Discover Your Purpose
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” how many times have you heard or been told that phrase?
If you’re like me it’s more times than I care to remember!
But while doing what you love sounds wonderful and romantic, getting there can be pretty darn daunting.
In school, it was drilled into me, “get your education, then go to college and when you graduate, you can get a ‘good paying’ job.”
My future was wrapped up like a present — in a neat little box, all mapped out for me. So that’s what I did, but…
…that ‘good paying’ job was ever so elusive, over and over again!
Maybe you grew up in a working-class home where you watched your parents dutifully put in their shifts at “the plant.” They worked Monday through Friday from 7:00 -m. .to 4:00 p.m., just so they could enjoy the weekend off and two weeks at the campground each summer.
Or perhaps you went off to college and studied law or sales or biology, and now you feel trapped in a job you don’t love. You’d like to change course, but what if you make the wrong choice? What else are you even qualified to do? And what about those student loans?
Here’s another dilemma for those who feel as if they’re “working for the weekend” and not pursuing their passions: How can you even know what you want to be when you grow up?
The truth is, there are millions of people out there who trudge off to work every day, wishing they were anywhere else, and hoping one day to find what really inspires them. If that’s you, then rest assured, you are not alone.
Know that regardless of your age: There is still time to discover your passion and start doing the work you love.
How To Find Your Passion
As time drifts by, you may find that your passion today may not be the same tomorrow. Circumstances change, you may not be able to “adjust” your passion to changes that may be making you feel unhappy. On the flip-side, YOU may not be able to pivot to hold on to your passion so that you’re doing what you love.
At various periods of my life, I have done what I loved, and never felt it worked. But, I can think of at least twice — so far — in my life that either my passion or I, had outgrown each other. I moved countries twice; and I was a journalist, an editor, a marketer, and a speech-writer.
Now, I’m going to share with you some ways you can discover your purpose so you can love your business and your life.
- Start with a little brainstorming.
Unlike boring corporate brainstorming, you don’t have to use a whiteboard (unless you want to) and you will not be solving a big sticky problem.
Instead, set aside an hour or so of uninterrupted time. Head out to the park or a coffee shop, and take along your favorite notebook and pens. Find a quiet corner, and just let your mind wander. Do a little daydreaming.
2. Allow yourself to day-dream
Imagine that money is not a concern. You have enough to manage your day-to-day needs, with some leftovers for fun. You have the freedom to do anything you like with your days.
In your notebook, or on your computer, make a list of all the things you would do with your time if you could spend it any way you liked.
- Would you shop?
- Would you paint glorious watercolors?
- Would you go back to college and earn a degree in computer science?
- Travel the world?
- Rescue animals?
- Work with abused women?
- Plant a garden?
If you get stuck, think about what you do on weekends and holidays. Nearly everyone looks forward to relaxing and enjoying their favorite activities after the workweek is done. What are the activities you most enjoy?
The purpose of this exercise is not to make a realistic list of business opportunities, but rather to make a list of possibilities, so don’t censor yourself. Write down whatever pops into your head without considering if you can make money with it, whether or not you’ll love it forever, or even if you have the skills or talent for it.
That is, after all, what brainstorming is all about. Unfiltered ideas.
Keep a Journal
Maybe you already do this, but I want to challenge you for the next 30 days to keep a daily, purposeful journal. To get you started on your journey to finding your passion, I’ve created a free Success Journal for you that you can get here.
Now that you have your journal, here’s how that works.
First, set aside time each day for journaling. This can be first thing in the morning (great for planning), the last thing before you go to bed (perfect for gratitude), or even right after lunch. It doesn’t matter so much the time, but that you make an unbreakable appointment with yourself, and that you commit to doing the work — even when it feels hard or uncomfortable.
Next, rather than just random thoughts and events, try answering specific questions each day. This type of journaling helps you maintain focus, and will allow you to look back later and know exactly what works, what doesn’t, and where you might want to focus your energy.
Some questions to ask each day include:
- What was the best thing that happened to me today?
- How did I make someone else’s day better?
- How could today have been better?
- What’s the one big thing I want to get done today?
- What’s one thing I did today just for me?
- Who made me smile today?
- What has been my biggest achievement this week?
- Fast forward to next year. What has changed about your life or your business?
You don’t have to answer every question every day, and there may be others you’d like to add to your list. Have fun with it, and use your journal as a source of inspiration and reflection. Look forward to what you hope to achieve, and backward at how far you’ve come.
Taking note of recurring themes in your journal is a powerful way to discover your true passion. If the best thing that happens to you every day is that you served a beautiful dinner to your family, then it’s clear that being a mom and a great cook is one of your passions.
On the other hand, if your day could have been better if you didn’t have to struggle with your accounting software, clearly bookkeeping is not something you want to pursue.
Another thing to include in your journal is gratitude. Every day, you’re surrounded with reasons to be grateful. It didn’t rain until after your son’s last baseball game of the season. You remembered at the last minute to take your new sweater out of the dryer and avoided disaster. That cold you felt coming on yesterday passed you by after all.
By noting the small (and large) things you’re grateful for, it will help keep your attitude positive, and when you’re happy, you’re more open to discovering your life’s passions.
One last point about journaling — embrace your creative side. Many people love to journal on a computer. It’s fast and with you everywhere. But it also tends to be cold and impersonal.
Rather than using a bland old Word or text document for your daily journaling, consider creating a pretty paper journal instead. Buy pens in different colors, and fill your journal with not just words, but pictures and doodles and anything else that makes you happy. Collect fun stickers to add to your pages, use sticky notes for important points, and even tuck a photo or two into your updates to remind you of what you’ve achieved.
Remember, your journal is for your eyes only, and you’ll be more likely to use it if it’s as colorful and unique as you are.
Daily Journal Questions
Brainstorm the questions you’ll base your journal on. Use the examples below, or write some that have special meaning to you.
- What was the most peaceful moment during the day?
- Would you change any of the decisions you made today?
- Describe the moments of frustration you felt today.
- If you’d had another hour during the day, how would you have spent it?
- Write about a hobby that you’d like to pick up.
- If you could relive any day of your life and change nothing, what day would you choose?
- What was something you desperately wanted as a child? What do you desperately want now?
- Describe your ideal weekend. What would it include? What wouldn’t it include?
- What would you do with a million dollars if you had to spend it in one hour?
- What was your best age so far?
- When is a time in your life that you felt successful?
- How old were you when you first felt like an adult?
Create a Journaling Space
Journaling should be fun and inspiring, not dry and boring. It’s not a college essay, but rather a tool to help you discover your deeper truth.
Find A Dedicated Space
Consider the space — is it calm and peaceful, is the window facing the backyard, do you like low music in the background, etc.
Get Comfy — is it cozy, adjust the temperature (AC or heat) to your liking, are the desk and chair comfortable?
Set the ambiance
Add scented candles, inspiring wall art, and pictures. Do you like to be surrounded by plants?
Along with your notebook, collect your other journaling supplies and tuck them away in a beautiful bag you can easily pull out when it’s journaling time. Be sure to include:
- Brightly colored pens
- Sticky notes
- Stamps and stickers
Keeping a journal helps you get to know yourself by revealing your most private fears, thoughts, and feelings. Write in a place that’s relaxing and soothing, maybe with a cup of tea, and look forward to your journaling time.
Don’t expect to start journaling one day and the next day to find your passion. Finding your passion is not a race — it is a marathon. It will take time, persistence, and determination for you to find your passion.
A bonus: Journaling lets you do something good for your mind and body.
Now, you’re all set to find your passion.
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” — Marc Anthony
This article was originally published on my site at https://donnapresents.com/howtodiscoveryourpurposesoyoucloveyourbusinessandyourlife/.
Meditation is a habit that may come easily to some. I have been meditating for over five years, but there were many days I found myself slipping. These days, not so much, not since I completed the no-cost Action Habits Challenge by Connie Ragen Green, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur. You can check it out here.
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I’m Donna SLam, who loves to blog about how meditation brings self-compassion, peace of mind, and clarity to my life and others by sharing tips and strategies on how to live a fulling and purposeful life. I enjoy championing others to lead a healthy and happy life through meditation, walking, self-development, and spending time with loved ones.