By Raakhee Natha
The quest to discovering your purpose can be inspiring, exhilarating and freeing. Equally, it can conjure up opposition, resistance and strife. A few decades back, it wasn’t even a common question. Now it’s a fundamental understanding that most have—we must find and pursue our purpose. The hunger for purpose declares itself louder with every generation. Millennials are often called the “Purpose Generation”.
The dichotomy lies herein that while we recognize having a purpose is a necessity, finding one can be challenging. And oh, do I know! I have struggled with this dilemma, particularly painfully in my 20’s.
I can’t assert that you won’t have a tumultuous ride of it all. But I have some ideas that may bring clarity to your moments of utter confusion or possible despair around discovering your purpose.
1. Acquaint Yourself with Your Ego
Your ego plays an interesting role in discovering your purpose. You will need its strength when no one believes in you, or when obstacles come up like financial burdens, injuries or illnesses. But it will often be your greatest hindrance. The fear of losing status when you leave a title behind will stop you from leaving the job. Fear of losing the comfort of wealth will prevent inner peace. The part of you that has these fears is your ego, which is not the spiritual core of yourself.
You must get to know your ego self. What are its fears? What are its triggers? Get to know your ego deeply. The more you know your ego self, the more you’ll learn how to separate your ego from your eternal truth. This helps guide you on your unique path to purpose.
2. Manifest and Strive
Manifesting is not something you do; it is something you embody. It’s a state of awareness, energy, and being that is cultivated and, over time, becomes natural. It has nothing to do—listen carefully—it has nothing to do with what you need to do, and everything to do with what you need to do. Let me explain further. You must dream in ways that make you feel alive, so much so that your true desires are in your walk, talk, and cells of your being. This needs to be your natural state.
Equivocally, you must do the hard work. You have to write the words of the book, but your power to manifest will enable the inspiration. They go together, manifesting and striving that is. They go together beautifully and neither can replace the other. Focus your efforts on both; they are both worthy causes.
3. Take Up Space Without Permission
An important realization that you can come to is that you do NOT need permission to take up space, literally anywhere. Not the spot in your yoga class, the front seat at university, that incredible job opportunity, or a trip to space. No universal rules or laws exist that govern what we do or where we walk — well, except gravity keeping us all humble and grounded.… ha ha!
Gravity aside, where has the universe limited you? It really hasn’t. So wander the earth with an open heart and take up spaces your heart yearns to. Adventurers, creators and travelers developed the joys of the modern world you relish today through their explorations. They never asked permission before venturing. You mustn’t either. Don’t look around for signs. Don’t look for anyone to nudge you or reassure you. It’s comforting to have permission or support, but it’s not omnipresent.
4. Make Higher Choices
You will have so many choices to make. You will question them before and even after. You may lament and regret. The best advice I can give you is to make choices from a higher place or make higher choices. Here’s how:
- Let go of expectations – Go with your heart. Don’t choose the outcome, choose the journey. All knowledge is sacred, and all pursuits of the heart are meaningful. Yes, that’s cheesy, but you and I both know it’s also true.
- Choose love always – Choose what you love, those you love and places you love. Cultivate so much love around you and in you, that every day is purposeful.
- Choose intentions over goals – My goal is to be healthy by the end of 2020 differs greatly from I intend to be healthy, period! Goals are useful, but intentions are powerful with your goals as secondary support.
- Choose your inner voice over social media hype and other externalities – If you choose the voices of others over your own, who exactly is leading your path? The external messages will change; maybe even disappear. You cannot truly discover or follow your purpose if you live at the mercy of the opinions, ideas and approval of others.
5. Don’t Follow the Rules of Time
Steve Jobs said these iconic words: “Your time is limited …” Of course, you must remember that. But time is a trickster. One person works a decade to have a big year. Some accidentally find themselves with fame. We recognize others long after their passing. Time has no rules. All we know is that your time here will end, so soak it all up. If you have found your purpose, then I hope you feel fulfilled and happy. If you haven’t found it yet, keep going. Time has its own plans for you, live each day and don’t try to control what time will bring you, that is something only time will tell.
Our purpose, unfortunately, is not inscribed on our birth certificates. It’s our responsibility to love ourselves fiercely enough to work through the muddiness of finding what gives our lives meaning and fulfillment. This involves learning, changing, working, resting, and asking. The spiritual lessons shared here, and the actions you take, will give you deeper clarity, speedier insights and a more peaceful journey to discovering your purpose.
Raakhee Natha is the founder of By Intent, supporting women through the existential questions of Identity, Purpose and Experience. For over a decade, she has transformed culture and leadership at Fortune 500 companies. Now, using her proprietary models like FYP, she is supporting women across the globe with purpose. She resides in LA with her husband and is working on the media arm of By Intent, and her first book. You can follow her on Instagram.