So, here’s the thing. You can either do something or nothing with your life and it may only make a big difference to a hundred people and one of them is you. Through work, luck and timing, you could also have a larger impact pursuing what you were born for and the satisfaction from doing meaningful things versus, say, watching endless hours of Game of Thrones or trolling Facebook is nothing to sneeze at.
If you don’t know your mission already, it’s worth rooting around for because it’s why you’re here and will energize your days. Everything else is recess.
- Passion is purpose. It can be a person, place or a thing and is probably closer than you think so make a list of your natural gifts and talents and anything you love doing, any place you love being.
- Ponder your life challenges and add at least three to the list you created in #1 because you can turn seeds of struggle or an unfilled need into a purpose. Where is the trial that could lead to victory or joy? The fight worth fighting?
- Relentlessly explore until you find something solid and juicy to pour your heart into. To strangers, this treasure hunt may scream fickleness or lack of focus, but try this: Get a small deck of index cards and, using ideas in 1 and 2, write a different weekly mission statement that contains a verb and a noun, takes more than a day, would also benefit other people, and is within your control.
Recite each phrase repeatedly and then do it again the next week with something else, watching for that zing.
Examples: My purpose is to inspire, entertain and teach through storytelling. My purpose is to be a great mom and friend. My purpose is to achieve peak physical fitness and help others do the same. My purpose is to build a healing network for abused children.
- Copy your heroes. Not, copy copy, but read biographies or take a guess at their inner calling based on their actions and accomplishments and right-size for you. Or perhaps you can glean ideas from one of these memorable non-profit mission statements.
- Flip a coin and pounce on something. Anything. As Forest-Gump-vs-Donald-Trump as it might sound, dancing with too many possibilities can overwhelm and foil next steps, so let the coin decide and commit to it for a bit. You can always change out later when a stronger calling emerges.
Once you have your mission, you’ll have your magic and then—shazam—the fun really begins.