I am a big believer in purpose, vision, and in living intentionally. IF you find yourself bailing on your dreams and goals, it might be because they don’t really align with your purpose. This can happen even if you haven’t defined your purpose yet! I believe each person was created with specific gifts and talents in order to help the world in a specific way. But I also believe we seriously over-think finding our calling.
Am I called to be a talk show host? I don’t think so.
I think I’m called to inspire and encourage as a communicator. I think I’m called to break down complicated subjects in an approachable way. The things I love doing today, I loved doing as a kid, a teen, in college, etc. Uncovering our calling or purpose is not rocket science, but we have to cut through the clutter - what we think we should want, what we’ve been told by family or society, our fears, lies, doubts. We have to dig and get back to basics, and usually there next to “drink more water” and “treat others as you want to be treated” we find our calling again, covered in dust just waiting to be picked back up.
I have listed a series of questions here to get you started, because for many of us, there are common threads - throughout our jobs, hobbies, childhood dreams, and biggest fears - that point to what we really want to do or feel born to do. I cover this in more detail in my book, Go Solo, so if you get stuck, I encourage you to buy a copy to help you.
I also want to note that I believe some people are meant to be explorers. James Altucher talked about how for some, the quest to find one life purpose leaves them more depressed than ever. I think he’s right - some people love to tinker with lots of different things, explore many options, and never settle into one path. That might be you. If so, embrace this about yourself, realizing that you’re probably not going to be a master at any one thing, but instead try many things throughout your life and enjoy each one.
What are your strengths and your best personality traits? List everything that’s good about yourself. Don’t be bashful, list all of it!
What are your skills and talents? This could be anything from drawing cartoons to being able to understand and edit down very complex issues and teach them to others. List anything you’re really good at.
What do others say you are so “gifted” at? What do others admire about you? This could be something obvious like singing to something not so obvious like being a great listener.
Is there anything that you’ve ever felt “born to do?” This can include all old and new dreams, even from childhood.
If you had all the money in the world and no responsibilities what would you do?
What do you feel is your mission or message to others? If you don’t have one yet that’s okay, start brainstorming about what’s important to you. This could be very personal, for example, to be the best mom you can be, or very broad, like ending world hunger.
When I peak in life, I will have “made it” because (fill in the blank).
My ideal business/source of income/work that matters would be (fill in the blank)
My dream day includes (describe from morning to night).
When you look back on your life, what do you think you will most regret NOT doing?
What do you want to be remembered for?
Over the last year, when have you been happiest?
Over the last year, when have you been most fulfilled?
Why did you think you felt happiest and fulfilled then?
What could you enjoy doing every single day, forever?
What are all of the aspects of your current job/career that you enjoy?
What are all of the aspects of your hobbies that you enjoy?
What do you hate about your career, job, or day to day obligations? What do you put off as long as possible?
Why do you hate those things?
What tasks or challenges do you do best? What gets you most excited?
Why are those tasks and challenges fulfilling and exciting?
What have you spent most of your obligation-free time doing in the past year?
What do you most enjoy reading, watching, listening to, learning about?
What inspires you most?
Why do you think that inspires you?