Why am I here? 5 questions to ask yourself to help uncover your purpose.
Why am I here? An age-old question asked for centuries by philosophers, mystics and millennials alike. What is my purpose? Most of us, at some point in our lives have questioned our existence, the system, religion, and just about everything really. It may have occupied your thoughts as a teenager, or you may have found yourself deep into your career wondering how you ended up there, and what it was all for?
Some are lucky enough to know exactly what they want to do with their lives from an early age. In most cases, the ones who ‘know’ sooner are artists or creative folk of any kind. It probably has something to do with the emotion involved in creating something out of nothing – pursuing the possibility with boundless vigour, hoping to make what was once a mere thought into a triumphant success. That, or the idea consumes its host until there’s nothing left.
However, many of us have no idea what we want to do with our lives…even after we’ve been churned out of the education system. If privileged enough, we get the opportunity to study. At times, this mammoth life choice is decided in a hurry, with parents and family members playing a huge role. They mean well, with your survival at the forefront of their minds. For many, money is a big consideration. A large percentage of people achieve entire academic degrees in subjects they have no passion for and then go out into the world to find a job. Many chase opportunities that appear on their path and move organically from one stage of their lives to the next, with no real thought or strategy behind where they are going, and if it’s really where they want to be!
So, if you’re stuck doing something you don’t enjoy or you’re holding your hands to the air asking ‘what’s the point’, take yourself on a journey of self-discovery by asking yourself these 5 questions based on the brilliant article “7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose” by Mark Manson, author of ‘The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck’.
HAVE YOU BECOME COMPLACENT?
Think back to when you were a child, before responsibility caught you by the ankles…what was it you lost yourself in? Was it drawing, playing music, writing or simply playing pretend? What inspired your young mind?
Perhaps you decided to pursue these early ideas and have built a career out of it, but if you didn’t, the simple act of looking back to your youth is a great way to re-ignite your inspiration. Try to identify when you lost touch with what you loved growing up. Was there an event or situation that stopped you? Have you become complacent? Have you lost the ability to do something that has no immediate reward, simply for the pleasure of doing it? Think deeply and try to reconnect with your younger self.
ARE YOU LOOKING AT LIFE THROUGH ROSE-TINTED GLASSES? NO MATTER HOW PASSIONATE YOU ARE EVERYTHING WILL S*CK AT SOME POINT
When it comes to becoming an expert at something and really honing your craft, you’ve got to be willing to put in the hard yards. In ‘Outliers’, Malcolm Gladwell studied some of the worlds most successful people, discovering one thing they all had in common – 10,000 hours of practice. Now, perhaps you don’t want to be the next Bill Gates or Paul McCartney – but you have to weigh up what you’re willing to put up with for your passion, and invest the time to get good and it!
Success takes sacrifice – you have to be able to survive the tough days because chances are, there’ll be an abundance of them. So decide what you’re willing to give up. For example, if you want to be the worlds best tour manager, but can’t stand the thought of spending months living out of a suitcase – you might want to think again. As Mark Manson says; ‘What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one, eventually. Might as well pick one with an olive’.
WHAT CAPTIVATES YOU?
Think about the tasks you lose yourself in, what captivates you? It doesn’t have to be art or performing, perhaps you like teaching, logistics or even giving people advice!
Whatever it may be, think about how you can apply this skill to something practical. There are many kinds of careers, and many ways you can apply your strengths to what you do to bring greater satisfaction! There isn’t always a direct path to our purpose – try to rid yourself of the ‘box syndrome’ – think outside of it.
THE WORLD IS WRECKED, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO CHANGE IT?
This next point ties in with our previous blog, ‘Is That You in There – Get More in Touch with your Brand and Business’. I’m sure you’ve noticed that every time you turn on the TV or log onto the internet, the world is a pretty scary place a bucket load of problems – no matter which corner of the globe you’re looking at.
If you’re looking for a purpose, why not spend your time applying your skills to making a difference? Pick something that riles you up and go for it.
TICK TOCK… IF YOUR TIME WAS IMMINENTLY RUNNING OUT, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND THE REST OF YOUR DAYS?
An extreme, but valid question. Most of us are guilty of living as if we’re immortal, but old Father Time waits for no-one. What will it take to live as if you would not another day? What would you do if you knew you only had a limited amount of time left. This is the best way to determine what is important to you, what’s trivial and what’s not worth worrying about.
Here at Spark, we’re dedicated to helping you reignite your passion, and encourage you to find your voice, your stage, and your audience. Our team have all come from different backgrounds, with many going through the ‘purpose crisis’ for years before arriving at their calling. Above all else, Team Spark are passionate about helping people be the best they can be.
If you want to learn more about your purpose – check out the replay of our free webinar by joining our Spark! Facebook community.