How To Discover Your Purpose In Life

J.R. Heimbigner

Photo by Danica Tanjutco on Unsplash

We all ask ourselves this question from time to time. What is my purpose? What am I doing here on earth? Why are things the way they are? How did I get to this point in life? Am I living the life I was meant to live? Is there something more?

These are all valid questions to ask about your purpose in life. In fact, over the last ten years, I probably have asked myself these questions over and over again. Even in the last six months, I have probably asked the questions and tried to ponder them. It isn’t unusual for us to do.

I have been on a journey over the last ten years. It has been a trek to find my purpose and to find the life I want to live. It has had ups and downs. There have been a lot of questions. Some answers. And often more questions. During high school and college, I never really thought much about my purpose in life. Only what I wanted to get out of life.

Some might argue those are the same things. But I don’t think so. Our life’s purpose is greater there what we want. However, I do believe our life’s purpose can be discovered and directed by us.

Purpose Defined

Purpose: “The reason for which something exists, or is done, made, used etc… An intended or desired result, end, aim, goal.”

Our purpose in life is twofold: the reason we exist and the desired result. If this is true, then it is something we define for our lives. When we think about our purpose in life, I believe a lot of people think their purpose is pre-defined. It is something they have no control over.

Therefore they don’t try to understand their purpose. They merely start looking for it without knowing what they are looking for. This is the fatal flaw to the question: “what is my purpose?”

Our Purpose is Not Pre-Defined

If our purpose is not pre-defined, doesn’t that make things more complicated? I don’t think so. To me, it makes things easier. Now, you are no longer looking for this magical destination you have not to control over. Instead, you are piecing together the reality of who you are. You are discovering what you want to do. And looking to where you want to go.

While I believe our purpose isn’t pre-defined, I do believe we are hardwired to do special things in the world. Where do I get this idea? From the Bible:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” — Proverbs 19:21

Our lives have a purpose to do great things. And we get to play a part in what our purpose is. We are not mindless drones or pawns in a giant game. We are people who want to do something great. That is a desire of everyone’s heart. And I believe that was put in our hearts by God. And we have a purpose, we just need to go out and find it.

My ten-year journey to living intentionally and finding my purpose has led me up and down many avenues. It isn’t very simple at times, however, it is possible. Many people do this every day.

Our purpose in life is found in markers from our past, desires of our hearts for the future, and exercised in the present.

Our Purpose in Life is Seen in Our Past

Jeff Goins shares in his book, The Art of Work, this about purpose and calling:

“Take time to look back at all you’ve experienced, and listen to what your life is saying.” — Jeff Goins

When I look back at my life, there are defining moments that have helped me understand my purpose in life. And in fact, I have found they are moments where my purpose took control.

Right after college, I had it all going for me in the sports business world. I had completed my degree, worked for two NCAA Division I athletic departments, and was well connected to athletic departments around the United States.

But something felt wrong.

Eventually, I decided to become an event planner, for a non-profit. Why? Because I had seen how many of my superiors didn’t have families or spent countless hours a week at sporting events where their families would have to come to these games so they could spend time together. That wasn’t for me. So, I made a change. I understood this feeling later in life.

One Purpose in My Life was to be a Husband and a Father.

Our Purpose in Life is Experienced Today

Our everyday lives help us understand our purpose as well. What are the things you love doing? What are things you do naturally, that others think are extraordinary? Much like my story above, we tend to live our purpose without even realizing it.

For example:

Every job I have ever had, I end up mentoring someone newer or less experienced. I help them learn about my job, do the work of their job, and think about the future. It comes naturally to me. I have the heart to see people do well, and often times do better than me. I still do this in my day job today.

What is something you enjoy doing or do naturally?

This is something to follow up on. Would you want to do it every day? Do you want to share this gift or reality with the world to help others? If you say ‘yes’ to one of these two questions, this is part of your purpose in life.

One Purpose in My Life is to shephard others.

Our Purpose in Life is Found in Our Desired Future

Michael Hyatt asked a question on a post in December of last year which shares my thoughts on how our purpose in life is found in our desired future:

Ask yourself: What would your life look like if you directed it, instead of drifted through it? — Michael Hyatt

What if we directed our lives a little bit more and stopped letting other people do it for us? Something I noticed as I has begun to discern my purpose in life is how much I have a say in my finding my purpose. Sure, the past tells me about my calling or purpose. My current situation informs me too. But what I desire, helps me connect the dots from past, present, and future.

We all have desires for our future. Whether it is how we relate to family and friends, or what we have accomplished in life. For me, I want to impact as many people as possible. Helping husbands be better husbands. Giving assistance to fathers to help them to become better fathers. I desire to share my journey with others so they don’t have to wander for ten years in the woods of life.

One Purpose in My Life is to help others live better lives.

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My goal with my writing is to help people get everything done they want in their very busy lives. I believe we can we all can achieve our dreams and I know it starts with having the right mindset, systems, and taking action every single day. My writing shares how to do this through self-improvement, inspiration, and productivity.

Spokane, WA

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