1. Eliminate everything unnecessary in your life. This may include gossip, mindless TV or other entertainment, clutter, even junk food and other bad habits. The appeal of these things is that they distract us from doing the hard work we need to do and asking the hard questions that we need to ask ourselves.
Tip: Do this little by little but make small changes that you make stick.
2. Discover Your Authentic Self. Most of us do not realize how many of our choices are made in an effort to please others. Sometimes this may mean we make choices in order to please one particular person and sometimes it may mean pleasing our entire culture as a whole. We may find ourselves doing things that diminish our happiness or sense of fulfillment in life, just in the pursuit of being “normal” or being accepted.
Tip: This doesn’t mean you have to immediately dump your friends or people who are important to you. Certain people may drift away on their own while other relationships will deepen. Deep down no one wants a relationship with someone who has repressed who they really are in order to please. In fact those are the very relationships that often go wrong and cause us intense pain when they do. We all do this in big ways and subtle ways, and the trick is simply realizing when we are doing it so that we can examine it and change.
3. Clear your Mind. Go for a walk, or a run, preferably in nature. Do yoga. Mediate. Or just sit and spend time your dog or cat. Find any activity that really works to clear your mind. Most of them take a little bit of practice so we can go beyond thinking about how to do them, to achieving clear minds through them.
Tip: The discovery you will need to make through this is that thoughts are overrated, and you can never think your way to your life purpose. The thoughts are not who you are, but rather the still space between those thoughts is the true you. You can be told this but it sounds silly because it means nothing until you experience it yourself. Ironically when we realize this and honor it and learn to make space, the answers we seek will come. After we become ok with not knowing, we can finally know.
4. Act. By now if you have gone into steps one through three and have done them thoroughly you will probably feel fulfilled and at peace. You no longer feel the NEED to have a life purpose. This is key because we can never find our calling when we are coming from a place of lack or needing to get somewhere or make something happen. You can even stop here if you like. Maybe your life purpose is to simply do nothing. Would you be ok with that? Or you may act and do wonderful things in this world.
Tip: Many of us have lives that are dynamic and ever changing in ways we could never have predicted. Finding your life purpose is not an end all be all. Continue to be open and have a clear mind and you’ll receive the extra bonus of naturally being able to embrace change as it comes.
Disclaimer: I wish it were as easy and straightforward as I have written out here. Unfortunately it’s usually messy and involves a lot of stalling and relapsing, and wild goose chasing. But that’s just because we are human. It’s ok.