How To Find Your Purpose
There are 3 buckets that people fall into in this life:
Those that knew their calling all along, who stuck with one major all throughout college, landed a job in their field, and absolutely LOVE what they’re doing
Those that thought they knew what they wanted, like what they’re doing, but still feel a little lost and restless, like there is more out there but they don’t know what it is
The rest of us, who have absolutely no clue WTF is going on or what we’re supposed to be doing
This post is for the latter two.
I actually find the phrase “finding your purpose” a little misleading, as it lends to the thought that whatever you decide to do, it needs to be altruistic, like my life’s purpose needs to be focused on how to save the seals or cure tennis elbow. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for philanthropic efforts, but I just don’t think everyone needs to focus their life on saving the planet. Why?
Because more good is going to come of this world if you put 110% of your effort behind your passion instead of 50% behind someone else’s.
Besides, more often than not, what your passionate about is something that brings you joy or has changed your life for the better. It’s something you want to share with others because you’ve seen the positive effect on your life or on someone else’s, and you want that positivity to vine out. I mean, could you imagine how much good we could radiate if everyone was focused on what they loved, whether or not they felt it brought “value” to this world or not?
This is essentially why I started my website on personal finance. I saw how much confidence and power and FUN was brought to my life by effectively managing my money, and I wanted others to feel the same. Will what I do change the world? Probably not. But I LOVE doing it, and it may change the lives of a few women out there struggling with their money. And to me, that’s something.
Some of you are probably thinking, “Yes, that’s great for you, Britt, but I’m still sitting over here with a job I hate, a coworker who smells like cheese, and no idea what I really want to do to get the heck out of here.”
I’ve got the solution.
I unfortunately can’t crystal ball this for you and provide an answer, but there are certain steps you can take to find your purpose for yourself. And lucky you, they are all listed below.
DISRUPT YOUR LIFE
I recently listened to a StoryBrand podcast centered all around this concept of disruption, where they began by talking about companies who made small shifts in thinking that essentially changed the way we live.
Uber took over the taxi world with no vehicles of their own.
Airbnb is the largest hotel chain without any hotels.
Podcasts have replaced newspapers and books in how we get our news and learn.
And, ladies, you can make those same small shifts in thinking by causing a little disruption in your own life.
Last year I went on my first trip outside the States to Peru, where I hiked the Inca Trail for 4 days and spent some time in Cuzco and Mancora. Some of the things I remember most about my time there was not the views, the endless stars at night while in the middle of the Andes, or finally witnessing Macchu Picchu (although, ladies, it’s a WONDER) but seeing farmers still plowing the fields with donkeys. And driving past homes with no windows and dirt floors on the way to our beach resort. And how proud I was to be the only girl who carried her own pack the entire trip.
I came back with a new view on the world, my place in it, and my abilities, and all it took was one little trip to find it.
You need to do the same.
Getting out of your day-to-day routine and escaping your comfort zone will only allow you to broaden your mind and think a little differently. And you don’t need to take an expensive trip to do it. Take a class on something you’re interested in but know nothing about. Talk to people with different viewpoints and life situations than you. Force yourself to run that 5K, start that side hustle, or finally create that capsule wardrobe.
Whatever you decide, just disrupt your life a little bit. The uncomfortable is where the best springboard for growth is found.
ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION
What makes you forget to eat?
Seriously, what makes you forget that its lunchtime? Or bores your friends when talking about it? Or do you watch ridiculous Netflix documentaries on?
I can honestly say I am excited to pop out of bed on Saturday mornings to work on my personal finance biz. It’s how I spend my weeknights after a full work day at my full-time job, and what I dedicate a majority of my weekends to.
Sounds a little miserable, right? But not for me. I am so passionate about it that it’s worth skipping the bars on Friday to be refreshed on Saturday. (Okay, maybe it’s also because I’m in my 30s, but let’s let that go.)
You need to really hone in on what encompasses you so much that you forget about everything else going on, EVEN FOOD. What turns introverted you into an extrovert in a conversation. What your friends WISH you would stop talking about already.
So find what makes you skip a meal in the middle of the day because you’re so engrossed in what you’re doing.
And then chase it.
DO, DON’T THINK
You can read 57 self-help books on finding your purpose, but unless you get out there and start taking some action, nothing is ever going to change.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
We tend to be the gender of the cautious overthinkers, waiting for that perfect moment of inspiration or a sign to point us in the right direction. But ladies, that moment may never come. And aren’t you tired of waiting?
It’s time to stop thinking/planning/overanalyzing and start doing. I’m not saying to you have to make a radical move, like quitting your job. But maybe you start a blog on the topic. Take a class on it. Volunteer at an organization that works in the same field as your passion. See what sticks.
These are the little steps you can take to start figuring out what lights the fire inside you and what doesn’t. Stop finding an excuse to wait on the world to present to you the perfect moment, and just start taking them.
DISREGARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS
Like I said, one of the things I hate most about this “finding your purpose” concept is the fact that it lends itself to being charitable (which, in case you were tuned out during the intro of this article, it doesn’t need to be.)
But what’s worse is when you base that passion or purpose on what others think or want from you.
Where you focus your life should not be determined by anyone but you, but I find so often that women are impacted by what society or their peers tell them they need to be doing or what they believe they are good at.
So let me tell you this:
You do not need a 6-figure salary to be successful.
You don’t need to chase something just because you are good at it.
It does not matter whether you work for someone else or yourself to follow your passion.
You do not have to sacrifice all the good things in life in order to feel purposeful.
You just need to listen to your heart, your gut and follow where it’s leading you. No one else can do that for you nor should they. Your purpose is highly personal, and you need to remember that when deciding where you want to take your life.
I want to leave you with this one final note:
Even with all these steps in place, you may not find what you’re looking for overnight. It may take a little trial and error to find something that clicks, and ladies, that’s ok. Most success stories do not happen overnight, and yours most likely won’t either.
Just keep learning, keep growing, and keep moving. And I promise you’ll find it.