Discovering your life’s purpose and finding your calling is becoming more common in today’s society. As the idea of personal development becomes more popular, the idea of maintaining the status quo continues to decline. This seems to match the increasing number of people experiencing burnout and searching for a life that inspires growth, feels better, and positively impacts the world.
Unfortunately, too many people get caught up in the belief that their true calling is going to result in fame and incredible wealth. While this may end up being true for some people, it isn’t wanted or promised for most of us. Don’t be tricked into thinking that public recognition and fame are needed to fulfill your true calling.
The Japanese call finding your true calling, Ikigai, derived from the combination of what you love, what you are good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs. When you can find this ikigai for yourself, you will achieve significant benefits both for yourself and the world in general. Just imagine what the world would look like if we were all living at the intersection of passion, calling, service, and mission.
As mature and intelligent beings, we have many desires and needs that drive our behavior. One of the most powerful of these needs that often gets ignored is the desire to find deep fulfillment in our lives. Knowing what we are doing matters and has an incredibly positive impact on those around us and society.
Today’s challenge is that most of us haven’t had the chance to hear, let alone listen and respond to our true purpose because our lives often don’t give us a chance for that to happen. We tend to focus on what we should do rather than taking the time to discover what we were born to do. Fortunately, there are things that anyone can do to help them find their true calling.
If you want to find your true calling, then you have to start by looking within yourself. Too many of us are afraid of spending time alone without distractions. This is usually because we have an underlying feeling of fear that lingers beneath our everyday lives’ surface. Deep down, we understand that if we shut out the world and focus on ourselves, we will have to face our demons and confront the traumas, issues, and emotions that we’ve locked up inside for so long.
We tend to lock pain away as a means of survival when we don’t have the proper tools and support we need. It is a normal reaction and is nothing that you should be ashamed of or feel guilty about. But, there will come a time when you will have to journey within yourself. When we look inwards, we have to begin to swim through the mess of our inner world. However, with enough time, self-love, and determination, we will become stronger and more empowered than ever before.
An easy way to get started in finding your life’s purpose is to start journaling. When you place your thoughts on paper, you allow yourself to process everything that has been buried deep inside of you. Empty your mind, and bring clarity to how you are experiencing your life.
The great thing about a regular journaling practice is that you don’t have to worry about what you write. You just have to let your words flow and don’t hold back. If you get stuck, you can start to think about those things in your life that make you angry, sad, or any other emotion or experience that you are dealing with at the moment. That will create your emotions to rise to the surface so you can see them and capture them on paper.
We all live busy lives, and finding time to journal can be a bit of a challenge. You can try to spend time writing in your journal first thing in the morning, right before you go to bed, or really anytime that makes sense and can fit into your daily routine. Journaling is most effective when you can dedicate at least 20 minutes a day to the practice. But sometimes, even 5 minutes slots will do the job if this is all the time you have.
As you journal, take some time to go back and read old entries. Often, those old entries can be incredibly insightful for understanding your current circumstances and for seeing how far you’ve truly come along your journey.
Along with helping you find your real purpose in life, journaling also has other unexpected benefits according to recent scientific evidence. Journaling can help you get clear on your thoughts and feelings and help you get to know yourself better, reduce stress, solve problems more effectively, and help you resolve conflicts with others.
Become an Observer
You can also start to look within to find your true purpose through the regular practice of mindfulness meditation and time spent alone in nature. In today’s modern, hyper-sensitive non-stop society, quiet time and solitude are rare and necessary experiences that many of us are lacking in.
Finding the time to make this kind of priority will allow you to learn how to tune out the external distractions in your life and improve awareness within yourself. Mindfulness meditation will also let you learn how to listen and witness how you feel and think. It will enable you to carefully examine the choices that you are making on a daily basis. This pure awareness of choice is a seed that will help you in allowing your Ikigai to bloom fully when properly nurtured and protected.
When you can begin to realize that you can shift your focus, you start to reclaim your power and fully imagine how things could be different in your life. With this superpower, you will have an unfair advantage to find harmony within yourself, as well as all of your relationships, both professional and personal.
Growing your awareness isn’t a one-time event. When it comes to finding the right understanding and integrating that understanding into your life, can be a long process. The impermanent nature of our experiences and our natural tendency to forget things, even those things that at the time were so clear, only sets us up to re-discover and re-learn the same lesson over again.
One way to help you with remembering is to capture audio or video or quickly write down the realization at the moment and revisit it regularly.
Getting started with mindfulness meditation is easy. Start by setting aside some time and find a quiet space to practice. The aim of mindfulness is not to quiet the mind or attempt to achieve a state of calm, but instead, your goal is to pay attention to the present moment, without judgment. When you are in the middle of your practice, if you start to notice judgments arising in your mind, simply make a mental note of them and let them pass and return to observing the present moment.
Often, our minds tend to get carried away in thought. That’s why in mindfulness meditation, the goal is to practice returning, again and again, to the present moment. It is important that you don’t judge yourself for whatever thought comes to mind during your practice. Just practice noticing when your mind has wandered off and gently bring it back to the present.
Expand Your Knowledge Base
To expand your knowledge base, you can read new books that you wouldn’t usually read. Books will give you a window into the world of someone else. They are full of wisdom, knowledge, and valuable insights. If you’re always on the go or are more of an auditory learner, then you can try listening to audiobooks or podcasts on subjects that you are curious about and want to learn more about.
Podcasts can have a considerable impact on the way you think about your life and how you will live it. The many conversations can introduce you to new concepts and possibilities that you may never have known existed. The power of podcasts is that it lets you spend time with people that you would never be able to otherwise. The traditional alternative is to read their books and blogs, which can be extremely valuable. The only disadvantage to this is that these are not necessarily as accessible to most of us because it is much easier to download an MP3 and listening to it as you go about your day. To be present to the thoughts, stories, and insights of other people who are more experienced in life than you are is a true gift.
Another area worth checking out is the types of careers that others have chosen and created for themselves to see what, if any, might resonate with you. Try to avoid putting on a pedestal those that stand out, and believe that your life will be perfect if you could just be like that person. Instead, accept that anything that you find worth doing requires hard work and sacrifice. Your mission is to try to become the best version of yourself, not be a copy of someone else.
Finding your true calling doesn’t always happen in a straight line. In fact, for the majority of us, it will happen through a random set of challenges or circumstances. Many of us have come to know these random alignments of places, people, and events as synchronicities. We believe that the more we live our true calling, the more synchronistic life ends up being.
Some people have been lucky enough to have life-changing experiences that have helped them find and live their true purpose. Others are still searching for the one sign that they are on the path to finding and living their true purpose in life. If you are struggling to define what it is that you should be doing in your life, just remember that it takes patience.
You can’t and shouldn’t expect your true calling to be delivered to your front door via express mail. Discovering and continually setting your path in life will be a natural part of your journey. You need to be compassionate to yourself and know that where ever you are in your life right now is the best place for you to be. Learn to treat yourself, your practices, and the world with patience and don’t rush your journey to finding your true life’s purpose.
You need to remember to take your time and learn to discern what feels right in your heart. Try to avoid torturing yourself when you feel like you are failing. Remember, your successes and failures are all a part of the process, and with enough patience, you will find your true calling.
Everyone in this world has its own purpose that they need to try to discover. They have their own calling to answer and their own Ikigai to embrace. It is the mysterious nature of how you end up finding your calling that makes each and every life such a beautiful adventure.
It is also important to remember that any journey worth taking is forced to have its own set of challenges and successes as you search for your true purpose. Still, the key to reaching the end is to keep moving forward and to trust that with enough determination, honesty, deep thought, you will eventually end up walking the path that is yours and yours alone.
Finding your true calling is a process that is full of tension, doubt, and stress that has to be continuously managed. Everyone has a choice. You can either choose to follow the path in front of you or not. But, whatever you decide to do, you have to put in the work and take action if you want to find your true purpose in life.
Wishing you all the best on your journey. I will look up to the sky for another light to turn on, and when it happens, I will know that you just found your purpose too.
Reach out to me here if you could need some support in taking the first few steps in the right direction.