Purpose is Your Compass. Find Your Why.

  • TheTick Times Thursday Jul 21, 2016

He who has a why can endure any how. — Frederick Nietzsche

Everyone craves clarity. It’s the only way to reach deeper into yourself to find out what makes you come alive. We all start from somewhere confusing, because you probably like to do a lot of things.

Most people’s lives are still not perfectly clear. It’s a struggle almost every adult goes through. “What do I want to do with my life?” “What do I not suck at?” Millions of people have no clue what they want to do with themselves. And that’s okay. Self-discovery is a journey.

Curiosity, being open to explore the unknown, ready to embrace the surprises that come along the way, are essential attitudes for self-discovery and for gaining clarity about your own life purpose.

Margie Warrell, Author of Brave explains:

“Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!). Indeed, only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.”

If you are feeling unmotivated, unsure of yourself, aimless, can’t find anything or work that makes you lose yourself, you’re not alone— most people are in the same boat.

Everything meaningful happens outside your personal bubble

“Before anything great is really achieved, your comfort zone must be disturbed.” — Ray Lewis

If you desperately want to prove something, make art, start a side project, or make a dent in the universe, no matter how small, you’ve got to step outside that security wall you have built for yourself.

Your personal bubble is the small world you live in (we all have one), where you are the center of the universe. You are concerned with your wellbeing, with not wanting to look bad, fail or make a mistake. Your only concern is looking good and following the status quo. Doing everything “expected” of you. In your bubble, you’re concerned with your pleasure and comfort, and trying not to be uncomfortable.

When you step outside the bubble, you will start to see that your personal desires are actually pretty trivial, and that there’s more to life than trying to meet just your pleasures and shy from your discomfort. Everything meaningful can only be achieved outside the safe zone.

Outside the bubble, all you will care about is making impact, meaning and solving problems. You will be emotionally committed to your life’s work so much that you will lose sense of time. It’s “crazy” outside the bubble, but it brings fulfilment.

Think Elon Musk. Elon founded and runs two moonshot tech companies: Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He is solving real world global problems. Elon Musk is changing the transport industry as we know it, and reinventing space travel at the same time. He is constantly challenging himself and stretching his boundaries.Elon Musk is arguably, one of the greatest innovators of our time.

You can make a dent in your own small way and still make a lot of impact. It starts with finding your personal “why”. What matters is becoming bigger than yourself. Once you do, you learn that you have a purpose in life.

Finding what makes you come alive changes everything

Your “why” is something that emerges. It doesn’t come fully formed. You won’t discover your life’s work by wondering or worrying about it. You’ll discover it by taking action, everyday. Pay attention to your gut.

Your purpose in life is to find and do the things that make you smile, laugh and forget time. Even if you aren’t sure yet, move into the exploration and experimentation phase of your life and enjoy the journey. You can’t put time on it. You can’t force yourself to find your “why” tomorrow or next month, or even next year.

By looking at what is working and what isn’t, you can align yourself with your why and what or the passion and purpose for your life. Clarity is the first step to crafting a life you love.

Here is Mark Manson’s recommendation for finding your life’s purpose or discovering your “why”:

“Discovering what you’re passionate about in life and what matters to you is a full-contact sport, a trial-and-error process. None of us know exactly how we feel about an activity until we actually do the activity.

So ask yourself, if someone put a gun to your head and forced you to leave your house every day for everything except for sleep, how would you choose to occupy yourself? And no, you can’t just go sit in a coffee shop and browse Facebook. You probably already do that. Let’s pretend there are no useless websites, no video games, no TV. You have to be outside of the house all day every day until it’s time to go to bed — where would you go and what would you do?”

You can actually start listing a few things down, then, you know, go out and actually do them. When you’re powered by a clear purpose, there is little you cannot do.

What is your life’s work? What is the one thing that brings out the best in you? What helped you discover it?

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About the Author

Thomas Oppong

Founding Editor at http://alltopstartups.com. Curator at http://postanly.com. Columnist @Inc. Magazine, Contributor @Entrepreneur and @Observer.

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