As a counselor, the biggest question I get asked is, “How do I find my purpose?” This is always such a hard question to answer, because our purpose ultimately comes from what we take away from our experiences and aspirations, and is incredibly personal. Plus, I too struggle with defining my purpose and with finding ways to remain truthful to it.
The truth is, finding your true purpose is just step one of the process. You then have to create goals that define your focus, create an intentional routine that will help you achieve these goals, and then continuously check-in with yourself to make sure you are aligned with your goals and purpose. A lot of us (myself included) get really caught up in creating goals and placing focus on the wrong things.
Let me explain.
Four years ago, I was a senior in undergrad studying medicine and biology. I was part of a sorority, had a position of leadership in a couple clubs, and had a pretty great social life. However, I was completely and utterly detached from myself. There were many times where I would be in tears wondering how I felt so alone, unhappy, and unlike myself. When a problem would occur, I would ask myself, “What would Taylor do?” just constantly trying to get back in touch with the girl I once was.
My purpose in life has always been to help others. I have felt this since I was just a gal in diapers. However, as I got older my why had become clouded with wants and desires. This caused me to create goals that weren’t truly aligned with my purpose, and were more about pleasing others and my superficial self rather than focusing on what I actually wanted just for me.
For instance, I had zero interest in being a doctor. I just knew that doctors made a lot of money, and I would be financially taken care of. Also, no hate on the people in my life at this time, but I was surrounding myself with people who were not at all aligned with who I was. I kept them close simply to check the box of having a social life. I was only going after outward goals.