4 Ways To Find Your Life Purpose
It hit me when I was emailing someone about a potential travel job opportunity.
As I was typing, I mentioned that the blend of travel and education are my life's purpose.
I want to help you see if these points can steer you in the direction of finding your life's purpose with travel.
1. First, make a quick list of the things you like to do.
A few things I like or like to do:
- Education through travel, education through things people are passionate about (always be learning!)
- Help people realize and act on their potential in life
- Business ideas
- Read, write
- Be outside in sunny weather
- Public speaking
- Teaching fitness classes
2. Self-awareness: Who are you, and what do you do when you procrastinate?
At my old job working as an admissions counselor for a university, I would often talk to students who were unsure of their major.
One student in particular mentioned he LOVED drawing and wished he could draw for a living. However, he was pursuing a major in Accounting because it was more "practical" and would "earn him a 'real' income." He said he hated those classes but figured even so, he could be an accountant for the rest of his working years.
As we discussed his transfer credits and GPA, his business classes weren't as spectacular. He had tried to retake the same math class three times and couldn't get through it - and that was a prerequisite to get into the business program.
He was trying to force himself to be someone he wasn't.
It wasn't that he wouldn't be good at business, but the structure of that particular business degree maybe wasn't the best fit, and other programs where he could blend art and business may have better prepared him and fueled his passions, while also saving money by graduating faster/on time. (College in the US is ridiculously expensive!)
If you're a Creative, there is potential to earn an income while living out your passion, especially in today's age with the internet. It does require more self-motivation and entrepreneurial tendencies to put your work out there and find a way to monetize your passion, and even time spent working on skills that will help you get your work out into the world.
Ask the questions, "Who are you?" and "What do you do when you procrastinate?" (99% of the time Netflix doesn't count) to help steer you toward your life's purpose.
3. Ask friends and family members about you
Your close friends and family members likely know you more than anyone else. Their vision and how they see you can often uncover things about yourself you didn't even realize. Especially if you are caught up in insecurities, self-doubt, or self-criticism, they should be able to see past that.
Ask three friends/family members to describe your personality in three words. Then ask them for three skills they think you're good at and see where it takes you.
4. Break your routine
One of the best ways to break your routine is to travel. Even if you try to live your "everyday life" when you're abroad, you are still living somewhere new, breathing different air, eating other foods, and meeting people from other cultures. Travel is hands down the best way to learn about the world, but also learn about yourself.
Travel tests you, it challenges you, it ignites your spirit.
You don't even have to travel to a new country to break your routine (though I recommend it)! You can break your routine at home, by driving a different route to work, trying a new restaurant, trying different things with your friends.
After all, Steve Jobs said that the way you innovate is by getting out of your comfort zone.
Can your life purpose can change over time?
Who you are today is going to be different than who you are in 10, 20, 30 years.
There's a quote I read somewhere that said marriage is falling in love with the same person over and over again. What they mean by that is that as you continue to move through life, you learn, grow, and evolve and have experiences that continue to shape the person you are.
When I was in high school I didn't know my life's purpose, but I liked magazines - I loved the blend of stories, advice, and creativity through design. So I made my own "magazines" on Microsoft Publisher in my spare time. Lol...
In college, I didn't know my life's purpose. I enjoyed leadership activities, teaching fitness classes, writing (my first internship was writing for a digital fashion magazine), and innovation in marketing through social media (which they rarely taught in class during my college years, 2009-2013). When I studied abroad in Italy after my sophomore year it seemed like my eyes finally opened. There was an entire WORLD to explore, and I had to see more.
After college, itching to see the world and trying to find every way under the sun to get paid to travel, my intuition told me I would land a travel job in Italy that started in August of that year. So over the summer I found the perfect opportunity - work for international student leadership conferences in New York and DC.
Even after I returned from working for the job in Italy, I kept finding myself pulled to working those conferences. I enjoyed the blend of culture, facilitating curriculum on international relations and intercultural communication, and the immense amount of wanderlust I experienced hearing about all these amazing countries these students were from! So I worked more programs in Europe and China.
ANYWAYS. I could go on and on but the purpose of this point is this:
What you do now, leads you to where you're going.
Every single decision you make - good or bad - steers you toward your life's purpose.
Every rejection opens up a new door of possibility. If it feels like all the doors are closing on you, look for the window. You may be surprised at what is right in front of your face if you get creative with your search.
Read Good Books
While I love reading, I know some people prefer consuming content in audio or video format, so here are my absolute favorites:
Books/audiobooks to read: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo, Born For This by Chris Guillebeau, Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
As you can probably tell, I love books about self-discovery :)
Remember this: what you do now, leads you to where you're going.
Your decisions today will define your tomorrow.