Do you ever feel like there’s something more you’re meant to do with your life, and yet you have no clue what that is or how to make it happen?
That’s how I felt for most of my life. It was like the passion train had passed me by. I watched all my friends go to college and start their careers, while I kept jumping from one idea to the next, feeling totally lost and confused about what my path was.
The ironic thing was, life kept throwing all kinds of clues at me. I just wasn’t listening.
Because I was too distracted chasing a new shiny idea that led nowhere. Or too busy following everyone else’s advice but my own. Or too insecure to believe I could really make it happen.
Wouldn’t it be much easier if you could identify these clues from the start and not waste time with wrong turns, self-doubts, and procrastination?
Here are the 5 clues to follow to find your life purpose:
1. Your Childhood Dreams
What did you want to be when you grew up?
If you had asked 6-year old me, I would have said, without hesitation: “I want to be a teacher who writes books on the side.”
The adults were quick to point out there was no such thing. I could either be a teacher or a writer… and neither would make me much money.
But, children don’t care about that. They don’t care if a job is cool, if it makes a lot of money, if it has ever been done before. They don’t even question if they have what it takes. They just do what they’re passionate about.
It’s only later that all these considerations come into play and you abandon your childhood dreams to pursue a “proper job”.
As I grew up and trained to be a teacher, I quickly realised this wasn’t a good fit for me. I’m too much of a rebel to fit into an academic environment.
And yet, today teaching is a huge part of my coaching practice. I regularly host virtual trainings where I teach people part of my process or explain new concepts to my clients. Isn’t it funny how life works out?
It doesn’t matter if you followed your childhood dream or you’re doing something completely different now. Your childhood dreams hold important clues about what your life purpose is.
Still struggling to find your life purpose? Download your FREE Purpose Finder Workbook to discover it today:
2. Your Hobbies
I prefer the word “hobby” to “passion”. Passion makes you believe there must be something that consumes all your waking thoughts, something you love so much you could spend every minute of every day doing it.
But, for most of us, passions are way more subtle. They show up as hobbies, the things you love to do in your free time to recharge and unwind.
For me, that’s reading a lot of self-help books. Having deep conversations with friends about life and what makes people tick.
You may think there’s no purpose here. You can’t make money with these passions. But they’re clues. Clues that were pointing me towards coaching all along.
Your hobbies are trying to tell you something, too. They’re showing you the area or industry you’d love to work in. Dare to go there.
3. Your Skills
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. Growing up, I’d always have a pen in my hand. I’d jot down my thoughts in my secret diary, pen short stories about what my toys were up when I wasn’t listening, and write articles for a magazine I’d distribute to my family.
I have no idea why I got the writing bug. I just know it’s something that had to happen because writing is one of the skills I use the most in my coaching practice.
I use it to create trainings, write the article you’re reading now, and a lot of other marketing materials. If I didn’t have it, I’d struggle a lot more to get my message across.
Everything happens for a reason. If you’ve spent years honing a skill, chances are life was preparing you for fulfilling your purpose.
Make an inventory of all the skills you have, including the subjects you were great at in school and the certifications you’ve earned over the years.
The skills you enjoy using are the “how piece”. They show you the practical ways you can fulfil your purpose.
Related: How To Find Your Strengths
4. Your Values
Your values are your North Star, the guiding light that make sure your skills and passions are aligned with what’s really important to you.
My most important value is freedom. I need the freedom to choose the projects I take on and the clients I work with, create my own schedule, and be in charge of how much I earn.
As I was trying to decipher all these clues and put all these pieces together, I became convinced that being a freelance writer was my purpose. I was both skilled and passionate about writing. I had dreamed of becoming a writer as a little girl. And, this career would give me all the freedom I sought.
In 2015, I moved to London to embark on this new adventure. Within a year and a half, I was making a comfortable living writing… and crying myself to sleep every night. What was wrong with me?
It took me a while to figure out that when you’re doing something you love and you’re still not happy, there’s a value conflict somewhere.
I loved writing because it gave me a voice and allowed me to inspire women to find their purpose and pursue their dreams. Instead, I was working with clients who were only interested in promoting their products and embellishing the truth to make more sales.
I was doing what I loved, but it was not aligned with my values of honesty, authenticity, and growth. No wonder I was miserable!
How do you find your values, so the same doesn’t happen to you? Ask yourself:
- What do you believe in?
- What do you stand for?
- What causes are close to your heart?
Let the answers guide you towards your life purpose.
5. Your Life Experiences
Life is messy. As you’re living it, it feels like there’s no rhyme or reason why things are happening. It all seems so… random.
But when you look back at every big milestone you’ve reached and the struggles you’ve overcome, you’ll always find a common thread.
In my experience, it’s your challenges that are your biggest clues. After my childhood dream of becoming a teacher crushed and burned, I felt totally lost. The next few years are a blur as, without a clear direction or purpose for my life, I fell into a deep depression.
The thing that saved me was to reconnect with my passion for writing. I started a beauty blog that later led me to start a career as a freelance writer and, when that didn’t work out, pivot to skin coaching first and life purpose and business coaching now.
At first, I told myself that was my proof I didn’t have a clue what to do with my life. Why couldn’t I just settle on a career and be happy?
Looking back, I now understand that I had to go through all that pain to find my life purpose: helping women find their life purpose and turn that into a business.
I had to go through depression to realise the importance of purpose in your life and discover how to find it. And I had to start all those businesses, so I could teach my clients how do the same.
Every challenge in your life is there for preparing you for your life’s work.
The only question is, will you answer the call?