Your Joy to the World - Finding Your Life Purpose
Do you want to know what your life purpose is? Are you searching for a career that holds daily meaning and passion for you? Do you feel like that path is still out of sight?
Simply asking and being brave enough to search for the answers in your own life will start you on the journey of discovery. For some people, their purpose is a chosen occupation or contribution to society that manifests early in life. However, for many others this is a life long quest and a mystery that seems as puzzling as crop circles and UFO’s. If we are here for a purpose, why does our unique purpose seem to evade us when we most want to find it?
What I have come to notice in working with my clients is that life purpose gets clearer as you commit to listening within, honoring your deepest desires and refusing to accept a life that does not suit you. It has less to do with noble callings, and more to do with finding your own joy and a lifestyle of your own design.
How can you impact the world if you are secretly miserable in your daily life and work? Perhaps you’ve heard the quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” You must heal yourself before you can heal others.
The first steps in discovering your life purpose, then, is to uncover your passions, believe you deserve to have what you desire, and be who you are without self-judgment.
Indeed, we can spend a lifetime trying to accept ourselves and stand in our callings. It takes incredible courage to go against what others want for us, and when we are ready to be who we truly are meant to be…well, now there are more bills to pay and other mouths to feed. Right? Making a career change at mid-life is challenging, divorcing a spouse that has not taken the same spiritual road is never desired on any level, except the soul-level. When the towers in our lives fall and leave us with no foundation, we have no choice but to rebuild, rebirth and start anew.
To start again is to surrender to who you really are, to honor your deepest desires and not to ignore or struggle against those inner promptings.
In career coaching sessions with my clients, I have often seen people wanting to become who they think they should be and not what they really want to be. For instance, an introverted and sensitive man might see this as a character flaw. He then pursues a career early on as a lawyer or a sales executive to prove to himself that he can be on display and that he can be competent in social persuasion. However, he feels drained and unhappy each day and wonders what he is working so hard for. He may be highly skilled in his profession, recognized by his peers and earning a good salary, but none of it makes him feel fulfilled and “on purpose.”
There is nothing wrong with acquiring new skills and confidence along the way, but your life purpose is not going to require that you transform yourself into a person that you do not recognize or even like. Your purpose and right work, when revealed, will be like reuniting with an old and treasured friend that you haven’t seen in years. No matter how much time has transpired, you begin right where you left off.
The key is to acknowledge what you truly want and then allow it to come to you instead of you struggling to get it. Let go of the struggle. Turn it over to a loving force that knows the way better than you do. We all have different gifts to offer one another, and your gift is what you love doing even if no one else was around!
You may be destined to affect the lives of many, or you may be here to simply learn to trust the WAY, and give yourself permission to do what is joyful, natural and effortless to you.
As well-known mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell has said so eloquently, "If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."
My hope is that “joy” is more than a word on a holiday greeting card for you. Open the doors that present themselves to you when you ask for your purpose to be made known. Be brave enough to step through into the life you’ve always wanted. Follow your true joy and let that be your joy to the world, during the holidays and always.