I’ve Lost The Key To My Purpose – Help Me Find It!

Ideas 2In his book, Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention (1996), author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says: “The only path to finding out what life is about is a patient, slow attempt to make sense of the realities of the past and the possibilities of the future as they can be understood in the present”. In a sound bite world where we want answers “tout de suite”, it’s hard to accept that the best ideas or solutions can only revealed in “a patient, slow attempt”; that we have to actually work at creating possibilities for the life we want. 

The ideas are easy enough to generate; finding and implementing the workable ones is a little trickier. But it’s worth the effort. When you take time to cultivate the possibilities already within, you have a much higher chance of finding the right ones, those that best suit your needs at that particular time in your life.  For example, someone can give you 10 possibilities for a new home, but if the possibilities are too far out of reach – too expensive or too far away from your work, they won’t be very useful. You create real possibilities by engaging your imagination and designing activities that are focused on what’s most important to you. By engaging your mind, your heart and your spirit you create the possibilities that ultimately create your desired reality. Sometimes the possibilities help you take giant leaps; sometimes you need possibilities that help you take smaller steps towards an ultimate goal. For possibilities to flow effortlessly, you have to create an inviting environment.

  1.  Start by taking stock of what’s going on in your life and what you’ve accomplished so far.  Having a sense of all that you've accomplished opens up new possibilities.
  2. Then ask yourself what unfinished business there is left. Ask what hopes and dreams you still have for your future.
  3. Ask what your role models would do if they were you?
  4. Make time for reflection to take your mind off the “busy-ness” that is in your life right now. Reflection can take many forms including quiet time in your favorite place, a conversation with a trusted friend about your future, meditation or taking a retreat.
  5. Ask big “what” questions. What if…?  What would I do if I wasn’t afraid? What’s possible? Then ask the smaller questions - who, where, when, why, what else, what’s next and how.
  6. When you have an important question, write it down so you’ll see it every day and keep asking the same question for several days to let your subconscious mind create possibilities.
  7. Use quotes, poems, affirmations and other inspirations to stir your creativity.
  8. Use creativity tools such as brainstorming, right brain/left brain thinking, mind maps and story boards.
  9. Start a vision board or create a journal to capture ideas and explore new possibilities for your life.
  10. Get inspired. Be a kid again for a day.  Get on a swing and fly high.  Dance, sing or listen to your favorite music.

In the right environment your creativity will fire on all cylinders and you’ll see all the possibilities that are available to you.  You’ll amaze yourself at all the ideas you can generate. When you narrow down the workable ideas, you’ll begin to see coincidences emerge and converge to help you make those possibilities a reality. In his book Anam Cara: A book of Celtic wisdom (1997), John O’Donohue says: “All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul. You are here to realize and honor these possibilities.”  You owe it to yourself to dwell in the possibilities that will help you soar in life and to become all that you are capable of becoming.
ReflectionIf only finding our purpose was as easy as finding our keys. Isn’t it strange that we spend a good chunk of our life searching for the answer to the question – What am I on this earth to do? Yet we rarely find it. We ask this question because we are trying to figure out what our true purpose is and how we can make a meaningful difference while we’re on this earth.  We also ask this question because one of the biggest fears we have is that our life will have been irrelevant.  By asking this question we strive to make a difference and in the process, viagra create powerful legacies for our loved one.

Another way we approach this big hairy question is to ask: What is my purpose?  We can spend countless hours looking for a clear answer when in fact the full answer isn’t possible until the very end of life. We haven’t yet realized the full potentiality of our lives. It’s easier to think about our purpose from a broader perspective.  Purpose is fluid and reveals itself in small ways in everyday actions.  It lives in the love that we give, in the way we enrich others’ lives simply by being part of it; through compassionate acts, and in the lessons we learn through our struggles.  There is no easy recipe to live on purpose and there isn’t only one way to live a purposeful life that will lead to success.  It must be forged individually, each and every day. 

Understanding our purpose is important because it creates intention.  It clarifies meaning , motivates and drives the energy we need to expend towards achieving our dreams and goals.  Purpose is the discipline of making the right choices, of moving through the chaos that faces us at every turn, and of creating wholeness from the fragments of  our lives.  It helps us paint a holistic picture of the unique quest we are on and for which we seek meaning.  Purpose gives us strength and wisdoms to focus on the right things. While you cannot expect a quick answer to such a vast question, you can gain clarity by asking by engaging in a process of discovery.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Painting a picture of all that you have become in terms of your talents, skills, roles, vocation, and all that you’ve accomplished to get a clear sense of who you are and where you’ve been.
  • Visualize who you want to become by asking yourself what unfinished business you still have and by asking yourself where you still need to go.
  • Allow yourself to think big so you can create many possibilities that fit your interests and your strengths, and see how far you’re willing to stretch to become more of who you want to be.
  • From that list of possibilities, create goals that focus on what you really want out of life in your relationships, at work, your health, finances, knowledge, leisure, etc.
  • Identify the challenges and obstacles that have kept you stuck at times; see what lessons they have taught you and what strategies you’ve used to overcome these.  Take these lessons with you as strength and guidance for the future.
  • Define what success looks like in your own words and on your own terms.  Defining what success means to you will help you see what your purpose can be.

Embrace the mysteries of life and accept that your purpose may not fully reveal itself until much later in life.  And that’s OK.  If it only reveals itself at the end of your life, it will mean that you have lived a full and rich life, with no regrets.  And I suspect that living purposefully, every day, until the end is the answer.

Written by

Dianne Gaudet is a certified Coach who is passionate about helping her clients manage the dynamics of continual life transitions as they reach new heights of personal and professional success. Helping Boomers create rich and inspired lifestyle plans for the retirement life they want is one of her greatest joys. Dianne is the author of a new book, If There Are No Limits... A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. She is also a motivational speaker, teacher and world traveller.