Feeling lost? These 7 questions will help you find your life’s purpose

What is your life’s purpose and how can you find it?
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Having a sense of purpose gives you the foundation for a healthy approach to life. When you know what you want to achieve and which path to take, you feel empowered. However, while some can quickly identify their purpose, many struggles to find answers as to ‘why are they here?’

You may wonder how to answer this question. Well, start with asking, “What is the purpose of my life?”, “How can I spend my time doing something productive?” Holocaust survivor and author Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

Your sense of purpose is shaped by things you believe in and value. It enables you to focus your efforts on things that matter to you the most, compelling you to take risks and move forward, regardless of the odds and obstacles. According to Leah Weiss, author of the book How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind, “To make the greatest impact at our jobs—and also feel the greatest satisfaction—we need to tap into work’s deeper meaning.”

However, many people find it hard to discover their purpose in life. The process requires plenty of self-reflection, listening to others, and finding where your passions lie. If you are struggling to uncover your purpose, here are some questions you need to ask yourself.

What are you willing to fight for?

This question will help you uncover where your passion lies. No matter what you do, you may encounter many trials and tribulations on your path. Thus, you need to ask yourself what price are you willing to pay? Or what struggles are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, your ability to handle the rough patches and how you weather the storm when faced with tumultuous situations will determine how well you can pursue your goal. For example, if you want to be an entrepreneur but can’t handle stress and risks, then you are not going to make it far.

What keeps you awake at night?

Knowing what hinders you from accomplishing your goals instills a sense of self-awareness. Developing a better understanding of the factors that deter you from scaling new heights can help prepare you to face life’s ordeals. Moreover, you must introspect whether your decisions are driven by fear and anxiety, the archnemeses of success.

Ask yourself whether you blame your failures on external factors or are you willing to take ownership of your life and your decisions. You must take cognisance of the fact that every situation is a result of your own decisions, not someone else’s. Face your fears and let go of the negative thoughts that restrict you from achieving the true purpose of your life.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Most of us have no clue what we want to do with our lives. Even after we get a job and start earning money, we may still not be certain about what we wish to achieve in life. When you are stuck in an existential conundrum, ask yourself what you wish to accomplish in a decade. While you may not be able to come up with a concrete answer immediately, you might at least get a basic idea of what you want to pursue. More often than not, where you see yourself in a given timeline is not where you necessarily end up. But at least by that time, you will have developed new skills and strategies that can help you inch closer to what you want to achieve in life.

What was your passion as a child?

Which hobbies or activities filled you with happiness and satisfaction when you were younger? From painting to drawing and writing, we are often encouraged to follow our passions during childhood and adolescence. But as we grow older, we tend to get caught up with life and forget about the things that gave us joy and a sense of purpose. It is because we succumb to the pressures from society that asks us to chase the things or jobs that are financially sound and can provide us with stability.

So, the next time when you are tired of your work, while searching for life’s meaning, ask yourself, “What were you passionate about as a child, and do you still find it fulfilling?” If you pay attention to that, you will learn a great deal about what you enjoy doing. Once you identify the things you love, you can begin the process of unearthing your true purpose in life.

What makes you lose track of time?

Have you ever found yourself doing something that gives you so much joy that you lose the track of time? You are so absorbed in your work that you forget the world around you. Maybe it’s writing, reading, organising your desk, solving technical problems, or building something. There are plenty of things you can do that can help you uncover your life’s purpose.

What problem do you want to solve in the world?

The world has enough problems. Introspect about the issue instils a sense of compassion and drives you into taking an action to solve it. Is it poverty, child labour, or unfair wages? Whatever it is, ask yourself if it is a cause that you would like to dedicate yourself to. If you find that you are inclined towards social work, then you can start looking for opportunities that can help maximize your efforts, such as working for an NGO.

What career should you choose?

This question will tap into your inner desire to help you discover your purpose in life. Consider the things you like to do in your free time or the projects you like to volunteer at work. These are the activities you are most likely to get immersed in. However, do not confuse them with passion. Sometimes your passion could be something you are not good at. Make sure to do adequate research before arriving at a decision.

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