Millions of Americans sit at their desk job each day feeling lethargic,
bored, and unfulfilled. They don't have a sense of purpose in life, and feel passionless about their former dreams. While many choose to stay in this position, others yearn for something greater. They want to find their authentic life's work - where they can find happiness, pride and fulfillment each day.
Wondering if the job you have now is “the one” or just another stop on the way to something more fulfilling? Have you ever said “I don’t know what to do with my life”? Don’t sit back and be passive about your future. It's time to make a change. There is a purpose for your life. Here is how you can discover it.
Talk with God.
God is our all-knowing superior, and He has a plan in the works for you. God has a blueprint already made for your life, and He wants you to follow it so that you can be the best version of yourself. The best way to find out what your purpose is on this earth is to ask God Himself! Take time to fill out a devotional, pray to God, or meditate on something you learned in church. Through these avenues, God can come to you and help guide you along the right path. He has a vision for you.
Stop lying to yourself.
When you try to be someone you are not or try to follow a path not meant for you, then you are lying to yourself. You are holding yourself back from finding true happiness in your authentic life's work. When you strive to find what your true purpose is, you realize how much of a better person you can be. If you spend day in and day out complaining about your career, don't try and justify that the money is good or that promotions are on the way. Make a real change now by letting go of fear.
Let the stress of failure go.
One reason we stop looking for our authentic life's work is out of fear of failure. We get so overwhelmed when we don't get things right on the first try, so we decide to settle for something less than what we deserve. Instead of using failure as a reason to hold back, use it as a way to fuel your motivation. Everything you go through in life only makes you stronger and can provide dramatic growth. Keep pushing forward and do not stop until you are happy.
Understand your core values.
What you are meant to do with your life will align with your core values and morals. Your life’s work is an extension of your beliefs and worldview. In the right position, you will live with integrity because what you do is in accordance with who you are. This alignment will generate feelings of inspiration, motivation, and dedication about your duties. You will take the extra effort to push forward, because it doesn’t feel like work. Your life’s work is not a “job” but rather it’s a way of living. Your work should enable you to create the lifestyle you want for yourself.
Identify what you are passionate about.
Find the things that you love to do the most and that give you a feeling of fulfillment. Maybe you are passionate about helping children, singing, travelling, or running your own business. Whatever the things are that you enjoy, make sure to write them down. Look at each and see how you could start doing them on a large scale. If you love to write, start looking for freelance writing jobs online to get you started. If you realize you aren't happy scaling one of your passions, you can come back to the drawing board and work towards another. Our desires will change and grow throughout our lives, so don’t be discouraged if you find your passions switch for something new.
Be honest with yourself, but follow your heart.
If you had a dream of being an NBA player when you were 12, but have now grown up to be a 5'2" adult, then chances are you aren't going to accomplish that dream. It's important to be honest with yourself about the things you want to pursue. If they are not realistic, try to find something similar that could also make you feel passionate. For example, you could become a coach of a basketball team for your local community. This way, your dreams and passions meet you where you're at in life.
Break your dream down into smaller goals.
Every day, people pursuing their dreams make the mistake of shooting for the moon without taking the first step. For example, if you want to pursue your dream of being a writer you can't jump right in to making a three book novel series. If you want to be an actress, you can't move to Hollywood and expect to get offers right away. By following this strategy, you can end up frustrated and unfocused. Instead, break down your goals into small pieces that are obtainable to complete. If you want to be a writer, start with a blog you post to once a week. Start with something you can do today, even if it’s only for five minutes. Tomorrow, do it for ten minutes. It will become a bigger habit and you will feel a more consistent motivation to continue to pursue your life's work.
Not everyone has the blessing of finding their authentic life’s purpose and work. This can be incredibly frustrating and lead to a life that is unfulfilling and boring. Don’t put yourself in that situation. Instead, turn your focus on your passions, goals and dreams and do not give up no matter what comes your way. You will soon find that you can live a truly happy life here on earth doing what you genuinely love.
Megan Bailey is the Social Media Specialist and Content Producer for Beliefnet. She attended James Madison University where she received a degree in psychology.