How to discover and accomplish your purpose in life: Humans have evolved over time to build a safe and secure environment for ourselves. Life is good. You are born, go to school, get a job, get married, give birth to children, retire and die. Between this are some of the activities we do in the quest for happiness.
Despite all the ease and comfort in living in tod ay’s world, many still don’t find fulfilment in their lives. Humans still feel the need for something more in their lives. We desire to do something that gives us fulfilment and satisfaction.
Why do human’s feel unfulfilled despite the ease in living?
Imagine the normal day of people in the times past. They had to hunt, and while they hunted, they would be wary of being hunted by other predators. After a long day of chasing and hunting prey, they’d take turns at night to watch the tribe as they slept to protect them from an invasion by other tribes, or predators. How lovely will such a day be?
The purpose of life then was Survival and Procreation. Now, if you want to eat breakfast, you’d pour some corn flakes into a bowl, add milk and whatever you use. In less than a minute, breakfast is ready. If you don’t have a schedule for a day, you spend time on entertainment on mobile phones and television. Instead of being wary of predators, you’re wary of your internet subscription. Now, you see how this safe society has made us weak? Our survival instinct has been taken away. We live a life of comfort.
Our life on earth is for an indefinite period. During this, we do activities – some activities are useful and fulfilling while others are time-wasting and futile.
Discovering and accomplishing your purpose in life means to do the important things that give your life meaning and fulfilment.
Questions to Help you Discover your Purpose
The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you. – Carl Jung.
HOW MUCH SACRIFICE CAN YOU MAKE TO ACHIEVE WHAT YOU WANT?
Accomplishing your purpose involves a lot of sacrifices. So, you’ll need to know how much sacrifice you can take the achieve your purpose.
If you want to become a medical doctor but cannot stand the sight of blood will struggle with his field o of choice. A salesman that fears facing rejection can never achieve success in his career.
Also, what can you do for years without receiving money, compliments or encouragements in return? You must make the sacrifice needed to accomplish your purpose without support or encouragement from anybody.
You have a heads tart when you’re willing to make the sacrifice that no one else is willing to make.
WHAT WERE YOU GOOD AT AS A CHILD?
What could you do as a child with minimal effort, without lots of instruction that made you stand out from other children then?
Your purpose lies around doing what you desired as a child. Think of the things you loved doing as a child. For some reasons, you may have stopped them, but your purpose lies in doing what you have ever loved to do.
As a child, you played and did what provided you with the most fun and entertainment. Life was simple: it is wasn’t rewarding, you wouldn’t do it; if it was rewarding, you’ll do it forever.
We stopped doing what we love and started doing what can provide us with money. We now care about what now brings us money whether it brings us satisfaction or not.
Your purpose comes from doing what looks like play to you.
WHAT ARE YOU OBSESSED ABOUT?
What can you do with so much concentration and focus that you forget about every other thing?
Sir Isaac Newton was so obsessed with work that he forgets if he had eaten or not. His cat became fat from eating his food he was busy. When he became hungry, he would see an empty plate, then think he has eaten and continue working.
What can you do that consumes your time and attention that you forget if you’re still existing in this world? Your purpose lies around that activity.
As a child, I was destructive. I destroyed all my toys because I was curious to know how things work.
If you can play video games for hours without flinching, your purpose is not in gaming itself. It is in improvement – getting better at things and accomplishing goals. It also shows that you’re an analytical and good at understanding patterns.
HOW HAVE YOU IMAGINED TO SAVE THE WORLD?
When you look around society, you see lots of vices and ills in the society that you wish to stand up for. My brother desires to help the needy and less privileged in society. He would put used clothes in a bag and give to beggars along the highway.
You may not have imagined yourself to be a member of the Avengers that want to save the world from Thanos, but in your little corner, there are things you know are wrong in society and that when you change them, society will become a better place.
What are you ready to find a solution for that will impact the lives of others in a positive way? Your purpose lies around doing such activities. Fulfilment comes from doing the activities that bring satisfaction to the lives of others around us.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING WITH YOUR FREE TIME?
Imagine that every morning, you’re chased out of your house and never to return till nightfall, what will you do with your time (excluding watching TV, handling mobile phones) and derive satisfaction from doing? What can you do every day in such conditions that can never make you bored?
Will you read? Will you play football? Will you Dance?
If you’ve already come up with what can fill your time all day without getting bored, why are you not doing it right now?
IF YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO DIE IN A YEAR FROM NOW, HOW WOULD YOU WANT TO LEAVE A LEGACY IN THIS WORLD?
Most people don’t talk about death – nobody wants to die. Yet, when we reflect on death or be in a place of mourning, it forces us to accept that we will die someday and narrow down what is important to us and what’s not important to us.
Most people on their deathbed wish they would have done things differently if they had the time to live their lives all over again. At that point, they evaluate what is important to them and what is not important to them. The deathbed experience is usually an experience of regret.
To avoid having such regrets later in life, it is best (while there’s still age on your side) to create that deathbed experience to enable you to narrow down what is important to you and what is not important to you.
How to Accomplish your Purpose
Discovering your purpose is a part of the work. It will be pointless to discover your purpose and not put the required effort to accomplish it. There are steps you must take to help you accomplish your discovered purpose.
WRITE IT DOWN AND REVIEW OCCASIONALLY
Writing down your purpose and reviewing it occasionally keeps it fresh on your mind. Most people will read this post, discover their purpose only to abandon it some days later.
Writing down your purpose gives you a roadmap to follow in the direction of accomplishing your purpose.
Great companies write down their goals – mission and vision; successful entrepreneurs make short term, mid-term and long-term plans. Writing your purpose means you’re more likely to achieve them.
CREATE TIME TO ACT ON IT
There’s a possibility that the course of your life is in the opposite direction to your purpose. Age plays a major factor in acting on our purpose. A man well in his 40’s cannot change the course of his life to follow what he wanted to achieve at a young age. It is wise to do something which is in line with the direction of his life. Whereas, a man less than 20 years can still change the course of his life to align with his purpose.
However, you must create time to act on it. You’re busy with your life trying to make money, get a degree or an achievement you’ve set out for yourself. Your routine must not prevent you from accomplishing your purpose.
Create time from your schedule to act on your purpose (It wouldn’t be so difficult to do if it’s something you love).
VISUALISE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT
Visualising success keeps the flame of achieving your purpose alive. When you constantly visualise your success, it gives you continual hope that your purpose will one accomplished one day.
Visualization enables you to remove the negativity that prevents you from acting to accomplishing your goals. It fills you with positivity which gingers you to take the required action to achieve success.
If you can see it and believe it, it is a lot easier to achieve it. – Oprah
Act immediately and daily on your purpose. Breaking down your purpose into small actionable steps that can be acted upon daily is key to actualizing your purpose.
If you want to become the best pianist, but you’re currently studying Electrical Engineering, make out time to learn and hone your skills as a pianist every day.
You can go about your routine and still have time to do the things that are fulfilling and enjoyable to you.
To actualise your purpose, you must activate your survival instincts. Comfort kills! It kills your desire to grow, it kills your desire to accomplish your purpose. You must leave your comfort zone to activate your survival instincts.
You activate your survival instincts by doing the difficult but necessary things that take you closer to accomplishing your purpose.
You have a choice to make: a short-term pleasure or a long-term fulfilment.
Short term pleasure provides you with the thrills and good feelings now, but it doesn’t lead to fulfilment in the long run. For example, playing video games will give you a feeling of pride and a sense of fulfilment, but it is short term.
Long-term pleasure may not provide you with the good feelings and satisfaction you need immediately, but it will lead you to a fulfilling life in the long run. Imagine your statue is erected or your face is placed on the currency of your country because of your immense contribution to humanity.
It is possible to strike a balance between short-term pleasure and a long-term fulfilment. But the aim is to focus on long-term fulfilment.
Consider yourself as your own blacksmith. You must be willing to remould yourself into the shape you want. There are processes that the blacksmith uses to make a durable object that serves its purpose.
Firstly, the blacksmith heats the iron till it becomes translucent or into a molten form which is poured into a mould to form a new shape. Likewise, you must heat yourself up by introspecting to discover your purpose and discover the actions that prevent you from accomplishing your purpose.
Secondly, the blacksmith hits the iron to form the desired shape. He hits, not with power, but with skill; hitting the right places that are required to form the shape of the object he desires. Likewise, you must take consistent action that enables you form the shape you want. You must take the right action and not any action, as the blacksmith hits with skill and control and not with power.
Thirdly, the blacksmith quenches the object by dipping into the water. He inspects his work to see if his effort has formed what he desires. If it hasn’t formed what he desired, he reheats and starts hitting the metal over again. Likewise, you must cool off and check if you’re actualising what you desire to be. If you find out that you’re not what you desire to be yet, reheat yourself and start hitting to form what you want to be.
The quest of discovering and accomplishing your purpose may not be the most pleasurable experience but it becomes fulfilling in the long run. Your purpose must be something greater than what provides satisfaction for yourself alone. It must also have an impact on those around you and society.
With the advent of the internet, it is possible to monetize the activities that bring you satisfaction and fulfilment. The internet makes it possible to connect with people who will appreciate your unique talent and be willing to pay you for adding value to their lives.
Begin now to discover and accomplish your mission
Cheers to fulfilment in life!