What is My Purpose In Life? The 3 Stages of Finding Your Purpose

{Etsy stamp from MountainsideCrafts}

{Etsy stamp from MountainsideCrafts}

I’ve spent about a decade trying to answer that question. I looked for it in books, from gurus, school counselors, life coaches and even psychics. But it only took revisiting my childhood passion to figure out what I always knew:

wish list for a typewriter + hours of making up stories + writing poems when I was 10 + obsessive reading & journal writing =  writer

It took remembering what brought me joy that helped me to find my purpose in life.

Through my own struggles, I’ve learned that there are several stages to the path of finding your purpose.

Stage 1: Actively Looking

You might be in high school or college or have years of work experience behind you, but feel like you missed the boat when it comes to living the life of your dreams. If that sounds like you, you’re in stage 1. This is when you’re most actively searching. Like me you might be taking career quizzes, searching the internet, talking with friends, family and a career counselor or a life coach, or reading a book to help you get clear.

Stage 2: Soul Searching

I’d call stage 1 more of a superficial search. You need to get to that point in order to start getting serious about what you want to do with your life. But to really find out what you want and who you are, you need to reach in deep. To bring out my passion for writing, I had to explore who I was as a child, what mattered most to me, and what brought me the most joy. It’s seems easy, but recalling who you are at your very core takes a bit of courage. There’s a reason why you’re not doing what you love right now. Someone told you a) that you couldn’t do it or b) that you shouldn’t do it so you buried that passion way in deep.

Stage 3: Trusting Your Instincts

Bestselling author of The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren says, “Your purpose is not about you.” It’s less about what you want, then about how you can use your innate gifts in service to others. How do we determine what those gifts are? When we learn to not just accept our flaws, but to think of them as strengths we can finally uncover our unique gifts. For example, since I was 7-years-old I would hound my mom with questions. I’ve always been this way annoying new acquaintances and old friends by my curiosity and need to know attitude. I realized after many years that this so-called flaw has enabled me to ask the right questions when it came to interviewing subjects for my writing.

Somewhere deep inside you already know who you are and what you’re meant to do with your life. The answers have been left like breadcrumbs on your path toward your purpose. You’ve just been too afraid, unsure or distracted to notice. All you need to do is to stop the outside noise (your family, your friends, the media that tells you what you should do) and listen to the gift that wants to direct your life.

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A Short Note of Gratitude

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People often asks what inspires me. I could say the beauty of nature-the way the wind makes leaves dance, how raindrops capture the rays of sunshine in little perfect beads, or how animals in quiet ordinary moments seem to hold the key to all of humanity.

And then there are store windows, art pieces, live shows and things that humans made that fill me up with possibility.

But what really inspires me is hope and resiliency.

As one part of my job at Psych Central, I manage social media. It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. But having the opportunity to connect with people there is so inspiring. When I read about a person’s struggle with mental illness or how they are seeking therapy so that they can become a better person for themselves and their family, it makes me weep.

That type of courage to overcome what most of us would hide from is inspiring.

It’s what makes me want to keep getting better in my own life.

It’s what makes me want to keep doing what I do.

I also feel inspired by you. The you who remind me of me when I was calling out for hope. Someone who had big dreams, but didn’t believe they were possible.

I’m finally beginning to realize that if you only listen to your inner voice-the child who had dreams without fear-and continue to listen to it, despite doubt, despite what your family says, regardless of who wags their finger at you and makes you feel ashamed for what you want to do, then you will get there.

The clouds have started to dissipate and suddenly everything seems clear.

Just keep on following the path, dear friends, believe and you will eventually get there.

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How to Invite More Possibility and Synchronicity in Your Life

{flickr photo by: steve9567}

Spring is Here and So is Hope

Things feel like they are finally falling into place.

The storm has settled and every fallen leaf and flower have been stored, tucked neatly away.

In my life, I’ve been seeing synchronicities left and right.

  • I talked about one dream today (to be a coach!) and then got an email a few hours later inviting me to take a free course on it.
  • I wrote a post on how not to screw up a phone interview here and received an email on a Brazen Careerist about how to Ace the Phone Interview.
  • I have been thinking about how much I need to work on my elevator speech and I got a free book to review on elevator speeches.
  • And I recently read about New Mexico as a great place for a writer’s retreat and now I can’t stop hearing about it.

Either people are getting good at reading my mind or something else is happening.

The Close You Get to Following Your Own Inner Voice, the More Successful You Will Be

On Twitter today, I wrote: “I’m learning more and more that every one has their own individual path. The more closer you adhere to yours, the closer you are to success.”

Your voice. That inner wise soul that lives inside of you. That’s your key to success, to finding and following your calling.

When you listen to what’s in your heart, (the quiet thought that says to not take that job or to start painting) and you begin to really listen to it, things will to start connecting and falling in place.

It’s as if once you make a choice to _______ (follow your dreams, end a relationship, start a new on, become self-employed, etc.), everything in the universe will begin to start lining up toward that goal.

Be in a place of hope, possibility-that your dreams can really be a reality and you will eventually find that they will come true.

Of course, it takes time.

Have Patience Like the Falling Leaf

I’ve been taking an essay course. And in it, the teacher said, “Don’t rush the process.” It’s a good lesson on almost anything we really want in life. Just as you cannot force a leaf or a feather to fall faster, you cannot speed up the process of your journey. You will get there faster if you listen to your voice. But you still need to go through the hard stuff to get there.

Wishing you hope, love, peace and possibility on your journey…

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