For much of the past few years I’ve felt completely obsessed with purpose. I distinctly remember years ago, hearing in a seminar that finding your purpose was the key to unlocking the life you truly wished to lead, and that once you knew your purpose you would certainly succeed in life. I really, really believed this, and so I went off on the journey to uncover what my purpose really was. I wanted so badly to find “the one thing” that my soul was brought here to do, so that I could live that fully aligned, happy, and successful life.
The interesting thing, though, is that on my journey to finding my purpose, the clarity, or that major “aha” moment never really showed up. I would get glimpses of things that interested me, and causes I wanted to pursue, but that high ideal of true “purpose” didn’t really completely grab my attention and light up my soul.
The traditional callings didn’t seem to fit. I didn’t feel pulled to be a doctor, a lawyer, or a teacher. And once I stepped into the self-help/wellness world, I didn’t seem to fall under those traditional categories either. I wasn’t a coach or a healer. None of the labels that I saw others feeling right at home with didn’t seem to match up for me. So, for a long, long time I felt like something must be wrong, or oddly different with me. Maybe I don’t have a purpose? Maybe I’m someone who isn’t meant to have a specific purpose? Maybe I should stop trying to figure “it” out and just “be normal”. Am I a failure?
These sabotaging thoughts were persistent, but thank goodness, there has always been a louder, more persistent, strong voice inside of me that didn’t want to give up on the concept of purpose, and I’m so glad. Because over time, I have learned so much about what purpose really means, more specifically what it means to me, and how I can integrate the concept into my life in a way that feels good, aligned, and meaningful.
So here is what I have discovered and what I know for sure, of me, about purpose. “Purpose” doesn’t have to be a grandiose, overarching concept of my life. I learned that I can make it smaller, and more manageable to fit labels and concepts that work for me, and it’s fluid! Purpose is not stagnant, “set in stone”, it can be constantly changing, just like my interests and ideals. Our greatest power, is following the little bread crumbs of the things that light you up, and knowing, with great certainty, that these jewels will lead you to something truly magical.
What I truly love, when it comes to the conversation around purpose, is releasing the pressure of “figuring it all out” and just allowing whatever shows up to teach me and accepting completely what will be, to be. Let’s follow our interests, desires, and soul’s yearnings, rather than our brain’s need to know what that one thing is that we will do in life. To remember that in each and every day our purpose can be different. For some of us, in some moments, our purpose can simply be to get up, and be the kindest, truest version of ourselves, and to keep striving for that day after day, after day, until the very end. What a completely valid, worthy and meaningful way to live, right?
We don’t need clear labels to live a meaningful, powerful life. We simply have to be open, receptive, a little curious, and willing to listen the calling of the soul, each and every day.
My search for purpose has been a long and winding road, and what a worthwhile, important journey it is. I offer my experiences as encouragement for you to find your “definition” of what purpose means to you, especially if you feel like you fall short in defining it in your life. Remember, you don’t have to find your purpose, you simply need to be present to what this day and this moment is calling for you to do, be, or create.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org