One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “how do I find my purpose in life?” Actually, it’s very simple. You don’t find your purpose in life. Your purpose in life finds you. That sounds funny at first but actually it is true and you begin the process by being an authentic human being and trusting what feels right to you.
Find Your Passion
When you trust what feels right and pursue whatever passion or curiosity interests you, you are acting in an authentic way and this is exactly how you find your purpose. By following our passion along its meandering paths, it will inevitably lead us to something wonderful. Through this process, our purpose finds us.
Each of us has a purpose and a meaning in life. Fate and destiny weave an extraordinary tapestry of interconnections and chance encounters. We rarely know or understand our purpose in the beginning stages of our life, but following what we love to do is the only path to discover it, or as I’m suggesting, for it to find you. Here’s an important clue; our purpose and meaning is connected to something we love to do.
The universe wants you to be your best self
The universe wants you to be successful. This is a radical concept to many. Why, you might ask, would the universe want me to be successful or even care what happens to me? The universe wants you to be successful because you are part of it. You cannot separate yourself from the universe and the universe cannot separate itself from you. We are interconnected with each other.
Each person is an active, conscious part in the unfolding of the Universe. And each one of us has been given special gifts and talents and a unique way of contributing to our world. We bring goodness into the world by being authentic and trusting who we are.
Following our calling allows us to live a meaningful life
Now, if what I’m saying is true, and each of us does have a purpose and meaning in our life, and the universe is calling us to fulfill this purpose, then probably it is something that we love to do.
For example, procreation — having sex — is pleasurable because the species needs to propagate. And because it’s fun and pleasurable, we do it and as a result this creates babies and that’s how the population increases. If it wasn’t pleasurable we probably wouldn’t do it and our species would be eliminated. Evolution is intelligent and conscious in designing ways to have us do what is best for us and the universe in order to ensure success.
So if the universe wants you to contribute something of value, why would it give you something that you don’t enjoy or feel out of alignment with? That wouldn’t make sense. It would be counter productive. So of course, life is going to give you something that you love to do because this encourages you to do it. From an evolutionary perspective it makes so much sense that this is how it should and would work. And not surprisingly, that is exactly the way it does work.
Finding your passion will allow you to bring goodness into the world
This is what is taught in all our major spiritual traditions. For example, in the Jewish Kabbalah, which is the mystical side of Judaism, it is taught that each soul has a purpose in their life, but no soul will ever know or understand the total meaning of life. However, what you are called to do is to find your purpose in life and to fulfill it. This is the key to living a fulfilling life.
In the Christian tradition, it is taught that there are what are called gifts of the spirit, and each gift is different and separate from the others. No one person will have all the gifts and each person is required to discover their particular gifts and to hone and enhance these gifts so they can bear fruit and help the community.
In the Buddhist tradition, the purpose of life is two-fold. Firstly, to awaken ourselves and become enlightened, and then secondly, to bring goodness into the world. Each of us finds our purpose and meaning by finding our unique way to contribute. We are called day by day to be kind and bring goodness into the world.
In each of these three different spiritual teachings there is a commonality; a call to find your unique way and make your contribution.
Deep within you, there is something calling to you to be your best self
If you can accept that there is something within you, a seed, a gift, a calling, that when discovered and practiced leads you to your purpose, and you accept that the universe wants and needs you to be successful, then you can trust yourself, trust your passion, trust your curiosity, and simply follow wherever it leads.
The Universe hides your purpose in something you love to do
Many years ago, when I was sixteen, I was very fortunate to discover the inner compass that has guided me throughout my life. In an epiphany I realized that all I needed to do was to follow what was fun and interesting to me and if I followed what was fun and interesting, I reasoned, that would lead me to a fun and interesting life and reveal my purpose, which it did.
In my late twenties, after many meandering adventures, some successful, some not, I embarked on a unique adventure. I built a cabin in the wooded seclusion of British Columbia and devoted myself to understanding consciousness, which led to me developing a system of training the mind. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t followed what was fun and interesting.
I didn’t know, back then, that the Universe hides your purpose and meaning in something you love to do. But what I did know is that following my passion, following what was calling within me, would undoubtedly lead me in the right direction.
You have a purpose that will reveal itself to you
You have a meaning and purpose in your life, but you don’t always get to know it in the beginning, you rarely get to know it until you begin following what is of interest to you, what you are passionate about.
Trust what’s calling you, have confidence in who you are. Have faith in the Universe. Now, it takes a lot of courage to follow your uniqueness and follow your calling, other people have a lot of plans for you. You might have to buck against societal norms or the standard measurements of what makes a successful life. You won’t always know that you are on the right path, but following your own compass, following what you are passionate about, will lead you in the right direction.
Sometimes your purpose happens through a tragedy, a misfortune or something not going how you expected it to that will reveal something new to you.
Candy Lightner, who founded MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, had her purpose find her because of a tragic accident where a drunk driver killed her daughter in a car accident. She was so outraged that she did something to make a difference, and she founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which is now also Mothers Against Distracted Driving. This organization promotes safe driving around the world. Her purpose found her through the tragedy she experienced.
Trust in yourself
Maybe, like Candy Lightner, it will be a tragedy that reveals your purpose or following something you love to do that allows your purpose to find you. Maybe it will be through something very simple, like trying to bring goodness into the world, that something reveals itself to you. We never know how or when it will be revealed to us, but we must trust when we are called and follow what is calling us.
Don’t expect something large or grandiose though it may well be. Not all of us are called to be like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, or Albert Einstein, or to have some great vision to fulfill. Give up all expectations and just allow your purpose to reveal itself to you. Maybe it will be something great or maybe it will be something more humble, but it will be authentic and it will feel totally real to you. All we have to do is trust ourselves and be authentic.
Have the courage to achieve your dreams
Those of you who follow my teachings know that I believe that consciousness is evolving and that each of us is a part of this evolving consciousness. Trusting that the Universe wants us to be successful and that each of us has a gift and something to share gives us the courage to follow whatever paths are calling us and to go ahead with confidence and assurance that all is unfolding in our life as it should. And don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way.
So how do you find your purpose in life?
This is how your purpose finds you: it finds you by you being authentic and living the life that is calling you. By trusting and moving forward in ways that you don’t always understand, one day you discover that your purpose has found you. You are joined together, like best friends, and then a new adventure begins.