October 1, 2023
Purpose
I think about this phrase now, as an adult, and how hard it is to grasp. It implies that our true selves are hidden somewhere in the world, waiting to be discovered. And, yes, there is some truth to this. However, I believe the path to self-discovery isn't always about external exploration; it's often an internal journey of shedding layers imposed by society and others, and uncovering our essential, core selves.

I started journaling consistently as a teenager. I was going through all the chaos of what being a teenager normally entails and was also going through a pretty rough time at home. I didn’t have a lot of confidence and just generally felt pretty disassociated from myself. I remember, repeatedly writing, "I just want to find myself." I wrote this over and over and over again.  

I think about this phrase now, as an adult, and how hard it is to grasp. It implies that our true selves are hidden somewhere in the world, waiting to be discovered. And, yes, there is some truth to this. However, I believe the path to self-discovery isn't always about external exploration; it's often an internal journey of shedding layers imposed by society and others, and uncovering our essential, core selves.

And this, I believe, is our life’s purpose.  

Step 1: Understanding Purpose

The definition of purpose is the reason for which something is done.

So we can think about purpose in two ways it. Can be the why behind why something exists or why something is created. And we can also think about it as the intention behind something. The force that allows something to come into existence. And thinking about it this way, purpose leads us back to this understanding of this core essential belief. For this core essential reason.  

We can think of purpose as the seed from which our existence sprouts. It holds the core essence of why we exist. Just like a tree grows from a seed, our purpose evolves and manifests through our actions and contributions to the world.

Step 2: Invite in a holistic view of purpose

It's a common misconception that our life's purpose is intrinsically tied to our work and career. However, think of your purpose as a multi-faceted prism, with various dimensions. Purpose isn't limited to work; it's about contributing to your relationships, your community, and importantly, to yourself. As a human being, you have many reasons for existing, and your purpose can take different forms in different aspects of your life.

Embrace the idea that your purpose isn't confined to a single, all-encompassing definition. It evolves and expresses itself in multiple facets of your life.

Step 3: Discovering your values

When I think about teenage Hollis writing, ‘I just want to find myself,’ I think that what she meant was that she wanted to discover who she is out in the world.  

Your values provide a blueprint for understanding what truly matters to you. Take time to reflect on what's genuinely important, distinguishing between societal influences and your authentic beliefs.

Step 4: Defining your values

Society often defines success in material terms. But what does success really mean to you? Is it having good health, strong relationships, or financial stability? Define your values clearly and concisely, allowing you to make decisions aligned with your core beliefs.  

For example, if health is a top value, define what it means to you – is it about physical fitness, mental well-being, or nourishing your body with wholesome food?

Step 5: Recognize how you're already living out your values

In your quest for purpose, it's essential to recognize how you're already living your values. When you engage in activities that reflect your values, you feel like you're expressing your true self. These actions are imbued with intention, contributing to a sense of purpose.

Step 6: Embracing Change and Evolution

Finally, understand that your sense of purpose will evolve as you do. Life is dynamic, and as you change, so will your values, strengths, and passions. Continuously check in with yourself to adapt and align your actions with your evolving sense of purpose.

Discovering your life's purpose is an ongoing process that will likely see many iterations. The beauty of purpose is its innate fluidity. It's not confined to one definition, but is, in fact, a multifaceted prism. By reflecting on your values, seeking joy, and contributing authentically, you can uncover your unique sense of purpose that can and will evolve with you.

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