FINDING YOUR WHY IN 2021
One thing that troubles a lot of people throughout their existence is the need to discover their purpose in life. It’s a quest that brings out a lot of existential questions that can be quite difficult and complex to answer. Some find it early in life, while others realise it much later in their personal journey. Discovering what your purpose in life is not an easy undertaking, but with some introspection and exploration, you’ll definitely find your Why.
WHAT IS PURPOSE?
Your purpose in life is your life’s goal. It’s your passion – the activity, the role you want to keep doing for the rest of your life. Your purpose in life is something that keeps you up at night and excites you to wake up in the morning. It could be writing, taking care of animals, cooking, or being a business owner. To some it might not be as obvious, but their purpose could be something that gives them a sense of fulfillment, something that reinforces their self-worth, or something that gives them value as a person and as a contributor to their community. It could be being a parent, being a farmer, being a first responder among so many other things.
Your life’s purpose could be tied to a social responsibility or finding a solution to a systemic problem that know well. Some make it their life’s mission to eradicate poverty, disease, injustice; others are focused on giving less fortunate people better access to education or equal job opportunities.
It’s different for everyone. Your purpose can be anything that makes you feel valuable and valued and brings a difference to other people’s lives more than your own.
WHY IS PURPOSE IMPORTANT?
As human beings, we’re aware of our limited time on Earth, and we want to make the most out of our lives by making other people’s lives better. Our purpose is our driving force to do good and make a positive impact in the communities we’re part of. It’s also how we measure the value of our lives. Did we help improve other people’s quality of life? Did we make a difference to protect the environment? Did we help bring long-awaited change to our culture? Did we bring innovation and help advance technology in our everyday lives? Did we make other people happy and fulfilled?
Finding our purpose is how we make sense of our existence. Actualising these realisations and goals, and following through with concrete actions, mobilizing other people, are how we substantiate our purpose to ourselves and those around us.
EASY STEPS TO FIND YOUR PURPOSE
Find your WHY. Ask yourself what simply excites you or inspires you. You may need to pull out a pen and paper to visualise your why. Simon Sinek, in one of his TED talks, said that great leaders inspire action in others because of their introspection. Once they discover their why, all their actions are motivated by this why. And in the process of being driven by your cause, you find people who inspire you, and you get to inspire and motivate those around you as well.
Consider what people appreciate about you. Most likely, what people thank you for is a strength you can capitalise on as it brings them happiness. You could be cooking and sharing your food to a wider market. You could be creating graphic designs that help small companies build their brand through creative and eye-catching collateral. If you’re a good listener to your friends and family and want to help solve problems, you could be a mental health responder to people who are in need of counseling. Knowing where your strengths and interests lie is another way to narrowing down your purpose.
Take an active step towards learning. Reading widens our horizons about the human condition and connects us to different people, places, concepts, and ideas that inspire change in us. Books, movies, documentaries, podcasts, online learning platforms and other media are at our disposal to further explore our interests, and learn more to augment our knowledge towards causes we believe in.
Explore the world. Travel is a great way to find your purpose as it deepens your understanding of the human experience beyond your comfort zone. You get to learn different perspectives, beliefs, cultural norms, and innovations from different countries. You learn to be more understanding of people, their plight, their needs, and perhaps you can affect change to those who need it the most. Traveling not just makes you a culturally proficient person, but also a worldly individual equipped with a nuanced knowledge of the world, able to make positive changes to those around you. For now, traveling the world is restricted, but it’s also the perfect time to prepare for the day when you’re free to explore the world and discover your purpose.