• Sara Gouveia

Would you like to find purpose in your life?

Finding purpose

What do you love?

While growing up, people often ask us what we’d like to become one day. Most of us don’t have a clue. Not even after finishing school, or even after starting to work on a job and making money.

If you are like me, I wanted to pursuit my passion as a child. Believe me when I say that I had too many things I was passionate about. I wanted to work in agriculture, be an environmentalist, become a shepard or a vet, be an archaeologist, a National Geographic photographer, or, you know in any girls dream, a hairdresser. So as you can see I had too many dreams and no idea which one to pick.

Despite having too many passions, what is the reason behind those passions? Why does it makes smile and feel motivated? From the list mentioned above, we can see that the professions I once dreamt of are mostly related with nature and animals, because it is where I feel most comfortable and present in the moment.

Passion is that powerful feeling, our emotions, towards something that we want. Whereas purpose is the reason why things are done. In other words, according to our beliefs and values, we are driven to do our best in achieving something that we really want in life.

For many people, the quest in finding their purpose is a struggle with twists and wrong turns. Those who blindly follow passions that are not based in reality, often end up feeling discouraged because their dreams do not come true. Others settle themselves to careers that brings money and status, but aren’t fulfilling.

What are you good at?

Certainly, everyone is good at something. Each of us have individual skills that can be used for something that we are interested in. Remember, skills not only refer to the ability of creating something with your hands. They also involve the ability of critical thinking, interpersonal skills, flexibility and dependability, problem solving and motivation. Even if you are not as good at something, with some effort and work you should be able to walk your way to improvement.

Critical thinking can be measured by the ability of creative thinking and thoughtful analysis. How do you analyze situations and examine information? How is your interpretation and judgement of the information you just evaluated? Are you asking important questions?

Problem Solving involves the evaluation of a problem, generating and implementing a solution. It is valued by effectively making decisions while keeping emotional feelings aside. How do you examine information? Can you recognize differences and similarities? Do you present alternative interventions for the problem? How do you evaluate your solutions?

Flexibility and Dependability are qualities that feed each other. How do you respond to change? How do you engage to different projects? Do you seek working in a team group? Are you trustworthy?

Interpersonal skills are related to the way we interact with others, and how well we work in team. Do you value other people’s opinion and ideas? Are you being respectful? How effectively do you communicate with others? How can you encourage and inspire others? Are you a sociable person?

Motivated people are positive and passionate, putting the most effort into things and learn from their mistakes and failures. What are your ambitions? Are you confident, productive and dedicated to what you need doing? How much energy do you put into things? What is your vision? How resilient are you?

What does the world needs?

This is a question many times unanswered. There is often the feeling that everything is already created and invented, and that there is nothing of value that we can possibly offer to the world. Which isn’t true.

Before I began this website, I did my search on how much personal and professional development content was out there. It wasn´t a surprise to find there are tons of information available. I just never had the interest before, until the day I sought for help for myself and decided to create a blog about the subject.

It doesn’t matter how many things exist already. There is always something that you can offer to the world, something of value that only you can provide. You might think there isn’t anything special that you could give, but let me stop you right there and say that every life matters. And you will sure have an impact on the people you interact daily, friends and strangers. Also, with today’s global networking, we can reach millions of people around the globe. People that will identify themselves with you, and will be interested in what you have to offer.

What can you be paid for?

Now, there aren’t many passions that you could easily make good amount of money for. But by putting effort into it, you will probably come up with a fine solution.

If you think about the things you love doing, try to figure out ways of how you could be paid for doing those things. Anything that you enjoy – that very often you are already good at it -, that could somehow be helpful and valuable for the world, and you can end up making money of it.

The IKIGAI method

The Japanese have a concept called Ikigai. There is no direct translation for the word. It is the meaning of finding your purpose, or reason of being, which makes life worth living. By answering those questions it is possible to achieve your ikigai.

The Ikigai Model

However, it can be difficult to answer these, specially if you feel uncertain about what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing or, for example, what exactly does the world need.

Fulfillment is becoming a main priority for most of us. But millions of people still struggle to find their purpose in the world. Humans are curious beings, and it is that curiosity that drives us to learn, invent, explore, and study. By experiencing new things and open our minds to knowledge, we comprehend a little more each day. This can helps us in finding meaning and personal fulfillment.

Finding something that you deeply care about will keep you on the path to staying true to yourself and focused on persisting through difficult times. If you have too many things you are passionate about, try to narrow it to the top 2 and reflect on which one drives you the most. If you’re waiting for the right moment, there is no perfect time or age to pursue it. The only way is by trying and putting effort into it. Speaking with people that share similar interests creates an opportunity of learning and complementing ideas, and having people collaborating in a project you might be developing. Recognize setbacks and be adaptable. There will always be bumpy roads along the way, and the goals you are pursuing won’t happen overnight.

What would you like to see different in the world?

Although the ikigai method appears to focus on the self – by making the questions of what we love, what we are good at, and how can we be paid for -, I believe the true meaning of life is by focusing in what the world needs. What do I have that is beneficial to other people? How can I help and serve others? The ikigai model encourages to open up and let the world tell us what is it that it needs from us instead of, introspectively, seeking our purpose in life.

#passion #fulfillment #purpose


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