Most of us have no clue what we want to do with our lives, even after we get a job and are making money. Between the ages of 18 and 25, I changed careers more often than I changed my underwear. If you’re reading this, then the chances are that, like me, you’re still trying to work this out. It’s a struggle almost every adult goes through. I often have conversations with friends and family in their 40s and 50s who still have no clue what they want to do.
A problem with purpose?
Part of the problem is the idea that we’re each born for some higher purpose and it’s our cosmic mission to find it. But, here’s the truth. We exist on this earth for an unknown period of time. During that time we do things. Some of them are important, some of them aren’t. The important things we do give our lives meaning and make us happy. The unimportant ones help us to kill time.
So when people ask “What should I do with my life?” or “What is my life purpose?” what they’re actually asking is: “What can I do with my time that is important and will make me happy?” This is an infinitely better question to ask and far easier to answer because it doesn’t have all of the baggage that the “life purpose” question does.
The first tip in Amy Morin’s blog 7 Tips for Finding Your Purpose in Life, is to donate your time, money or talent. She says, “If there’s just one habit you can create to help you find your purpose, it would be helping others.”
This basically means that you’re not going to get anywhere by sitting on the sofa eating crisps all day while contemplating the significance of your life. Getting off your arse and discovering what feels important to you will. So that’s what I did.
Purpose Fair 2020
This Monday I attended Brighton Digital Women’s first Purpose Fair. Held at Platf9rm in Hove, the event focused on helping attendees find a way to contribute to the local community. It included inspirational speakers to help you get in touch with what purpose means to you and how you can find a cause that gives you a sense of fulfillment.
The line up of stallholders/presenters included an impressive array of community organisations and charities from across Brighton and Hove, including:
- Survivor’s Network
- Green Party
- Together Co
- The Girls Network
- BSUH NHS Trust
- Clocktower Sanctuary
- The Labour Party
- Byline Times
- Brighton Women’s Centre
- Make Votes Matter
- Electoral Reform Society
The evening began with short presentations from each of the charities, groups and parties where they shared their stories, and more information about how you can get involved with what they do. It ended with the opportunity to network and chat with the presenters further about their work and sign up to volunteer for them if you wanted to.
Throughout the presentations, I was so inspired and humbled by the passionate way in which each person spoke about their work, and the realisation that a lot of them were actually volunteers left me feeling quite ashamed. What had I been doing with my free time until now? Why had I not thought to fill it with meaningful and purposeful activities that help others? It’s no wonder I have never found my purpose.
I left having signed up for several good causes and a new determination to make 2020 the year I find my purpose by making a real difference to the world and my local community.
Meaning and purpose
Robert Byrne once said, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose”. So, whether you decide to spend two Saturdays a month serving meals in a soup kitchen, or you volunteer to do design work for a local charity, doing something kind for others will hopefully make you feel as though your life has meaning and help you to find your life purpose. I’m definitely going to give it a try and I hope you do too.