Ask A Coach: How Do I Find My Life’s Purpose?Nov 17, 2022 05:25AM ● By Adele Wang
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“If I just knew what that was—my purpose, something to believe in—I could go after it,” said my client Sam, his brow furrowed with frustration as we sat on Zoom together on a beautiful fall afternoon.
As a coach and spiritual teacher, I hear this a lot. Now more than ever, many people feel lost. It’s no wonder. Our world has gone through—and continues to go through—tremendous turmoil. Many people are seeking deeply for something, although they’re often not sure what they are looking for.
Sam exclaimed that if he knew what his purpose was, then life would “make sense.” He’d know what to do next; decision-making would be easier, and stress would drop.
I agree with him. When you know your purpose, life starts to have a natural sense of direction. There is an inner peace that comes, even if external circumstances are chaotic and unpredictable.
Purpose Is Not a Job
But purpose is not what people often think it is. Purpose is not a job. Nor is it a cognitive understanding of life. It’s an internal impulse toward a deeper expression of who you are. It is a combination of your interests, gifts, values and creativity.
People get frustrated when they seek purpose using a psychological and intellectual lens because purpose cannot be found that way. Since purpose is ultimately about living a fulfilled life, the biggest reason why people struggle to find purpose is that they don’t know what truly fulfills them. They may think they do, only to discover that something is still lacking. They have a constant nagging feeling that there’s more, untapped, within them.
It's understandable. Our culture doesn’t encourage people to know themselves. People worry that they’ve missed the memo on their own life as it goes by in front of them. Sometimes they also have an unconscious belief that if they knew their purpose, they wouldn’t ever feel failure or disappointment.
One way to help this journey is to change the question from “What is my purpose?” to “How can I feel more alive?” This rewording can help the whole inquiry feel less intimidatingly abstract and more concrete.
You can ask yourself: What might help you feel more alive? As a child, what were things you really enjoyed doing? What caught your interest? These impulses and natural talents have never left you. They’ve just gone underground.
Discover What’s Seeking Aliveness
As you inquire within about when and how you feel more alive, you might discover a pattern. You might find a desire for more beauty and artistic expression or a value unfulfilled, such as the courage to uplevel a relationship into a more fulfilling one. You might recognize you want more connections or that you have an impulse to be in nature. You might want to express your spontaneous nature instead of fighting it, or you might want to serve people in a way you enjoy.
When you know these things about yourself, you can track each decision you make against whether it moves you closer—or further away—from them. For example, if you’re offered a job or you’re in a relationship that isn’t in line with your purpose, you’ll know it is not for you.
The payoff is that the more you listen to what wants to come alive in you, the more amplified your energy field becomes for even more expression of your purpose. Momentum develops. I remind clients like Sam that purpose is not found in one fell swoop that elevates someone overnight into a whole new way of being. The mind hopes for a “Eureka!” moment, but purpose usually drops in piece by piece.
Start small, guided by the everyday clues, and build from there. Use your body to reconnect to the feeling of what it would be like to feel more alive. Would it be a beautiful sunset or time in nature? Playing with paints? Reading to a child? Use your body to notice what feels fulfilling, not just distracting. Purpose feels satisfyingly enjoyable, and that’s different from exciting distraction. This is a challenge because our culture has not helped people discern the difference.
Fire Up the Daydream Engine
Fire up the daydream engine that you had as a child. Asking yourself, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if…” is a great practice to try. You still have this natural creative impulse. It probably got shut down because it doesn’t “make sense.”
The more you activate your desire, the easier it is for purpose to emerge and beckon you toward a deeper expression of you. By staying open instead of seeking and grasping, the answers will come more easily and lead you to the next expanded version of yourself. ❧
Owner of Safe Haven Healing, Adele Wang is an energy healing practitioner and a licensed Art of Feminine Presence instructor. She has trained under several pioneers of energy medicine and has studied numerous energy-healing modalities. Find her on TW, IG, YT @AdeleWang and SafeHavenHealing.net on Facebook.