I first began searching for my life purpose exactly two years ago when I read the article ‘How to discover your life purpose in about 20 minutes‘ by Steve Pavlina
It involves an interesting exercise in which you write out anything that comes into your head about what your purpose might be, until you write something that makes you cry. And the part you write that makes you cry is your purpose.
Upon doing this exercise, I discovered that my life purpose was something really vague and corny-sounding, like:
“to help others to be happy and to succeed”
(more wordy and long than that, but summed up, that was the essence of it.)
But I think I cried more out of depression though than out of joy at having admitted to myself what my purpose was. How the heck was I going to translate this vague purpose of helping people into something I could do that paid the bills and made me happy? And actually made an impact on the lives of other people?
That was in January 2007. At that time, I was reading a lot of personal development material about living a life that’s congruent with your values and finding work you love. All of it seemed really irrelevant to me in a practical sense because I didn’t believe it was possible to do work I loved, yet it appealed to me intuitively, because I was so bored of my work and dreamed of something better.
I had been working as an English teacher in Dijon, France for about four months and I was already fed up. I knew that I did not want to teach languages for the rest of my life, yet the other jobs I’d tried were even worse, so teaching was the lesser of many evils, as far as I was concerned.
Then six months later, I trained as an Akashic record reader, which put me on a path of greater purpose, and in the end stopped teaching languages. Through my new path of healing and intuitive work, I learned a lot about the nature of soul purpose and how it manifests in our lives.
And interestingly, many of the clients who get purpose readings from me are in the same position I was two years ago, in that they know they want to help people but have no idea where to go from there because they think they lack the skills to do it. To move past this, you have to understand that…
Life purpose is not just about helping people
Consciously serving and helping others is definitely a part of a light worker’s purpose, but it’s a mistake to think this is your whole life’s purpose. We’re not here to save the world from itself.
As I explained in my article How to find your calling as a light worker – your purpose is not a mission of doing, but of being. On a spiritual level, your purpose is simply to be here; to be incarnated here; to be yourself; to allow your soul’s deepest urges and desires and values to manifest and take shape in your physical reality. Your purpose is to learn and evolve. And to teach others, directly and indirectly just by being here and being you.
Because life purpose is a mission of ‘being’, living your soul purpose happens by knowing yourself really well, knowing who you are and what you love being, so that you can consciously express and be yourself more fully. Know thyself, it says on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. If you want to live a purposeful life, you need to know consciously and notice what values are important to you; what you love to be and do; what you’re interested in and what your natural strengths and gifts are. All of these point to your purpose.
How to notice the clues which point to your purpose
I realized recently, while I was doing a reading, that life purpose seems to be expressed on three different levels.
If you’re not yet aware of your purpose, examining these three areas or levels of your life separately could provide some clues as to what your purpose is, where you’re expressing it already and how you can start expressing it more consciously.
Level 1: Soul
Life purpose, on the soul level, is a collection of themes, energies, values that are important to you. These are like the deepest urges and dearest values of your soul. Some themes I’ve encountered (just to give you an idea) are compassion, truth, peace, harmony, freedom, tolerance, integrity, exploration, curiosity, power, wholeness. Energetically, those themes and energies will be expressed in all areas of life. You’ll bring these into your career and relationships, into your whole way of being with others. There will usually be two or three which are really important in your life. This is the ‘being’ part of your purpose.
Questions to ask yourself to find out more about your purpose on this level:
What is my soul’s deepest desire?
What do I value and hold dear above all other things?
Other ways in which you can find out more about you and your purpose on a soul-level:
1. Get an astrological chart drawn up
This can also tell you a lot about the energies you’re here to bring as a spirit. I would recommend getting a birth chart drawn up if you’re interested in learning more (they do them free at Cafe Astrology.) I’m not saying that you’ll get a free birth chart drawn up and then straight away find your life’s purpose. But it can definitely give you some clues. Watch for the themes which may come up again and again and elsewhere or themes which particularly resonate with you. For example, I have my ascendant in Libra, which means I love being the harmonizer in relationships and keeping everyone happy. I do that both in my work and in relationships. Creating harmony is a big theme that comes up as part of my purpose. This also shows in my Akashic Record as being so.
You really have to be observant and track the themes that come up again and again using tools such as astrology and numerology (Numerology, particularly your soul urge number can also be interesting to find out more about your soul’s desires and purpose.)
Something that comes up more than twice or three times is probably a major theme of your life purpose that you may feel drawn to expressing in a career. Something that comes up once or twice may be expressed in a more passive way, in how you are with people and in personal relationships.
2. Get an Akashic Record reading
Mining the Akashic Record for information about your purpose on a soul-level can be useful. When I’m looking at someone’s purpose in the Akashic Record, I look at their origins as a soul (which gives many clues about what they’re here to bring and teach others) and also the soul-level strengths your soul has chosen to bring into this incarnation (which are a BIG indicator of your purpose). Looking at what you’ve been doing between lifetimes is really interesting and helpful. And your career should ideally utilize many if not all of the soul-level gifts which come up as significant in your Akashic Record.
Level 2: Personality
The second level upon which your life purpose manifests is the level of the personality and this is reflected in your strengths, likes, and interests. This is the slightly more grounded and practical expression of the soul-level energies that are dear to you – some examples are authentic self-expression through writing or speaking, healing, relating to and empathizing with others or helping others to solve their problems. This is anything you like to do and are really good at.
To find out more about your purpose as reflected in your personality and strengths:
1. Take the StrengthsFinder test – StrengthsFinder Book 2.0
I recently did a reading for a guy who was making applications to University. What his guides told him about his purpose in his career reading perfectly matched and perfectly utilized the strengths that came up in his Strengths Finder results. Of course, it did. The fact is, we choose our strengths BEFORE we even incarnate. So if you’re wanting to know more about what you consciously chose to express in this incarnation, consider taking the StrengthsFinder test or another test like it, to point you in the direction of your life purpose.
It can be helpful to take other personality tests (such as the Myers-Briggs test) to see if similar themes come up. My Myers-Briggs result came up as INFP (introverted intuitive feeling perceiving) which is the idealist or sometimes called the healer. This isn’t surprising as a big part of my purpose is healing work.
2. Dig for compliments
There is another very simple way to become aware of your strengths – ask those around you what they appreciate about you and what they think you’re good at. This may sound like a less modest option, but the results can be surprising and very revealing. I discovered this last year when I was attending a business workshop. To prepare for it, I had to send a letter to those around me saying something like:
‘Please tell me what you think my unique ability is – i.e. anything really distinctive about me that you appreciate and can count on me for’.
The responses were surprising to me, because almost everyone highlighted a particular aspect of my personality and a strength which I didn’t realize I had.
We often take our strengths for granted because we’re so used to having them and using them, so we forget how valuable they can be to others. Anything we can bring to others, which we’re already doing and enjoy doing, is a very passive aspect of our purpose, but good to become conscious of nevertheless, so you can use it more consciously and actively.
Level 3: Activities/Medium
The final level upon which your purpose is expressed is in the physical. This is your ‘medium’.
The physical is where those strengths, values, likes and interests can be translated into a medium – actual career activities that you can perform, like being a physicist, working in a shelter for abandoned animals, computer programming, journalism or translating.
Your life purpose is not this medium, it’s just an expression of it. In fact, you will have quite a few mediums – you will certainly have personal relationships as a medium for your purpose, you will have a career outlet (or more than one) for your purpose, perhaps parenthood will be a medium for your purpose as well. The mediums may change at certain times in your life, and new mediums will appear throughout your life for you to express yourself.
I have learned that living a life that’s aligned with your purpose is a constant optimization process of tweaking your mediums. For instance, in the past at times I’ve become aware that I’m not enjoying my work as much as I used to. In those cases, I’d work out what I’m resenting doing, such as doing a particular type of reading, and eliminate it, so I can spend more time doing readings/activities I do enjoy. Even if you’ve found your ideal career or medium for your purpose, there is usually something you can do optimize your enjoyment of your work.
How to take your purpose and translate it into a career
If you’re in a position where you know yourself well but have no clue where to go from here in terms of expressing your purpose and finding a medium, know that you don’t have to ‘do’ anything. Simply intend to attract opportunities to use your gifts and strengths more fully. Value and appreciate them. Manifest and seek out opportunities to do what you enjoy. From that place of appreciation and enjoyment, it is much easier to attract a career path which allows you to express your purpose fully. I’ve seen it happen this way for myself and for many others.
Do you know of any other resources which are useful for finding and living your life purpose? Please leave a comment below!