How to find life purpose in the day-to-day

The words “life purpose” can seem really big. A purpose? For my whole life? Whoa.

Busy Street in Valencia

Photo by Jocelyn Kinghorn cropped and used with permission.

If you’re in that space, and yet you want to find your life purpose, take a quick step back and slowly inhale some cleansing air. That’s better.

Finding one’s life purpose doesn’t need to be grand or world-changing, according to Iris Colyn, a Victoria, BC woman who shared her thoughts on life purpose with me earlier this year. She says, “If we say, ‘I want to change the world. I want to make this a better place.’ It’s a very lofty idea. But it doesn’t have to be.”

There is a similar message in What Color Is Your Parachute? By Richard N. Bolles. In it, Bolles speaks about life purpose as finding your mission in life. To do this, he says we first need to unlearn many things society has taught us, “Unlearn that [your mission] must consist of some achievement for all the world to see. We may never know our impact or what we have accomplished.”

What can you do to get there? Colyn outlines a concept simple in premise and one that takes ongoing inner work, “It’s in our day-to-day interactions when I meet people, to really see them, to seek to understand them, to make a difference, to facilitate something bigger . . . I have to get back to this working on myself. It’s very easy to get stuck. I’ve seen myself in the past, I see other people around me, getting stuck when things are not going well and it’s very difficult to get back. When I’m okay and living my life’s purpose, I’m happy and it’s easier for me to have those happy interactions and to really seek to understand others and to seek to give to other people. So it’s really about generating light inside myself so that I can have light interactions with other people. And it’s every day. It can be the person, the beggar on the corner, it can be the cleaner at my work, it can be obviously my colleagues and people that I work with, and people that I meet. So it’s those everyday interactions that matter.”

For more of Colyn’s insight on life purpose, watch the original video here.

If you are stuck, start by thinking small and lighting a spark inside. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How can you generate a teeny, tiny light inside yourself today?
  • How can you share that with just one person?

For those with an inner light already burning bright, what makes you shine, and how do you share that with others? Let me know by leaving a comment here.

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