I turn 37 in a few weeks. Far closer to 40 than I’d care to admit.
No offense to many of my dear friends who have already passed that honorable milestone, but as I inch closer to that milestone, I’m starting to understand the rumblings of mid-life crisis, and the complaints of achy bones and malfunctioning backs. This aging thing is for real, folks. And as young as I want to pretend I am, the mirror would tell me, loud and clear: I’m not.
Not gonna lie: it’s been a hard reality. It started right about a year ago, when I overheard someone comment about a picture of me: “She looks really old.” I knew they didn’t mean any harm, and I’m pretty sure they would be embarrassed if they knew I’d overheard, but like much of life, I chose to take the comment in stride.
And head straight to the anti-aging counter.
In addition to researching, and investing in, countless eye creams over the past year, I can now also tell you more about botox (haven’t done it—yet), and the struggle of losing weight post-35.
You’re going to have to forgive me for this, friends, but, #thestruggleisreal.
And along with all the increasing aches and pains and wrinkles and fine lines, have come a few other reality-shaking thoughts and questions.
Like, wow. They weren’t kidding when they said life was short. Time is flying and these moments are precious. And, wow. This whole living thing really doesn’t last forever. And, WOW. So if it doesn’t last forever, what is the point, really? What is the meaning? What is a meaningful life, and…am I living it?
Have you ever wondered these things. Like, why am I here, and what is the purpose of all this?
I have. And I’m sure I will a few more times in my hopefully long life. Why am I here?
And I don’t mean this in a depressing, existential sort of way. I don’t mean for it to be a sad question at all. Rather, I’m confident that every single one of us was put on this earth for a distinct purpose (or perhaps, a couple of purposes throughout our life), and it’s our responsibility to find and follow that purpose.
Why are you here? What would God have you do?
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to really consider these questions.
Because your purpose tells you what you’re made to do; who you’re made to serve. It shows you the light that only you can bring. And it’s your “why”—something that we all agree is important to have when you own a business, but we don’t discuss as much when it comes to your personal life. Your purpose is the reason that you get up in the morning, and the reason you keep going when life (inevitably) gets hard.
You may think you have no idea what your purpose is, but I’d venture to guess you know more than you think you do. And if you’re still a bit lost, I think I can help.
Let’s find and follow our purposes together.
Start by letting go of what you thought—or what other people have told you—your purpose might be. That may very well be your purpose…but in order to figure that out for yourself, you need to start from scratch and see what comes up.
You need to be willing to give up what you thought the plan for your life was, and create the blank space in your mind for what it really could be. Start fresh, with a blank slate. Write a new purpose—even if it ends up being what you knew it was all along.
Ask Yourself First
Before you turn to external sources to help you find your purpose, turn inward. Have a conversation with yourself. Ask yourself the important questions:
What did I love to do as a kid? (Cliche question, I know, but it’s cliche for a reason—it’s an important one.) Did you love to write? Build Lego structures? Set up schoolrooms with all your stuffed animals? Perhaps your purpose is to be an author, an architect, or teacher.
Or you might ask yourself: What problems am I passionate about? Or, how am I uniquely suited to save the world? (It’s a lofty question, which means you’ll get a lofty answer—all the better for purpose inquiry!) If you’re passionate about creating better education solutions, you might start by attending your local education board meetings. If nothing means more in the world to you than the humane treatment of animals, look into volunteering at your local animal shelter.
Do you see where I’m going with this? No one knows you better than you, so get honest with yourself. Don’t try to think of what’s realistic or try to guess what you’ll love most—just inquire and see what comes up. I think you’ll soon find that it’s really not hard to come up with potential life purposes. The harder (but better) part comes next…
You can brainstorm your life purpose all day—and it’s totally fine if you do take a day or two to do that!—but eventually, you’ll just need to get started. The only way to truly know if something is your purpose is to actually do it.
There’s a lot of things I thought I wanted to do—things I was at one point was convinced were my purpose in life—only to find out that I didn’t actually feel very passionate about them once I started doing them.
Try a few of the things on your list—see what sticks and what doesn’t. Is there something you thought you’d love that’s actually a little lackluster in reality? What about an idea you’d never even considered, that now makes your heart sing? Take note of what works for you, as you give different options a whirl. More than likely, you’ll see a pattern—and a very clear purpose—begin to emerge between the activities you like the best.
As with anything in life, finding your life purpose is not a magic bullet. Even as you do find and follow what you’re meant to do here on earth, don’t expect things to always be shiny and perfect—or easy.
Following your purpose once you’ve found it doesn’t automatically equate to having the perfect life. You will still struggle. You will still make mistakes.
I don’t say this to be a Debbie Downer, but to help you see that, while finding and following your purpose will undoubtedly improve the quality of your life by pointing you in the right direction, it won’t be a cure-all for your happiness. Only you can provide that. Regardless of your circumstances, only you can decide to choose joy every single day.
But finding and following your purpose sure can help.
Purpose > Passion
Purpose, not passion, is the greatest fuel for launching, maintaining, and growing your own business. As an entrepreneur, your purpose is your “why”—the very reason behind what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. It defines what you exist for, what values you prioritize in your strategy, and what exactly you offer that makes the world a better place.
It’s your purpose that motivates you to lean into the difficult parts of entrepreneurship. You know what I’m talking about. Growing your company is hard work. The everyday, mundane, down-and-dirty nuts and bolts of business usually has very little to do with your actual passion. But you roll up your sleeves, learn what you need to learn, and wade on in to get the job done. Why? PURPOSE.
And since we’re talking about learning what we need to learn, I can’t resist sharing one of the resources that provided a pivotal turning point in my own entrepreneurial journey: B-School. Have you heard of it? I could talk for days about how it radically transformed my life and business! But I’ll work on narrowing my thoughts down to a blog post for you next week. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and check it out. B-School will give you a clear and comprehensive process to follow in order to grow your business into the thriving, income-generating company you want it to be.
What is your life purpose? What did you want to be when you were a kid? What problems are you uniquely suited to solve?
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Share your brainstorms with me in the comments below!
I can’t wait to hear what you’re here to do.
As an Affiliate Partner, I will earn a commission if you purchase B-School. However, I only recommend products or services that I’ve used personally and believe will benefit your life and business. I value your trust and refuse to sacrifice that for a commission.