Finding your purpose is crucial to living a fulfilled life. The following are five key questions that may help in the process.
How well do you know yourself?
Knowing yourself, what you are naturally drawn to and what areas interest you is a good initial indicator in finding your purpose. It may be an interest from childhood on, something you’ve always liked such as working with the animals on the farm you grew up on. Or it may be something introduced through a particular experience that you clicked with as in the case of volunteering for an organization in a different country. Personality also comes into play as some people are naturally more comfortable in cities or larger groups and some prefer smaller settings. Risk is also an individual setting. Some people are just more risk adverse than others. Becoming an entrepreneur, then, for some people would be an exhilarating challenge where others would be overwhelmed by it.
In whom or what do you place your faith?
One’s internal compass also comes into play. On what principles are you building your life? What are your core beliefs and values? If you have faith in God and believe He will guide you as you seek wisdom, then that will have a great influence on where you seek your life’s purpose. Christians believe their lives were bought at a great price by the redemptive work of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Our lives are not our own. So it stands to reason that we would seek to spend our lives in worthwhile service, desiring to use the talents and opportunities given us in the best way possible.
What are you passionate about?
Those things that light us up, tick us off or break our hearts can also be hints as to what our purpose might be. If your heart breaks for the loneliness of an elderly neighbour you might consider volunteering as a visitor in your community. If you are constantly drawn to watching documentaries on building houses you may want to look into the various trades that contribute to that industry to see if you would be able to narrow down that interest and begin training. If you find that you have a high level of concern in a certain area, such as the bias faced by young offenders reentering society, you might find yourself drawn to work in probation or local politics.
What are your skills, talents and abilities?
The skills you have acquired so far in life, your natural abilities and your talents can also point the way to your purpose. Some of us were given the ability to speak persuasively and may do well heading up organizations or leading groups. Some are more artistic than others and can bless the world with paintings or sculpture, photography or literature, dance or illustration. Skills that have been learned in life, things that came easily or were a natural fit for one’s temperament can also lead into finding purpose.
What is a need that you could fill?
The previous four keys: self-awareness, faith, passion and abilities combined lead us to seek opportunities that we can work in. If we are confident in who we are, Whose we are, where our interests lie and in what ways we are talented and skilled then we will more easily see the needs of the world and how we can fill them. Where our unique calling and the needs of the world meet we find our purpose.