As an Inspiration Specialist, I am often asked: “How do I find my purpose?” Embedded in the question is the hope that “finding purpose” will lead to happiness. The person who asks how to find purpose is one who wants a better life. Usually that person feels directionless and adrift in life. All efforts and attempts seem futile and meaningless.
The one big misunderstanding about purpose is that it must be “found.” This assumes that purpose is something out there, external of Self. That if you just go far enough, seek hard enough, sacrifice enough, you’ll eventually find it.
But the truth is, purpose is internal and created by Self. Purpose is created by your choices.
You are like a block of marble, and hidden inside is your purpose. You’re also the sculptor who can reveal the purpose.
Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.Michelangelo
Where to carve, where to cut, where to contour, and where to go with the flow of the block — these are choices that reveal the statue inside the block of stone.
Here are three choices that can help reveal the purpose inside you:
1. Choose your Self
Because your purpose is inside, you must learn to choose your Self. Choosing Self comes in many shapes and sizes. Setting personal boundaries is choosing Self. Learning to love yourself is choosing Self. Scheduling time for yourself is choosing Self. Planning things for you is choosing Self.
When you choose Self, there is a feeling of elevation, of satisfaction, and of knowing. You are ascending to your higher Self. And as you do so, you begin to understand your Self better. With that understanding, comes clarity. With that clarity, purpose is revealed.
“Your gifts lie in the place where your values, passions and strengths meet. Discovering that place is the first step toward sculpting your masterpiece, Your Life.”Michelangelo
2. Choose priorities
There are many things that can get in the way of choosing Self, and that’s why the second choice for creating your purpose is choose your priorities.
People who have a clear purpose in life choose their priorities. Choosing priorities puts you in a proactive stance rather than a reactive one. Clearly defined priorities enable you to filter out unimportant things, and to avoid wasting time. As you choose your priorities, you discover what’s most important to you, and that guides you toward your purpose.
The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.Michelangelo
3. Choose giving to others
One of the best ways to create your purpose is to give to others. Giving to others helps you shed your ego. This in turn uncovers your Self and your purpose within.
When you’re focused on getting, you loose Self, priorities, and connections because you’re more intent on the getting. When you’re focused on giving, you don’t think about Self, but you learn about Self. Priorities become clearer as you give to others.
When you choose to give to others, you discover and strengthen your connection to them. These connections help reveal the purpose inside you. Ultimately, all purposes contain some form of giving to others.
As you give out so shall you receive.Michelangelo
It took Michelangelo two years to carve his David, and four years to paint the Sistine Chapel. When he was asked to do the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo resisted because he only saw himself as a sculptor. He didn’t consider himself a painter, and he had no experience with frescos. But he was willing to go beyond his comfort zone.
Creating your purpose takes time. It may take you two years, or four, or more. It requires that you see yourself as more than who you are right now. And you must be willing to go beyond your comfort zone.
Choose these things, and you will create your purpose.