How to find your current life purpose
It’s a lot simpler than you think…
What’s my purpose in life?
What should I be doing?
Why am I here?
These are all question that we’ve all asked ourselves at some points in our lives. And the older we get, the more pressure we put on ourselves to find the one reason why we are here on earth. The ability to ask questions like these is what makes us humans different from other animals.
They are questions that I’ve asked myself a lot more than most. Especially over the past year. I’ve read books like The Power of Now and Man’s Search For Meaning, looking for answers. But as awesome as they are to read, none of them exactly gave me the answer that I was looking for.
I wrote about the business lessons from turning shit into sugar from my failed start up . Well, another sugar that came from that massive pile of shit was the answer to a question that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to answer.
While I was working on the business, I was so focused on it that it was my whole life. It got so bad that I didn’t know how to have any conversation that wasn’t business related. And to make it worse, that’s all people seemed to talk to me about. I was pretty sure at the time that it was my purpose.
This made it tough to recover when the business failed, as I had based my whole identity around it, and I didn’t know what to do after it failed. I struggled to remember or identify who I was before it. I had no clue what my purpose was. You can call it an existential crisis.
But when I finally shut down the business and I started spending more time with my friends and my family, and did nothing, then it finally clicked for me. Doing this felt right. I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone or try to be someone that I wasn’t because of others’ expectations. I was just being. And this “doing nothing” actually provided the clarity and answer that I needed.
I finally realized that your purpose isn’t something that you find, but something that finds you. All you have to do is observe it. This is the simplest way that I could define it :
Your current abilities + the current needs of your enviroment = your purpose
Being aware of your current abilities + Observing the current needs of your enviroment = How to find your purpose
It’s that simple!
Not easy, but simple.
We humans overcomplicate things. When we think of the people we admire, we seem to think that they had it figured out at all times and that they had one purpose their whole life, because that’s all we know of them. But rarely is that ever the case. No one has just one ultimate purpose in life. Your purpose evolves as you grow.
Looking back — Although I never consciously thought of it at the time, but when I was in high school, my sole purpose in life was to stay out of trouble, get good grades to make my mum happy, and inspire my younger cousins that looked up to me. That was based on my abilities at the time, and what my environment required of me.
At this very moment, my purpose is to use the lessons that I’ve learned from my recent failure to inspire others, work and make some money, be a useful family member and human, while also learning more. This is what I’m currently capable of.
Next year my purpose will be totally different. Who knows, maybe I will want to feed hungry kids in the poor parts of Nigeria or try to build another company. I don’t know.
Like life itself, your purpose in life keeps changing. So get your ass up and take stock of your current abilities, observe your surrounding and take responsibility to add some value where you can. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are now. Sitting on your ass and waiting for your ultimate purpose will not take you anywhere. Trust me, I’ve tried that too.
Without a clear sense of purpose, we become depressed, start seeking pointless distractions, and become dependent on substances like drugs and alcohol. Often times when you see people like this, it’s a symptom of someone without a purpose.
But With purpose comes a laser focused energy that is capable of overcoming any odds and achieving anything. We all have different purposes in life based on what we are capable of, and what we are currently exposed to. Your purpose has to be something that is actionable to you right now. And it doesn’t even have to be something overly ambitious.
The two greatest days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out what your purpose is — Mark Twain
Your purpose could be as simple as caring for your family, taking care of your grand parents, raising your kids right, working your way through school or as grand as inventing a spaceship that will take us to mars. See it doesn’t matter what it is. We are all unique, and we can have so many possible purposes at any point in time. What you choose to focus on is based on your interests and values.
So what is your purpose at this very moment?
Thanks for reading this post. I wrote this as a reminder to my future self, but if you liked it please give it a 💚 and share it so that it can reach more people who may need it 😉 In my next post I will write the reasons why passion can only come after knowing the purpose of whatever you do. So subscribe and stay tuned for that, and more - Ola