Have you ever felt like life has no purpose? You’re just on the treadmill of life, not going anywhere or making a difference? Sometimes life feels like a search puzzle, except I’m not sure what I’m searching for.
It’s not like I’m trying to find Nemo, or Waldo. Those characters have a definite look and I know when I find them. It’s not even like a word or picture search puzzle. Not only do I know when I find what I’m looking for, I know for sure the searched item is where I’m looking.
No. Finding my purpose is more like playing hide-and-seek, except again, I’m not really sure what I’m looking for. Also, there are no hard, defined perimeters when searching for purpose. Games and puzzles all have borders, or boundary lines.
Finding purpose doesn’t follow any of those rules. So how are we supposed to find who we are and what our purpose is? Many of us knew at one time. We had a definite purpose.
Except life changed, and what we once knew is no longer true. What to do.
No one knows the answer, possibly because it’s different for everyone. Here are some ideas to help.
Declutter your space and your mind.
It’s hard to think or see beyond a cluttered area. Clearing your living/working space may be all you need. I’m currently working on decluttering my space, again. Every little section that gets cleared out makes me feel more accomplished. Once the clutter is out of my space, there is room to work on other projects. Projects that make me feel useful and needed.
I started practicing daily gratitudes a year or so after my husband’s death. They don’t necessarily help me see a purpose. However, by paying attention to some of my blessings I am able to see more clearly were I am.
Collect the good and happy events and occasions
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to remember something good that happened a week, a month, or a year afterwards? Some events we remember, but there are many more good days that just float on by. Writing down pleasant events help us remember them, which makes us smile and increases our joy. It’s easier to find purpose when we are happy. I wrote about collecting happy events in a joy jar here
Just as a Joy Jar, or list helps us remember the good times, an accomplishment journal reminds us how smart, talented, and capable we are. We might even turn one, or more, of our capabilities into an asset and part of our purpose. Writing down our accomplishments help us remember them, otherwise like some of our joys, they sink to the bottom of our memory. Having proof in black and white that we have accomplished something, gives courage to try something new. Anything can be listed as an accomplishment, from changing that light bulb in an awkward location, to remembering to have the oil changed in the car, or anything that is new to us goes on the accomplishment list.
Although, not normally a joiner, I have commitment issues, I did find that joining a couple of organizations gave my life structure and purpose. One group I enjoy, although it has no meetings, is Quilts of Valor. Making a quilt top (I don’t quilt them, someone else does) and then presenting a quilt to a veteran, makes me feel accomplished and purposeful.
Abolish a knee-jerk objection attitude
I’ll admit I have trouble with this one. When someone offers a suggestion, if it’s not something familiar to me, my first reaction is, “that won’t work for me because.” I’m trying to remember to use the word “however” when objection is the first thing to come out of my mouth. I wrote about using “however” instead of “because,” as in “it won’t work, or I can’t because,” here
What is one of your go-to tactics when struggling to find purpose?
Have you tried any of these tactics? Did they help you?
When do you struggle most with having a purpose?