3 Myths About Finding Your Life's Purpose
Discover myths about life purpose holding you back
Are you on a never-ending search for your “true purpose”? Maybe you believe that your life’s purpose is to find a partner, to get accepted into a specific university, or to start a business. And if you don’t achieve these goals at a specific time, then it's just not meant to be.
People all over the world have been searching for their true life purpose, and some have even found success in finding it. However, many people continue to struggle with identifying their life’s purpose because they believe myths about what it really means.
We rely on outdated ideas or compare our life paths to other people’s to make sense of our experiences. However, this often leads to confusion and dissatisfaction.
One of the most helpful things you can do is to reexamine what your ‘purpose’ in life is. In fact, question what ‘purpose’ means to you.
Thinking about the truisms or myths around finding one’s purpose can help you find your own way in life and feel happier.
That you have to have a purpose at all
The concept of having a life purpose is so widely spread that we take it for granted that it’s real. However, the problem with believing that we all have a ‘life purpose’ (singular) is that it doesn’t account for the fact that we are constantly changing.
Another reason why having a single or major life purpose doesn’t hold up as a life truth is that external factors can prevent us from ever reaching some goals.
So, what happens then? We have to change our purpose or live without one - but that doesn’t mean that we’re only headed downwards from there.
This isn’t an argument for doing nothing at all. We’re all intrinsically motivated to pursue some goal or the other. The problem with believing that we have to have a purpose for our existence, however, flies in the face of the fact that we change and that we can’t control everything in life.
When you loosen up your idea that you must have a defined purpose, you’ll start to feel lighter and even do more than before because you free yourself to pursue varied interests.
Your life has a single purpose
It’s normal for people to become passionate about a subject or skill. A child can develop an intense interest in space and watch hours of video content around planets, stars, and the universe.
And it’s just as common and easy to shift to some other topic or skill. Having shifting interests and goals is a perfectly valid way to live. However, we live in a world where people insist that you need to perfect one thing to be successful.
I’d argue that building your skills in multiple areas and pursuing different interests actually benefits you. When you develop your knowledge and skills in things like carpentry, eastern philosophy, content marketing, or painting, you challenge yourself in many ways.
And you also create more sources of knowledge from which creativity springs. Being creative is all about putting together things in ways that haven’t been done before.
You don’t have to have a single life purpose to strive towards. You can keep moving through different hobbies and career paths to experience life more fully.
In other words, your life doesn’t have to be about getting somewhere. It can be about the journey itself.
Your life purpose is expressed through a career
When people talk about their life purpose, it’s often related to their career. It’s about what they do on a daily basis to create value and support themselves.
But not everyone can turn their passions into a career path and that’s okay. While you can build skills through online courses and try to get into jobs that are close to doing what you love, this path isn’t feasible for everyone.
You may have a family you have to support and have to choose work for practical reasons rather than because you love it. And this is something that is perfectly okay.
It isn’t necessary for your life purpose to be centered on the job you do. You can have a normal job and spend your free time focusing on your passion projects. In fact, many people already do that.
I suggest joining online communities to connect with other people who share your interests. You can also build a side business or work part-time on things you love.
Just because you aren’t working on what you love as your main job, it does not mean that you can’t have a fulfilling life. Balancing different needs in your life is a powerful thing to do and can also lead to a sense of accomplishment.
It’s time to think beyond the generic definition of a life purpose. Having a life purpose can mean different things to different people. In fact, not having a specific purpose is also a valid way to live. You can opt to be present and open to the experiences of life without forcing outcomes to take place.
Having said that, I know that for many people, having a defined life purpose is incredibly fulfilling and motivating. I believe in having a solid ‘Why’ for what you do in your personal life and business. And I often recommend Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start With Why’ for anyone who wants to run a successful business.
I hope that learning about life purpose myths helps you think about what you really want. You can choose to pursue a few major goals with great effort and intent or go with the flow. Focus on being present and experiencing growth - and you’ll feel closer to self-fulfillment.