7 Powerful Exercises To Help You Discover Your Purpose
The idea of doing exercises to help you discover your purpose in life should get you excited. The exercises are simple yet will provide you with clarity and focus. While “thinking” about your purpose in life, the best follow-up is to get it down on paper. Here are 7 exercises you can start with today.
Just like a sports game, there is only so much time on the clock. We are the only animals on the planet that know our time here will run out. Even with this knowledge, many of us waste our precious resource of time. To complete this exercise, you need to think about what you would do if you only had 6 to 12 months left to live. What would you do? Would you just lay in bed and wait, or would you do something that had great meaning and purpose? You can even take it a step further if you are willing to have a bit of emotional pain while writing. Write out your obituary. What would it say about you? Many people find this very helpful because it forces them to look very hard at what they aren’t doing rather than what they are. Take the time to explore who you are and what you mean to this planet.
After you complete the first exercise, have a bit of fun and get yourself laughing at the same time. Write out what you would be doing for a living, even if you were not paid for it. This is a great way to discover your purpose. You may write down a career that at this moment isn’t possible for you due to other commitments. However, you can drill it down and find something related, that if you made that your new career, you would be living much closer to your real purpose in life. For example, a person may be in the trades, providing them with a good life and paycheck. Yet by doing this exercise, they realize that they are highly creative and want to build items that bring joy to others. By doing this exercise, they can find their purpose and live a more joyful life.
It’s time to make a simple list. Write down everything you do that just comes naturally to you. These items require no thought on your part, while others around you might find the same thing more difficult. Once you get a list down, check it over to find one that may be your true purpose in life because it comes to you so easily.
Alright, another list. Who do you trust, and who can you talk to that will listen, think, and give you a straight answer? Write those names down right now. It might be a family member or the older person who lives next door and always seems to have some pearls of wisdom. They do have to know your history because you are going to quiz them. It is time to ask someone else about what your best qualities are. Find out from that person what seems to light a fire under you? Sometimes, we cannot see our hands in front of our faces due to the fog. When you have a lot going on, you may not be clear about what you are passionate about or really should be doing. You might find out that the person you trust has an answer and has held onto it because they didn’t want to intrude and tell you what they think your real purpose in life is.
Now you will hop into a time machine and go back to when you were a child. Write out the things you did the made you the happiest. It may be something like painting, swimming in the ocean, looking at fish or camping for two weeks with your parents, and enjoying the wildlife. As we move through school, things change for us, and we head in a different direction. For those of us who have children, we tend to get our children interested in the things we loved as a child in hopes that they will become what we could not. For example, the hockey parents who are up at 5 am, likely played hockey and dreamed of being a professional. Consider the parent who is constantly buying books and models on dinosaurs for their children. They may have taken a wrong turn, and instead became a paleontologist, ended up as an accountant. Your childhood can give you clues as to your true purpose.
Another time machine idea is thinking back to what you used to do, that was so exciting, you lost track of time. Did you sit down with a novel and forget to eat, or one of your parents had to tell you to go to sleep? That is a hint that your true purpose may be in words, either as a writer, a teacher, or librarian, for starters. What were you so passionate about that people had to shake your shoulder to get your attention? Write those ideas down.
Speaking of being a teacher, here is a great exercise. Think about what you would teach others if you had the opportunity and aren’t doing it now. Would you teach adults how to do more than basic computer work, or would you be teaching music to children? What are you passionate about that would give you the joy to teach others?