20 Ways to Find Your Life Purpose

03/18/2015 08:01 am ET | Updated May 18, 2015
Erik Isakson via Getty Images


Did your parents have the time to find what their 'thing' in life was? Did your grandparents? Finding your thing used to be the preserve of the social elite who had options like going on the Grand Tour of Europe; long before gap years were invented.

The need to find a sense in purpose in life has become a massively desirable goal in modern society. Advertisers of the "Mad Men" age envisaged that people were content simply to keep up with next-door neighbors in the kitchen space race of white goods.

Once the middle classes had dishwashers and remote controls, it was time to search for life purpose. Turns out that sometimes it was easier to find the remote control, even if it was down the back of the sofa.

So you know that there is more to life than TV binges. You're ready to find out what you are here for, other than being able to explain every plot twist of your favorite show beside the company water-cooler.

What next? Here are 20 ways to find your life purpose:

1. Write about it, even if you have not written since you were at school. Write at the top of the page 'I am here to:' and then free write. Do this regularly and over time you will begin to see patterns. Track them, like a dog searching for sausage pieces or if you are vegetarian like a smoothie lover with fresh organic kale on sale.

2. Remember what you liked to do as a child and see if it holds any clues for you.

3. Instead of staying up in your head about what you should do, work out how you actually feel in your body as you do things. Figure out what your heart wants rather than what your head wants.

4. When you are exploring what your purpose is don't tell everybody, especially the know-it-all critical ones who will tell you that your dreams are unrealistic and kooky at best.

5. Dip your toe in. Try something. Do one small step.

6. Just because someone once told you that you were not good at the thing you loved to do, does not mean to say they were right. You get to decide now.

7. Get help/tuition: Want to do something and don't know where to begin? Find your right teachers.

8. Remember that now life purpose finding doesn't have to be a tick box exercise. Do you remember completing questionnaire at school that came out with suggested jobs? Those questionnaires only looked at a very limited number of old-style job options. The Internet has changed everything.

9. When you doubt that you can do something different, just notice that in that thought you limit yourself, that you clip your own wings.

10. Allow yourself to play. Doing things that you enjoy can lead to a deeper connection with your purpose.

11. Be in flow. Don't expect it all to work out quickly and think that if it doesn't that this is a sign that you are on the wrong track.

12. Look for clues: What magazines do you like to read? What kind of films do you watch? Which blogs do you follow?

13. Remember that you don't need to leave your current job straight away to find your thing or to make it work. The money you get from your current work can be helpful in your new projects and also can mean that you are able to come more from a place of service in what you go on to do.

14. Don't think that because someone else is doing something that it means that you can't. Whatever you do it, do it in your own particular way and then you will find people who particularly need you, not someone else.

15. Meditate. If your mind is full of stuff because of all the information coming at you take a rest from it and then new inspiration can come.

16. Avoid media saturation. It's hard to hear your inner knowing if the T.V. news is on all the time.

17. Take time to rest. You won't find your purpose just by working harder and harder at whatever it is you are spending your days doing.

18. Rather than being focused on having a job label to replace the job label that you have got shift your focus to look for times in your life where you feel you are being completely you... where you feel comfy in your own shoes. Create as much of this feeling in your life as you can.

19. Work out what your values are, and then look at how you live through those values in your day to day. Do more of that.

20. Remember that all of this is not up to you and your drive. Work with others and embrace opportunity.

If you show up and do the work step by step you will come closer to your life purpose and your life purpose may well come closer to you and meet you in the middle. Life purpose finding is like doing a jigsaw, look for corners, look for the edges, then fill in the middle. The picture on the jigsaw is not on the box and that's why you have to be willing to make mistakes.

Deborah Chalk is a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach who lives in Hamburg, Germany. She coaches women who want to coach, while raising a family and who want to use their love of writing to promote their business. She also coaches women who relocate with their partner's careers and want to have their own sense of purpose. You can find her at where she offers a free ideal day meditation for female entrepreneurs.