may try to trick you into thinking you want something, when in reality those things do very little to help you achieve your purpose. For example, let's say you are entering college and your passion in life is art.
Yet everyone he meets is getting into business or some other less subjective field, so he tells himself that what he wants to do is major in business because that's what he feels he "should" do. But doing so will not allow you to fulfill his purpose. If you are clear about your “why”, you will not waste time trying to achieve useless objectives.
Helps you live longer and healthier.
numerousstudiesdemonstrated that having a purpose in life leads to a longer life expectancy in older adults. This can happen because when you live on purpose, you take a far-sighted approach, looking forward to the day when your purpose will be fulfilled. This makes everyday stressors less influential and has less of an impact on your overall well-being.
Helps develop resilience.
People who have a deeper sense of purpose in life are better atfind meaning in setbacksexperience compared to those who wander through life aimlessly. When you know your purpose, you have a sense of mastery that helps you let go of anything going wrong in your life that is irrelevant to your core values. This means that you can learn from life's difficulties and bounce back quickly from adversity.
It allows you to live a life with integrity.
Those who know their purpose in life understand who they are and what they are here for. They are more satisfied overall because they arelive true to your core values. When this is the case, a person doesn't need to pretend or act passionate about a job that he doesn't really enjoy. Instead, their passion is genuine for everything they do and they always come across as themselves.
In the video below, Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle discuss a section of the latter's book,New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Discussion focuses on people's feelings of dissatisfaction with life, the search for fulfillment, the difference between inner and outer purpose, and the importance of being centered and present in the "now" as a purpose in life. .
Now that you know the importance of discovering your why, let's look at some strategies you can use to find your purpose in life.
How to find your why
These activities require you to be introspective and answer a few questions about your personal experiences to discover your life purpose. It's a good idea to write down your thoughts in a journal as you do these exercises.
1. Identify the things you can do to improve other people's lives.
Havingself awarenessis optimal. However, doing something that benefits others more than yourself is amazing. In fact, research has shown that people who have a sense of purpose and are grateful for the life they lead generally contribute more to the world beyond themselves than those who lack that sense of gratitude. This can happen because if someone can see how others benefit their life, that person will be more motivated to give back to humanity.
1for studyIn particular, it found that people who engage in altruistic behaviors, such as volunteering or giving money, generally have a greater sense of purpose than those who don't.
Additionally, research has shown that people who are altruistic also report having a strong sense of purpose. The feeling of making a difference in the world or in someone else's life is ultimately most important to your own joy and fulfillment, and importance goes hand in hand with purpose.
2. Think of activities that you have done that have made you forget the passage of time.
You've probably heard people say, "Time flies when you're having fun!" Moments like this are what psychologists call "flow" and what spiritualists call a connection to the divine. Whatever your case, these activities are where your passions lie.
You are fulfilling your purpose when you do something that energizes you, rather than something that drains your energy and leaves you exhausted. When you're living your purpose, don't you keep thinking, "Is it 5:00 yet?"
3. Remember what you liked to do when you were a child.
You can see flashes of your purpose, remembering the things you did just for fun as a child. When reflecting on the story of your life, it is easy to notice certain patterns that tend to repeat themselves or some tendencies in the activities that you have carried out. These patterns may contain clues to its purpose. What have you found pleasure in all your life?
We tend to lose touch with the things we loved as children. With adolescence and adulthood come the social pressures that keep us from certain passions.
As adults, we often believe that we should only do things for which we are rewarded in some way. The transactional nature of our society often leaves us disconnected from doing the things we truly love.
4. Think about the things you are willing to do even if you look like a fool.
Before you can do something well, at some point you have to do it without any competence or knowledge about what you are doing. And, to keep working on something, even after you've made a few mistakes and been embarrassed to do it, you need to be passionate about it. These activities are meaningful enough that you can do them regardless of other people's opinions.
People avoid embarrassment for obvious reasons, but if you avoid doing something that has the potential to embarrass you, you'll end up not doing anything that feels meaningful.
Feeling silly comes with the territory when you're on your way to accomplishing something important or significant. The more intimidated you are by a major life decision, the more likely it is that you will have to make it.
5. Notice what people ask you when they seek your help.
Is it a specific talent that you have? Are you a sounding board for your friends' concerns? What do people thank you for? Appreciation from others can help boost your work.
You may not be able to see your strengths the way others do because they come naturally to you. Look for common themes in why people come to you in times of need.
For example, you may not notice the ways you inspire your friends to want to be like you. If you ask your friends directly what their strengths are, they might say something like, "You're great atbe proactive in solving problems, instead of beingreagentonce a problem occurs." You can link these strengths to your "why."
6. Imagine what you would do if you knew you only had one year to live.
Most people don't like to think about death, but death forces us to focus on the really important things. Knowing this often leads you to realize your "why" and allows you to let go of things that are trivial or distracting. Death may be the only thing that can give you a clear perspective on the value of your life. How do you want people to remember you?
When people don't feel like they have a sense of direction or purpose, it's because they haven't figured out what's important to them or what their values are. And if you don't live up to your own values, what values or priorities are you living by? finding outYour "why" in lifeit means that you have found a way to spend your limited time here on earth well.
7. Make a list of things you would be willing to go the extra mile for.
These are the things that regardless of failures or setbacks, you will still push yourself to do, and pick yourself up and learn from your past mistakes. Many people do not understand that passion is aresultof action instead ofcauseFrom that. You will not find your crush to be accommodating. It is a trial and error process. If you're not willing to go out of your way to do something, then you're not really passionate about it.
8. If you had the opportunity to teach others (for example, young people), what would you teach?
If you reflect on this question, are you really thinking about what you would change in the world, or what knowledge do you want to pass on to future generations? This question also forces you to reflect on the things in life in which you think you are truly competent and capable of teaching others. How would you like to improve the lives of others, or where do you think there is a knowledge gap that you could fill?
9. What job assignment would you do for free if you didn't need a paycheck?
Do you work to live or live to work? If you're doing something you're passionate about, it won't feel like work. There will never be a Sunday night where you aredreading the impending monday morninggram.
What part of your job is easy for you because you are happy doing it? Aligning your work life with your purpose is a fundamental part of living your why.
10. What is usually the reason why people thank you?
Similar to looking at why people seek your help, how do people find value in you or your contributions? Do you give good advice? Are you willing to take more time out of your day to help your friends with something in particular? Think about the things you do for people who are unique.
11. If you had the opportunity to do something you love and not worry about the salary, what would it be?
Considering this question is a great way to discover your passion. What would you do with all your free time if money was not an issue? If you're not motivated by money, the only other thing that can motivate you is time, and how you spend your time will certainly be doing something you love.
12. What was your happiest childhood memory?
Did you love to be on stage dancing as a child, but you gave it up with age? Or maybe you liked a certain class in elementary school that you couldn't necessarily apply to a career. Think about what you were passionate about before adulthood got in the way, and find a way to link your current life to those original interests.
The following video shows Kimiko Nashimoto, a 90-year-old Japanese woman who has made photography the purpose of her life. She is an inspiration to many in her community. She has featured photos of herself in galleries and has over 100,000 followers on herInstagrambill. This woman is proof that having a purpose in life can help a person.live a long and happy life.
Finding your “why” is important not only for success in your professional and personal life, but also for your well-being and longevity.
Fortunately, the above tips for discovering your “why” can help you identify your own purpose and implement it in all areas of your life. To make this process a bit easier,use one of these "Find Why" worksheets.
To help you further,this post will teach you how to write your life purpose statement. You also cancheck out our summary of life purpose tests.
You need to look within, discover the things you are passionate about and go after them, regardless of other people's doubts or setbacks you will encounter. Your own purpose will point the way to your success. (Here are more thought-provoking questions to get you thinking more deeply about your purpose.)
If you need help,check out our review of the best life planner apps. And if you yearn for success in the workplace, you might want to visit this post to learn more about36 good work habitsyou need to build a successful career.
Finally, if you want to take your goal setting efforts to the next level,check out this FREE printable worksheet and step-by-step process to help you set effective SMART goals.