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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How to Find a Sense of Purpose to Live a Full Life

How to Find a Sense of Purpose to Live a Full Life

A satisfactory life is a “full” life. To achieve a full life, you need to have the right sense of purpose. There’s no “one purpose fits all.” You have to first understand the true meaning of having a sense of purpose, its importance, and the way to find it.

What Is a Sense of Purpose?

A sense of purpose is whatever you believe in. It is your driving force, your motivation, and your guiding light to work towards a life that you think will satisfy you.

Your life’s purpose is very closely linked to your sense of purpose. The only difference is that you only have one purpose in your life. But a sense of purpose is different for all aspects of life. Although, they are all aligned.

Your sense of purpose is what pushes you to achieve your goals. It is completely personal to your lifestyle and preferences. It is what keeps you on the right track in all aspects of life. So, a clear purpose will help you plan your career goals effectively. Similarly, a different sense of purpose for your relationships will encourage you to maintain your relationships accordingly.

While keeping things coherent, different purposes in different aspects of life also maintain a clear distinction among them. If you have completely different work ethics than how you plan to be with your family, your defined purposes will help you maintain the line.

Your beliefs and values play a huge role in determining your sense of purpose as well.[1] If you have clear values in the early stages of your life, you might have a clear sense of purpose at a young age. There is no age limit to when you find a purpose. Some people only get to it after most of their life has passed.

How to Find a Sense of Purpose?

To get the most out of your life and increase your potential, you need to start by finding a sense of purpose. It’s a process that is worth every minute you spend looking for it.

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You need to start with a general purpose at first. This is a broader sense of direction for your life in general. A life purpose is what you need to define foremost. This will allow you to keep everything else aligned with this broad purpose for coherence in your life.

For example, if your general life purpose is to be more at peace, you’ll work in each aspect of life to find a calm outcome. You’ll want to have good relations with your family. Career-wise, you’ll want something that promotes your mental health instead of deteriorating it. A steady source of wealth will also be a vital part of your goals and hence, it will translate to your purpose as well.

After that, you tackle all life aspects one by one. Here are the life aspects that you should go through:

  • Physical Health
  • Relationships, Family, and Social Life
  • Work and Career
  • Wealth and Money
  • Spiritual Wellness
  • Mental Strength

In each of these aspects, you need to look beyond what’s apparent. To find the true purpose in each regard, you have to look for the hidden opportunities so that you can identify your true driving force.

After that, you should invest your time and energy in this direction to reap good results. To do so, you can implement the following methods that will ease the whole journey for you.

1. Incorporate the 5 Whys

The 5 whys are a self-interrogatory technique. They play a very effective role when it comes to discovering your sense of purpose. The 5 whys ensure that whatever you end up finalizing is coherent with your intent.

With the help of the 5 whys, you can find all the answers that you’re looking for. The best part is that you’re the only one involved in the process so everything you end up finding out it 100% true to you. This is why it is a great method to use if you want to find a sense of purpose that will stick with you for life.

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This technique will get you on track towards the direction where you’ll find your purpose. In fact, this is the step where you’ll do most of the work. The rest of the steps are just ways to strengthen what you’ve got in mind.

2. Listen to Yourself

Your mind is very likely to tell you your purpose on its own. All you’ve got to do is listen to yourself. One easy way to do so is to consciously shift your focus to what’s on your mind.

Every morning when you wake up, what are the things that you think of first? Similarly, what are the thoughts that go through your mind before you go to sleep? Or when you randomly drift into a thinking spree during work?

All these thoughts are your mind’s way to communicate with you. Find what’s common in them to give yourself a direction to work in.

3. Meditate

Meditation is not only a great way to organize your thoughts, but it is also a source of encouragement for your mind to define a sense of purpose.[2]

Even a 5-minute session squeezed in your morning or evening routine is enough. It gives your mind the space it needs to get your mental processes in order. Once that is done, you’ll find it way easier to understand them. Extracting meaning out of what seemed senseless previously will be a piece of cake with the help of meditation. However, you’ll have to be consistent.

4. Distinguish the Do’s From Don’ts

Sit down and make a list of what you want to do in life versus what you would never want to do. Be as broad or narrow as you want. Pinpoint all the details of everything you want to steer clear from. These are the things your purpose will be far in nature from. On the contrary, your sense of purpose will be closely related to the things that you are naturally inclined towards.

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With a picture in mind of the dos and don’ts clarified, it will be easier for your mind to establish an idea that suits your life choices.

How to Strengthen Your Sense of Purpose

If you follow these steps to find your sense of purpose, it will be strong enough to stay consistent for life. However, there is a chance that while your purpose was clear at first, you’ve been feeling lost now.

This isn’t something to fret over. The ups and downs in life can shake your circumstances and your purpose too. You can easily re-focus your perspective on your well-defined purpose. You can also find a new purpose that suits your new circumstances.

If it happens to be so, don’t feel like you’ve failed in life. It is alright if you lose your emphasis during challenging times.

Re-Evaluate Your Life

Start with reminding yourself of the sense of purpose you were following previously. Think about it. Think of how it affected your life and decisions. This isn’t an easy thought process. It will take you days or even weeks to come to a conclusion.

You’ll have to go through your desired achievements, short-term and long-term goals, and most importantly, your past. Evaluate all these facts of your life.

Then, question yourself to find out if the same purpose still aligns with your life choices or not.

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If Yes

If the answer to the question is yes, your sense of purpose is perfectly fine. All that you need is some motivation to put it into practical implementation. You need to remind yourself of all the benefits of having a clear sense of purpose.

Everything that you achieved because of your sense of purpose, everything that you wish to achieve will serve as your source of motivation. You can also try some other motivation boosting tips to refocus your perspective.

If No

If you think your sense of purpose has done you no good or will no longer be of any use, you require a new sense of purpose. This is possible in case you went through major changes in life. Your sense of purpose can also get hazy if you failed to define a strong one initially.

Final Thoughts

Having a sense of purpose is a fool-proof way to a fully satisfactory life. It leads to ease in prioritization, strengthens morals and values, aligns all your life goals, and helps you stay focused. The clarity in life is only possible if you have your sense of purpose sorted.

So, get on with the process right away. You’ll have a sorted life in no time once you’re done with defining your purposes in all aspects of life!

More About Finding Your Sense of Purpose

Featured photo credit: Ilya Shishikhin via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Beyond Blue: Sense of Purpose
[2] Intentional Insights: Meditating on Purpose

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

Changing your mindset is no easy task, but having an open and positive mindset is a game changer. Your personal growth is what propels the choices you make for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Just something as simple as changing your thinking can change your life.

Importance of Mindset Work

There’s great importance in spending time doing mindset work. Within this period, we begin to understand ourselves, and through that understanding, we become more compassionate and patient with ourselves.

Our society and culture thrive on the busyness that life brings not only into our lives but even to our dinner table. With that comes some consequences of using “band-aid” solutions and quick remedies to get through particular blocks in our lives. Those solutions never last long and it’s about committing the time and effort to slow down, ground ourselves, and reshift our focus.

Changing your thinking is not only to be more optimistic but giving your mind the breathing room it needs to grow and expand. It’s about looking at everything that hasn’t worked for you and being open to other ways that might.

How to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

Here are 11 practical ways to change your thinking:

1. Show up

Not feeling the gym? Go anyway. Don’t feel like playing the piano after making a commitment to practice every day? Do it and play.

The payout of showing up and committing goes a long way. It builds confidence, and with that growth, your mindset begins to change.

Of course, showing up may not always be fun but by meeting these small goals on your list allows you to tackle on the bigger ones that may seem far out of reach.

2. Find an Anchor

We all need an anchor, or in other words, we all need something to believe in when our thoughts are wavering. Whether you are religious, have a spiritual connection with a higher power, or have someone who grounds you – hold onto it.

My dad first introduced me to the Law of Attraction when I was 17 and to be completely honest, I thought it was silly and never gave it much thought. Fast forward ten years and the Law of Attraction has become so integrated into my daily life that it’s become the anchor in my belief system. That anchor is also what propels me to be a better version of myself. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel when I have convinced myself that light does not exist.

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The purpose of an anchor is to ground you when your mind and/or external factors come weighing you down. It’s about having faith and trust in that one thing or power when everything else seems to go dark. This is one of the most important things you need to have if you want to begin to change your mindset.

3. Ask Why

It’s really that simple. In order to change your thinking, you have to dig deeper into what it is that’s causing a reaction.

  • Why does it bother me that another person took the parking slot that I was waiting for?
  • Why do I feel uneasy when I dine at a restaurant alone?
  • Why do I feel happy after I purchase a new outfit?

We ask “why” to a lot of external factors, but very rarely we ask that about ourselves. It’s also a way to get to know yourself as if getting to know a friend.

As we begin to answer these questions, we realize that it’s not the external factors that bring happiness, sadness, guilt, or joy, and it’s more about understanding our own values.

Now, have a conversation with yourself and reflect on your answers when you do ask these “whys.”

For example:

The reason why I’m irritated at this person for taking my parking slot is that I’m busy and have endless errands to run. I don’t have time to be looking for another slot.

Reflection: how am I managing my time and are these time restrictions causing me unnecessary stress? I should prioritize my errands so I don’t feel overwhelmed.

The reason why I feel uneasy when I dine in at a restaurant alone is that I don’t want people to think I have no friends.

Reflection: I care a lot of what people think of me including strangers and it affects my emotional well-being. I don’t have these thoughts when I see another person eating alone, so why and when did I start having this opinion about myself? I should start dining out alone so I can learn how to step out of my comfort zone.

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The reason why I feel great after purchasing a new outfit is is that I feel confident.

Confidence is key because it determines how I show up when I meet strangers, clients, and overall how I carry myself. How do I maintain this confidence without splurging on a new outfit everytime I need that extra boost? I could wear my glasses or carry a book with me to help me play that part.

Having these mindful yet straightforward conversations with yourself are simple ways you can change your thinking. Reflection is the key to understanding your strong and weak points.

Here is also a great article on the power of self-reflection and ten questions you should ask yourself.

4. Step out of Your Comfort Zone

As mentioned above, we all have a comfort zone. Like a turtle, we feel cozy and safe inside our shell, but to change your thinking, one must be willing to step out of that shell no matter how much that shell feels like home.

Our mindset will only begin to change if we allow ourselves to be exposed to the possibilities of change. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be one of the hardest things you can do, but it all goes back to building your confidence.

Some of the most significant friendships I have to date is all thanks to the five seconds I decided to step out of my comfort zone, introduce myself, and carry a converastion.

Strive to learn something new every day – even if it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable at first.

Still wondering how to step out of your comfort zone? Take a look at this article:

Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

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5. Look at Things from a Different View

I once asked a friend what self-love meant to her. She answered, “self-love means being a parent to yourself.”

I was never expecting that answer, but it got me the wheels in my mind exploring other definitions of what self-love could mean to others and myself.

Changing your thinking also means being open to other opinions, especially if it challenges your own. You’ll begin to realize that the more mindset work you dive into, the more you will be approaching new opinions and ideas from a grounding and calming place. Things that used to have you on your defense will slowly turn into a question of curiosity instead.

6. Slow Down

Here’s the thing. You take the same route to work and leave your house at the same time. While on you are getting off the highway, you stop by your favorite coffee shop to order your daily brew, then you’re out the door and heading straight to the office.

During this daily routine, have you ever noticed the color of the corner building right before you get off the highway? Or have you noticed whether your barista is left-handed or right-handed?

Probably not, because most of the time we tend to live our lives on auto-pilot.

Science says we make about 35,000 decisions a day;[1] therefore it makes sense that half the time our minds are on auto-pilot. There are great setbacks that come from having this “auto switch” including having those feelings of mindlessly scrolling through your phone or being so deep in your thoughts that you are mentally checked out.

One way to change your mindset is slowing down. When you slow down, you begin to find yourself in the same tune and vibrations as the world around you. You begin to become aware of what resonates with you and what doesn’t. You start becoming present.

If you want to change your life, you must be present in the life you are currently living in. By being present, you begin to shift to a state of gratitude.

7. Eliminate the Excuses and Create Solutions

How often do we use the word “but?”

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For instance, “I want to eat healthier but I’m so busy that I can’t meal prep,” “I want to buy a new car but I’m still paying off some of my debt,” “I would like to start my own business but I don’t have the time or finances for that.”

Now eliminate the “but” and imagine how you would feel if these external factors weren’t much of an issue.

This is a simple but powerful technique in changing your thinking. It’s all about tapping into those emotions and eliminating the roadblocks that we spend so much energy focusing on. Instead, begin shifting your focus from the but’s and toward the “how’s.”

Here’s some nice advice for you:

How to Stop Making Excuses and Get What You Want

The Bottom Line

Changing your mindset is a work in progress and one that should be eye-opening as it is rewarding. It’s about getting to know yourself on a deeper level and creating a friendship with yourself along the way.

There’s no one solution fits all, but it all comes down to taking that first step.

More Resources About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Clay Banks via unsplash.com

Reference

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