Sometimes, due to our busy, over-stimulated world, it might feel as though you’ll never find your life purpose. Who has time to focus on the bigger questions of life right now? There’s so much to do in your everyday life that there barely seems to be time to get the basics done – career and business, trying to stay healthy, and trying to stay connected with loved ones. And besides, the world’s problems can feel so big and overwhelming – hello, COVID-19 pandemic – you’d be justified in asking: “What can one person do?”
It’s time to take control, reframe that narrative, and make some decisions. Spring is coming, there are multiple COVID-19 vaccines available, and people are being vaccinated at record rates. The economic indicators related to job growth and business activity are turning toward more positive numbers, and life is starting to resemble something we USED to dream.
Exploring what you want to do to have a positive impact on the world can be a fascinating and fulfilling process in itself. Here are five steps you can take to find your calling – your authentic life purpose.
Step 1: Find your “Big Thing”
Look inwards to see what it is that fires you up. What are you passionate about in your life right now? What do you love doing – and you’d do it no matter what? What can you talk about for hours without getting tired of the subject? What inspires you – or what have you seen others doing that has inspired you? Check your browser history and your current reading list. Your “Big Thing” is probably right in front of you, all you have to do is take note of the clues, articulate what it is, and claim it!
Step 2: Identify your Superpower
Everyone has something they do where they naturally, almost effortlessly excel. You might be a phenomenal speaker, a writer that can bring stories to life, or a natural joke-teller. Perhaps you’re a “kid whisperer,” able to understand young people better than even their parents, and you’ve got the talent to keep them energized and entertained when you’re around them.
Write down all the things you’re good at, pick out the top one or two that stand out – and if you’re having trouble deciding on them, ask a positive friend. Rank them according to the ones that you can offer to the world right now – without a lot of preparation or expense needed. Instead of feeling helpless, recognize that you have a unique combination of experience and skill to offer the world. No one else in the history of the world can offer what you offer right now – because you are the only YOU that has ever been.
Step 3: Volunteer
Whatever your authentic life purpose is, you want to have a positive impact on your community, and have your actions resonate with your heart and soul, right? Think about who you want to help – who’s trouble affects you the most when you hear of them? Do you relate to children, or seniors, or single moms, and the challenges they face?
Are your superpower skills useful for fundraising or writing grant submissions or corporate sponsorship requests? Are you more comfortable as a hands-on career coach or a Program Administrator? Find an organization that could do with a helping hand, whether it’s pro bono work, a grant-funded position, or hands-on volunteering. Look for places and people that can use your existing skillset and that will help you fulfill your passion. Answer the call of your heart and make an authentic difference on a cause you love, and that can also help you refine and define your “Big Thing.”
Step 4: Bring it all together
Once you’ve identified your Big Thing, you know what your unique superpowers are and how you want to serve your community, you can connect the dots. What are the common themes? You might be passionate about human rights, be an excellent public speaker and choose to work pro bono as an advocate for your local Amnesty branch.
Or, you may offer free haircuts or styling to homeless people or the unemployed. You might take your love of color, line, and shapes into graphic design work for a local organization that needs help to promote their work, or take your ease with a microphone and become a guest on podcasts to help spread the word and maybe launch your own show! Be open to new possibilities for making your talents known to others and putting one or more of your talents together to create your “Big Thing.”
Step 5: Take Action!
Now you have your life purpose package you can swing into action. Look for opportunities to align your authentic life purpose with tangible, real-world action out in the world. Be bold and resolve to do what you can where you can – realizing that as the world begins to open back up after the COVID-19 pandemic, your tech skills may be more in demand than in-person skills at first, but there are still things you can do right now to help yourself fulfill your authentic life purpose and make progress toward achieving your “Big Thing.”
You might not be able to achieve world peace (right away), but you can make your community a better place, satisfy the call of your heart and your spirit, tap into your talents, and in the process set an example for others to follow as they start their own journey to find their authentic life purpose.