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Finding purpose in life can help you to live a happier life doing more of what you love. But how do you find your life’s purpose? This article will help you to do just that. 

woman smiling how to find purpose in life

“Do what makes you happy.”

If you’ve ever felt unsatisfied with a job or any other personal or professional situation, you’ve probably heard that advice to death. However, this advice is not helpful to someone who feels lost. 

In today’s world, the pursuit of happiness is a deeply ingrained concept. We’re taught to expect our lives to be fairly happy, and we’re encouraged to do whatever it takes to achieve that.

But, as everything else in life, happiness isn’t so simple.

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What is happiness?

Happiness to most usually refers to what you can get from others and your environment. In other words, you’re happy when your material and emotional needs are fulfilled.

Take Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It gives us an idea of what people need to be happy and the importance of each of those areas in our lives – from basic biological needs like food and shelter to more elevated needs like self-development and creativity.

However, fulfilling our needs doesn’t always make us happy. And in many cases, that comes in direct conflict with the happiness we seek.

For example, a job that covers our basic needs for food, shelter, and security could be getting in the way of your need for creativity, flexibility, and freedom.

On top of that, we tend to think of happiness as static, as something you either have or don’t. However, this isn’t the case, at all. Instead, happiness is fluid and fleeting.

So, is the pursuit of happiness an illusion?

Not necessarily. Instead, to find that happiness, you need to redefine it for yourself, first.

You can redefine that happiness by making it broader — it’s not just about the nice feeling you get when your needs are met, or when you receive something pleasant from someone else. It’s also about what you can give to others, and how giving gives you a purpose and a connection to your community.

This is where finding your life’s purpose comes in to give new meaning to life. 

4 Ways to Find Your Purpose

Finding your purpose, your life’s calling and your passion changes everything. It gives you a reason to spring out of bed in the morning, it gives you a mission statement – it even helps you to decide who you are. It even helps to inform your personal style, the way you present yourself.

You’re no longer emulating other people, or doing what you think you should do. Instead, you’re now embracing your true self and your passion and you’re living life to its fullest as a result.

The problem? Many people will struggle to find their purpose so that they can live this way. It’s not uncommon to hear even older folks struggle to find what their purpose here on earth is. 

So here are some tips that will help you to discover what your true purpose is and to embrace it fully.

When Were You Last Really Happy?

One easy question is to ask when you were last super happy? Or more than that: when were you last inspired, engaged and rewarded? This is a rare feeling so if there’s some activity or experience that makes you seem to come alive… do more of that!

Look to Your Role Models

Who are your role models? We all look up to someone in our lives and might even look up to multiple people. The question is what it is about those people – maybe what they have in common – that we find so inspiring and encouraging.

If you can identify some common trait that your heroes all share, then you can find a core activity or belief that you respond well to. And when you do that, you can embrace that side of yourself.

What Are You Really Great At?

We shouldn’t just ask what it is we want but also what we can do for the world. Sometimes you will find that life takes you in a certain direction as a result of your natural gifts and traits. Maybe you’re a born salesperson, or maybe you’re a fantastic artist.

You shouldn’t do anything that you aren’t going to enjoy but do listen to your talents and use them where you can.

Related: 6 Signs You Live a Fake Life: How to Live More Authentically

How Do Others See You?

You might not know what your true calling is, but sometimes it will be obvious to other people. Ask your friends and family what they think you should do, how they see you what your skills are. Sometimes they can be surprisingly insightful and give enlightening answers.

There are many more methods but hopefully these will set you off on the Joyful Pursuit of Passion. 

For more questions to ask yourself that will help you to uncover more of who you truly are and what makes you tick, consider taking my free 30-day Get to Know Me challenge. 

It’s one of the first exercises I encourage those who are trying to find their calling in life to take as the questions asked within are powerful at uncovering your purpose ad helping you to design your greatest life.