Find Your Purpose

Tips I’ve gathered so far…

Darryl Anka’s Channelled “Bashar’s 5-Step Process” (Spiritual)
An Instruction Manual or tools (rules) tofind your purpose in life.

  1. Act on your highest passion, your highest excitement, as best you can.
  2. Take it as far as you can, until you can take it no further. Then you look for the next thing that offers more excitement, more passion than anything else, and you act on that.
  3. (Most difficult step) Act on your passion with zero insistence or assumption as to what the outcome is going to be. Because the truth is, you have no idea what the best outcome is, even though your ego may think you do.
  4. You remain in a positive state no matter what happens, no matter what manifests, because it’s there for a reason and if you stay in that positive state, you will get a benefit from it.
  5. Examine your belief systems with honesty and you let go of the fear-based and negative ones.

Adam Leipzig’s 5-questions | YouTube TEDx Malibu (Experiential)
How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes.

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Who you do it for?
  4. What do those people want and need?
  5. How do they change as a result?

Unknown: 8-questions to ask to find your life’s purpose.
This is not about trying to fulfil a predetermined grand master plan, but rather understanding the significance of your own unique life and living it authentically.

  1. If money or time were not an issue, what would you like to do with your life more than anything else in the world?
  2. Figuring out our values is a crucial part of finding a sense of purpose, as they reflect what is most important to us and help align us with our pre-birth intentions.
  3. When we are in our purpose, time seems to fly by and we become so immersed that we forget about other things going on in our life.
  4. Pursuing your purpose may require making sacrifices, such as becoming a professional skier, even if it involves challenges and difficulties.
  5. Choosing a problem in the world to solve can lead to a sense of fulfilment and making a difference in life.
  6. Our life purpose is not about what we’re supposed to do or have, but about what we are supposed to give to the world.
  7. Your purpose in life is to share your unique gift with the world, whether it’s playing basketball, writing, teaching, cooking, organization, or invention.

Mark Nepo (Writer)

  1. Follow what brings your heart alive!
  2. Whatever is before you, is it heartening or disheartening?

Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor – How to Find Your Purpose (Stoicism)

  1. Make the most of your present.
  2. The purpose is to add value.
  3. Ask yourself. Are you happy?
  4. Just start doing what you want to do.
  5. Purpose is meaningless without self-discipline.
  6. Stop worrying about the outcome. Focus on the solution.
  7. Find a role model.
  8. Ignore the negative people.
  9. Pass through the obstacles.
  10. There is never an ending of finding the purpose.

Marcus Aurelius says “At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things which I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” Marcus Aurelius was one of the last 5 good Roman emperors who genuinely cared for his people. He believed that each of us have a purpose; something we were created for. During his rule, Aurelius found the time to construct a series of autobiographical writings, now known as the Meditations. In these writings, the Roman Emperor offered several key insights on how to find a purpose and live a life of virtue.

10x most important insights for finding purpose from the writings of Marcus Aurelius.

  1. Your purpose is in front of you. Which is to ‘make the most of your present’. Marcus Aurelius says “Life is short. That’s all there is to say. Get what you can from the present – thoughtfully, justly”. It is true that life is short, precious, and not repeatable. All we have is our past and present, and our future is unknown. Until now whatever has happened is our past – and it is one area of life that we do not have a control over anymore. Let us ponder about our now – the present. The present is the most precious moment of our lives because it’s in hand now and we can even in fact define our future largely by our present thoughts and actions. Our purpose should be to serve our present with virtue. In every phase of our life, our present comes as an opportunity, and it’s defined by the time, space, and circumstances. Allow me to explain this further. Imagine you are completing your master studies in three to four years which is your time frame, but where are you performing these studies, it may be in Harvard, it may be in Standford. This is your location, or the space and each space or location offers you many beautiful amenities, surroundings, scholarships, comforts, friendship and family support, academic facilities etc; these are your circumstances. Your purpose is in front of you – which is to make the most of your given opportunity and graduate with distinction. Your present will always gift you with an opportunity to find your purpose. Just ask yourself every time – How can I make the most out of my present, my time, space, and circumstances.
  • Your purpose is to add value. According to “Men exist for the sake of one another”. We are each unique, with different gifts, passions, and purposes and we need to figure out how we can best share this gift with others because we will only get all we want in life if we help other people get what they want. Shift from me to we and watch your career, and your life, become shockingly successful. Be a Value Creator. When we talk about your present circumstances, there are going to be people who need you in some way or another. They may be your family, friends, colleagues, or any one you associate with on a daily level. The truth is all of your most highly cherished dreams can become reality as long as you help enough of those around you get to their personal mountaintops. The easiest way to understand the value you could offer is by asking yourself these simple questions –
  1. What is the one thing that comes very easy to me, or which is the one thing I am good at that others could learn from me? This could be anything your art, your music, or your communication skills, anything that you are passionate about to teach.
    1. Who do you do it for? This could be your family, friends, or anyone that you care for. Family and friends will give you a reason to hang on to something even if it gets difficult for you.
    1. What do people want or need? This will give you a clear idea of what’s missing and it will provide you with an opportunity to fill in. Then Give your best – to each of today’s pursuits – and then go farther. Because the more value you can create for others, the more value they’ll return to you.
  • Ask yourself Are you happy? In the words of Marcus Aurelius “You can pass your life in an equable flow of happiness if you can follow the right way and think and act in the right way”. You should always pursue what you love, follow your bliss, listen to your heart and intuition, and know that by doing so, success will have no choice but to follow. When you get stuck with something you don’t love, when you are doing the things that took you off your path for too long, you will forget who you really are, you forget that you do have a choice and you do have the ability to shift your lives in the right direction. Here is how it works. We all have our inner guidance system, our inner GPS that’s like the GPS system we use in our car which tells you how to get from point A to point B. So, for this inner GPS to work, it needs to know your current location to get you to your end destination. So, if you are not enjoying what you do in the present, there are high chances that you will not successfully reach where you want to reach. So, ask yourself these two questions –
  1. What is it that I love doing? This could be anything, your hobby, your music, your art and just start doing it.
    1. What is it that I need to change about my present? This could be anything you job, your relationships, the people around you, anything in your present.

It makes less sense to continue pursuing something you aren’t enjoying in your present. For example, if you are not enjoying your subject choice, then look to change it. Because if you do not love what you do, you will not be able to add the value that is required, and you will not find your success. Now if you look at this diagram carefully, you will realise that your life purpose is to make the most of your present by adding value to others by doing what you love.

  • Just start. As Marcus Aurelius once said, “When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.” After you figure out your life purpose, what you want to do, you might not know how to go ahead or which road to take. You may even lack certain skills. So, the best way to move forward is just by starting with it. If you want to be a writer, write every day. If you want to be an artist, draw, and create every day. Anything you want to do; you don’t need any more motivation or research or advice. You just start practicing something you’re interested in and tackle every day as it comes because it’s your purpose that will give you an internal desire, drive, and motivation to propel you forward towards your goal. You can start with forming an effective plan of action that is comprised of a deadline for accomplishing your goal. It must also be built on the foundation of mini milestones that break your goal down into manageable chunks. Mini milestones will ensure that you are working toward your desired outcome in small pieces and time blocks.
  • Purpose is meaningless without self-discipline. According to Marcus Aurelius “You must build up your life action by action and be content if each one achieves its goal as far as possible – and no one can keep you from this” Discipline is the fundamental action, mind-set and philosophy which keeps one in a routine and making progress towards whatever one is pursuing. Even after having a solid purpose and a practical plan, you need to show up, every day, and put in the work. Self – Discipline is nothing more but the habit of consistency – finding the motivation to do something again and again, until you do it on autopilot and start seeing results. Hence this simple act of showing up will certainly bring you closer to achieving whatever you want. Your ability to keep going is what moulds you into a disciplined and strong person.
  • Stop worrying about the outcome. Marcus Aurelius says, “You have the power over your mind – not outside events” When we set out to do something, we often get overwhelmed by fear. We worry too much about the outcome. A big part of worrying has to do with the what ifs we tend to contemplate in our minds. What if this happens? What if that happens? The fact of the matter is that the mind is very much like the lens of a camera – you get whatever it is that you focus on. If you focus on problems, you’ll see more problems. If you focus on something positive, eventually you’ll start seeing positive things and steering your life in that direction. You will start by realising that the outcome or the future is not in your control. As per the stoic philosophy, we need to stop worrying about the outcome and other things that are not in our control and concentrate on stuff we could control. For example, if you want to be the best athlete, then instead of worrying about things that are not in your control like your competition, opinions of your critics or your body, concentrate on things you can control like your training, the diet you eat, and your progress. Just by concentrating on things you can control; you will be able to put yourself in the driver’s seat and be able to give yourself a sense of control over the tasks and projects you’re working on.
  • Find a role model. To quote Marcus Aurelius “It will even do to socialize with men of good character, in order to model your life on theirs, whether you choose someone living or someone from the past” When you realise your purpose and when you set out to do something, having good role models is more important, as they influence what we do and how we turn out eventually. Positive role models influence our actions and motivate us to strive to uncover our true potentials and overcome our weakness. Your role models could be your friends, family, colleagues who have already achieved the goal you are working towards. Warren Buffett says “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”
  • Ignore negative people. As Marcus Aurelius once said “When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you” When you announce your purpose and set out to achieve your goals, you will attract some negativity from people around you. There will always be people there to tell you that you can’t do something, that you’re not smart enough, that you don’t have enough resources or connections, that you don’t have enough money, and so on. But you must ignore the negativity if you want to achieve your goals. Their voice does not deserve to be heard. Don’t hand over your peace of mind to outsiders to disrupt as they please. Mahatma Gandhi once said.
  1. First, they ignore you.
    1. Then they laugh at you
    1. Then they fight you
    1. Then you win.
  • An obstacle is really a way through. In the words of Marcus Aurelius “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way”. On your pursuit, there are going to be obstacles for sure. You’ll overcome some and others are going to be difficult to tackle. Imagine you want to be the best boxer in the world. You are doing your best, you are training hard, you are doing everything right and with each day you are getting closer to achieving your dream but suddenly you get into an unfortunate accident which leaves you with a permanent damage that doesn’t allow you to box anymore. Any kind of injury is perhaps one of the most challenging obstacles for anyone to overcome, and, potentially, one of the most damaging factors to your mental state. The chances of us having such major obstacle is less but it’s still a possibility and when it happens, we turn to our negative side and concentrate on things we can’t do anything about. We think of it as a failure and live under the curtains of fear and embarrassment. We need to change our perception and realise that whatever happened was not in our control and there is nothing we could do about our situation, but we can turn this obstacle into opportunity by practicing virtue over things we do have control over – which is our life ahead itself. Going back to the previous example – after being asked to not box for the rest of your life, you can present yourself an opportunity of finding a new bigger purpose – which is to train young boxers and make them better than you could ever be.
  1. There is never an end. Marcus Aurelius reminds us “A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions”. There will be a time when you have found your purpose and achieved everything. There will be a time when you’re not sure where you want to go next. Take a break and say, “I did it!” Even if that just means going out to a nice dinner. But as per the stoic philosophy, you shouldn’t get carried away with your success. You should always look for ways to evolve your ambitions. The theory of evolution, which we believe is the fundamental theory of life implies that everything in the universe is still evolving; and hence it’s imperfect which is why there is always a big room for improvement. Therefore, life must be ever changing and be ever dynamic- a journey towards improvement. If you feel stuck now that you’ve achieved everything, it might be a perfect time to try some new things and gain new experiences so that you have new things to work towards. Life will always provide you with the opportunity to find a new purpose and all it takes is going out there and doing everything with virtue.

Mark Nepo (Interview summary)

It comes back to being fully present. The difficult things in life make us recoil: fear, pain, confusion, despair, make us get tight, we pull back. Our job in those moments is to go the other way and lean in. That takes a quiet courage because everything’s telling you ‘Pull back, avoid this!’ That’s exactly when we need to lean in, wholeheartedly. Being human, no one can do this all the time, but commit to being wholehearted even though sometimes, because we’re human, we’re half hearted. Make a commitment to hold nothing back and a commitment to a life of question.

This is sorely needed today because when we’re too certain about what we think we know, then we start to look for things that will confirm what I already know. That’s not education. Education is thanking God that you’re not the same as someone else.

Learn something you don’t know. Think in very detailed, specific ways, begin a ‘journal of aliveness’ that chronicles and bears witness to your own rhythms of aliveness. That is:

  • When are you wholehearted?
    • What triggered that?
  • Did it come from within? Or without?
  • Was it being with a certain person? In nature?
  • Was it singing? Was it reading? What was it?

What was it? What were the conditions? Study your inner life, make your life your case study so that you can learn, you can become intimate with your own nature. As we become more intimate with our own nature, we start to understand what brings us alive. That’s the teacher.