Don't Look For A Life Purpose

Are you in the large group of the adult population that is overwhelmed with the questions, “What do I want to do with my life? What am I passionate about? What is my life purpose? What will bring me happiness?”

The problem with these questions is they suggest an end; ONE thing that you are destined to do.  But I think a more powerful question is to ask yourself: “What can I do with my time and energy that feels meaningful and fulfilling?”

Discovering what is fulfilling is a trial and error process, and often, a lifelong journey. Many things may bring you fulfillment, and these evolve, grow, and change as you change. But the only way to know if you truly enjoy something is to DO it and to see how you like it. Adjust as necessary.

Here are Five questions to get you thinking about what brings fulfillment and meaning to your life.

 1. Because life is not all sunshine and rainbows, What are you willing to sacrifice?

Are you willing to work long hours to get ahead? Are you willing to work for little money to gain experience from valued leaders? Are you able to experience rejection and persevere through uncomfortable emotions?

The sad truth about life is that it is HARD. Nothing is pleasurable or fulfilling 100% of the time, and usually people only want to commit to something for as long as it feels good.  But if you really want to experience the benefits and rewards of reaching your goals, then every now and then you’re going to have to do things you don’t want to do.

Take for example modern day dating. Many of us still talk about wanting to find “the one” and yet, the second it gets tough, we convince ourselves “that I don’t need to live like this” and we move onto the next. But long-lasting relationships don’t come without their growing pains, and without having to making sacrifices. Sometimes you need to throw away your pride and just be present for your partner. Sometimes you need to get over past hurts and find a way to get on the same team so you can move forward as a stronger couple. True commitment comes from being able to stick with something or someone even when you have to do things you don’t want to do. 

If you continue to avoid anything that runs the risk of you getting hurt, feeling embarrassed, or being judged, then you will never end up doing anything that feels important to you. Sometimes we must sacrifice staying in our comfort zone and learn to embrace embarrassment or challenge fear to discover our true greatness on the other side (Which by the way if you are doubting right now, you undeniably have!).

     2. Because a key ingredient to our happiness is helping others, think about How will you give back?

Research shows that to live a happy life, the values we live by must be greater than simply our own satisfaction or pleasure. I think the key here is to live selfishly, meanwhile being attentive to the world and people around you. If you want to make a bunch of money, buy a cabin, take summers off, ski every weekend…. all the power to you! But I can say with certainty that the icing on the cake and the true secret to fulfillment is the sweet feeling of having made a difference, in one or many lives. Make caring for yourself a priority to ensure that you’re functioning at your best, and then find a problem you care about and start solving it! What do other people need that your talents can provide? Every contribution makes a difference and every act of service has an impact greater than you might be able to see.

     3. In our current world that is plagued with heads down, disengaged conversations, and endless scrolling, What makes you forget to check your phone?

Maybe it's cleaning, writing, listening to music, meeting new people, summiting mountains, or playing video games. Whatever it is, think about what it is about those activities that enthral you?  Is it being challenged to push to new limits, maybe it’s getting creative, or organizing things efficiently. Reflect on the skills you use doing the things you love and apply them to other areas of your life.

     4. Now think about the things that maybe you have lost sight of and ask yourself, What did you love to do as a kid?

Societal expectations and social influence have a way of dramatically impacting the way we view ourselves and that path “we should be on.” Many of us lose touch with ourselves and doing things for the simple enjoyment if it. We are taught that everything we do is for some external reward. “Take the job you know you don’t want because it will give you the experience you need for future advancement.”  “Go to university and get a degree because you will never make a living otherwise”… and whatever other BS stories we have been led to believe to be true. How about we bring ourselves back to simpler moments and start doing more for the sheer joy that it brings!

     5. While we’re on the topic of ‘enthralling enjoyment’… If you had one year to live, what would you do?

Most people would probably say something along the lines of, “quit my job and travel the world.” But let’s take this to a deeper level, seeing as you likely won’t quit your job at the end of this post.

Take time to reflect on what is truly important in life and let the rest go. Try facing your mortality head on and think about how you want to be remembered?  If you’re thinking about living a life that is aimed at impressing others, then already you’ve missed the boat. Let go of trying to be “somebody” and embrace being you, this is the most liberating feeling ever!

What will it take to open your heart to the insane beauty around you? What do you need to let go of so that you can love like crazy?

I know it’s an uncomfortable thought, but our time on this earth is limited. Think about the impact you want to have on others and how you want to make others feel? Make a commitment to living by this every day. Be kind. Be brave. Be bold. Take risks. Stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone. Tell people how you feel and commit living life with your whole heart.

Happy people aren’t people who were just born with “good lives” and “good fortune.” The happiest and most fulfilled people are the ones who make a choice to appreciate the gifts of life and fight everyday to connect with themselves and others, love wholeheartedly, and to experience the depth and richness life has to offer.  

Take care of yourself, but take care of others too.

With warmth, 


​Katrina Shaw