Hi Dr. Zoe! I wanted to ask you as I’ve been pondering for years and it’s a deep desire of mine to be able to find and understand how to navigate the road to discover my purpose. Do you have any tips to bring to light individual purpose? And perhaps to clarify by purpose, I mean how I can utilize my tools in my tools belt and my story to feel fulfilled with a career, although I haven’t pinpointed exactly what I will feel fulfilled doing? Need advice on how to start the journey to discovering what will create a fulfilling life with a career path. My current one is empty and I’m disengaged by what I actually do. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing what wonderful encouragement you may offer!
Dr. Zoe Answered:
Paige, what a wonderful question. Our true purpose is found in expressing the talents and passions that God has given us. We often envision a light shining down from heaven with a beautiful ‘aha’ moment as we discover this hidden gem of purpose.
I’ve found that it’s not so glorious and maybe anti-climatic, but still uber important. Purpose is a multi-faceted construction. Personally, I dreamed of being a super academic psychologist who came up with new psychological theories, glasses and all, lecturing to other academics who could understand my genius. It wasn’t until I honored my unimpressive ability to listen well, encourage, and motivate women with a dash of wisdom thrown in that I was able to grow deep into a place that feels like home.
I have great love for the academic, but I also have equally strong love for my talents, realizing that my lane is exactly where I am supposed to be.
7 Things You Need to Consider When Pondering Your Purpose
1. Don’t Discount Any Strength.
We often undervalue things that we do well because they come easily to us, so they seem very trivial. To someone else, they are genius and may seem ridiculously complicated.
2. Don’t Assume You Are The Only One Asking This Question.
Only around 25% of American adults cite having a clear sense of purpose about what makes their lives meaningful (NYT Survey 2019).
I have found that most people begin to express their purpose (zone of genius) in childhood, but it often feels undervalued or is sometimes directly encouraged out of them.
My question to you is, what activity did you love doing as a child? Was it reading, storytelling, dancing, picking flowers? No matter how trivial it may seem, I encourage you to go back there. Spend 15 minutes a day, doing what you loved most as a child and find a way to fit it into your now adult life.
4. Ask Your Friends and Family For Insight.
Listen to feedback from others. Close friends and family are often very adept at pointing out your talents. I would poll them and see if you find any similar themes.
5. Don’t Assume Your Purpose and Your Work Will Be Synonymous.
Ponder injustices that bother you most in the world. I caution you not to assume that your purpose must support you. People who fall into this trap often live a miserable life, feeling disconnected and like a failure because they assume that purpose and work should be synonymous. Some people are blessed enough to make a living from their purpose, while the vast majority work to support themselves and live out their purpose in their lives without the burden of making their purpose support them financially.
6. Take Classes and Explore Your Interests.
Take classes in areas that pique your interest and don’t be afraid to stop as soon as you find that it’s not your thing. Take another and another until you hit on something of interest. udemy.com or masterclass.com are excellent, easy places to start.
7. Don’t Limit Yourself to Only One Purpose.
Don’t pigeon yourself into the idea that you must only have one purpose. I’m convinced that most people in this world have multiple purposes and often, they morph over time.
Congratulations on seeking to find what many never invest the time to figure out.
You’ve got this. It just takes a little grit and grace.
Sometimes it’s not easy to step into our purpose, even if we know what that is. Grit and Grace Life writer Jodi Shultz encourages you to be bold in embracing your purpose: