Humans have one thing in common: at one point or another, we all wonder to ourselves, “Why are we here?” It’s a profound question, indeed. One theory is that the purpose of life is for each of us to make the world a better place. But how do we do this?
Here’s a good place to start. If you’re searching for your life purpose, doing these 10 small things will help you uncover it.
1. Write it down (or type it out).
Try this simple exercise to help you uncover your life’s purpose. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Or fire up your computer and open a blank document. Next, write at the top, “What are my goals in life?” Write or type the first things that come to mind. Which items on the list are most important to you? Which are you most drawn to? Which well up emotions inside you and make you actually feel something? These are the things you should be focusing most of your time on.
2. Start a new hobby.
Get out and experience something new. Whether you’ve been thinking about joining a basketball league, trying yoga, writing poetry, or working on your improv skills, stop thinking about starting a new hobby and do it.
3. Give back to your community.
There are few things more fulfilling in life than giving back. Find a cause you’re passionate about and put your heart and soul into it. Donating money is awesome. Donating your time is even better.
4. Read something inspiring every day.
Words are powerful. They inspire us to action, and can give us great insight into our life purpose. So make it a point to read something inspiring every day. Buy books, read websites like this one, and start keeping a journal of quotes that inspire you.
5. Reflect on your life regularly.
Take some time several days a week to quietly reflect or meditate. Clearing your mind of other thoughts can help your life’s purpose come into clarity for you. So stop what you’re doing and just breathe. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel when you sit back and reflect.
6. Simplify your life.
Don’t get caught up in the trivial, day-to-day details of daily life. Spend most of your time focusing on the things that matter most: family, friends, health, and doing work you’re passionate about. This will help you uncover your purpose in life. Remember, there’s true beauty in simplicity.
7. Do work that you love.
Answer this question: What type of work do you love to do so much that you would do it without getting paid for it?
For most of us, work is just a way to pay the bills. But it doesn’t have to be. Focus on doing the things you’re most passionate about. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job. But it does mean you should seek work that fulfills you … even if it’s in addition to your current career. If you love to write, do freelance writing on the side. If there’s a cause you’re particularly passionate about, inquire about volunteer opportunities or even start your own non-profit. Don’t sell yourself short. You can do whatever you want in life if you refuse to accept limits.
8. Ask your friends what your best qualities are.
It may sound weird but try this: sit down with your best friend over a beer and ask him/her to honestly tell you what they love about you. Explain to them why you want to know. They’ll appreciate your honesty and will be happy to help you. You can use this information to gain insight into your life’s purpose.
9. Make a bucket list.
If you found out you had a year to live, how would you choose to spend your life? Where would you go? Who would you spend time with? How would you cement your legacy? Making a bucket list of things you want to do before you leave this world is a great way to gain perspective on the things that are important to you. It frees your mind up and gives you things to aspire to in your life.
10. Give thanks for what you have.
Your actions more than anything dictate how you will be remembered. Be thankful, kind, patient, and humble. Do nice things for others without expecting the favor to be returned. Show your appreciation for living through how you live your life every day.
And then you may just realize that you’re already living your dream life.