29 Apr Let Your Passion Define Your Purpose
Everyone has gifts and talents that are capable of making a lasting impact. Unfortunately, very few people use their gifts to fulfil their potential, mainly because they fail to recognise them as meaningful.
Seconds after finishing my first ever coaching session, I felt a warm wave of satisfaction. Everything about the past hour had felt right. It was as though I had slipped into a role destined for me. Despite being entirely new territory for me, coaching felt familiar. From that moment on, I knew that investing in people was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Over the past decade, coaching and mentoring has given me a unique sense of purpose that I never experienced in my previous jobs. Coaching gave my life direction and a prevailing sense of accomplishment.
The Expensive Google Search for Purpose
People spend years of their lives searching for purpose. They’ll travel the world, change jobs, leave relationships and reinvent themselves physically and mentally. While all of these kinds of self-exploration are valid and enlightening, identifying your purpose in life needn’t be so far-flung.
Self-exploration, when discussed in terms of travel, reinvention and career changes can be disheartening to many as such ventures are privileged. People think they can’t afford to find their purpose in life and, therefore, stop trying to find it.
Identifying your purpose doesn’t require that you spend money, risk your financial stability or break down your relationship network: it merely requires you to look inward and analyse what your innate passions are.
Your Enthusiasm is the Greatest Tool You Have
It’s easy to feel cynical about passions when you’ve spent most of your life slaving away at meaningless jobs you hate. However, your enthusiasm and interests guide your purpose and have always done, whether you’ve realised it or not, and you can harness them to steer your professional career.
Tearing apart the body of your primary interests in life will reveal an infrastructure of purpose that you’ve been unconsciously following for years.
Your investment in pursuing an IT degree may not mean that you need to do a typical job in IT (like website design or coding). Instead, it may indicate your purpose is to help charities or organisations solve significant world issues using IT.
Your love of skateboarding may no indicate that you should become a professional skateboarder or work in a skateboarding shop. It may instead mean your purpose is to teach skateboarding to underprivileged, disabled children, or young adults with behavioural problems.
Your purpose doesn’t lie in the material – it lies in how you use the material.
- Looking at both your professional and personal life, how have your passions and interests evolved and shaped you? Can you use what you’ve gone through to help others in a similar situation?
- What pursuits would inspire you and give your life meaning?
- What impact would you like to make on others?
To figure out your purpose, all you need to do is figure out your passion and develop creative ways to employ it.
As you can likely tell from the examples I gave above, we make our lives more meaningful the more we invest in impacting others. As we grow, our passions inspire the passions and drive of others.
You don’t need to buy a plane ticket, start job hunting in the dark or buy a load of specialist equipment. Just look back at your life and start connecting the dots between the best moments of your life and what gives you meaning.
Your past and your present are more enlightening than you give them credit. Being true to yourself and committing to a life of being yourself is a more effective and empowering way of discovering your purpose than a one-way ticket to Thailand.