find your way

4 Actionable Tips How To Find Your Purpose

Are you struggling to find your purpose in life? Do you feel like you’re stuck in the wrong place, the wrong job, the wrong relationships? You’re not alone. So many people find themselves wondering what they can do to begin living a more authentic life. 

If you feel you’re on the wrong path, there are some very specific strategies you can use to help you find your way. All of these strategies are based on coming to know yourself more consciously. They help you identify and focus on your strengths and your past successes. 

Once you clearly see the things that you do well and enjoy, you can begin to identify where they intersect with opportunities. This point of intersection, where who you are and what you do come together, is your purpose in life.

This is where you’ll find the people you’re supposed to be with, the work you’re supposed to be doing, and the life satisfaction you’ve been longing for. Try one or all of the four following strategies, and you’ll begin to find your purpose.  I found these 4 ways to be very effective.

Ikgai

Ikgai is a Japanese word that’s translated as “reason for being.” The Japanese believe that everyone has an ikgai and that searching for it is a worthy and respected journey. 

Ikigai

Your ikgai rests at the point where four elements of your life overlap and this is where you’ll find your purpose. 

• Your passion. 
• Your mission.
• Your vocation.
• Your profession.

Your passion consists of the things you love. You may have one overriding passion, or you may have a few. Whatever you’re passionate about, it’s inevitable that it will be integrated into your ikgai. 

Your mission is what you have to contribute to the well-being of the world. Don’t be intimidated by this. It doesn’t have to be on the level of world peace. There are many people who live in small, quiet lives that nevertheless make the world a better place. Whether your area of influence in your neighborhood or your planet, the world needs you. 

Your vocation includes the things you do well. These may be specific job duties, or they may be more nebulous. Drafting perfect mechanical drawings maybe your vocation, or being able to tell where a wine was produced by taste alone, or making people feel included. Any of these could be a part of your ikgai.

Your profession includes the things that someone is willing to pay you to do. “Finding your bliss” is well and good, but it doesn’t pay the rent. 

Once you’ve identified the four elements for yourself, you can begin to see how they intersect. Your goal is to find a purpose that includes all four elements. You can follow this ikgai and find spiritual fulfillment, even in times when things seem dark. 

The Five Years, Four Squares Plan

This method uses your vision of the future to find your purpose. The first step is to take a piece of letter-sized paper and fold it in half. Then fold it again so that it’s divided into four squares.

Think about the four areas of your life that you value the most. These may be “family,” or “career” or “health.” Write one value at the top of each square. The next step is to think about where you want each of these areas to be after five years. 

Once you have your five-year goals, you need to write a step-by-step plan to get there from where you are now. Keep this paper close to you, and review it when you awaken each morning and before you go to sleep each night. Don’t be afraid to change the steps if you need to redirect yourself. You’ll find your purpose not only in the destination but in the steps it took to get there. 

The Hierarchy of Job Satisfaction 

If you look at all the jobs you’ve had in your life, you’ll be able to think about aspects of them that you did or didn’t like. That’s the purpose of creating a hierarchy of job satisfaction. 

First, make a list of every job you’ve ever had along one side of a sheet of paper. Next, put a happy smiley at the top of the other side, a neutral face in the middle and a sad face at the bottom. 

Look at each job, and put the positive and negative aspects along the “smiley scale” that you’ve created. Write the words for each job, even if they’re already there from one of the other jobs. Take some time with this task, and try to go deeper than the obvious. “Teamwork; everyone did their share” is more helpful than “liked the people I worked with.”

When you’re finished listing the job qualities, count up how many times you used each word or phrase. You’ll be able to clearly see which specific job characteristics bring satisfaction and fulfillment and which make you dread going to work. You’ll know that you’ve found your purpose when the work you’re doing has the qualities you enjoy and lacks the ones that drag you down. 

The Outside Advice Strategy

Self-analysis has its limits. Sometimes you need an outside perspective to help you find your purpose, and asking your friends for their insights can be tremendously helpful. 

For this strategy, you’ll need to draft an email to send to your friends. Ask them to respond to the following questions and explain their suggestions, if they can. 

• What do you consider to be my biggest passions? How have you seen me express these?
• What do you think my greatest talents and strengths are? How have you seen me use them?
• Have you ever thought I would be particularly good at some career or activity? Why?
• What skill do I possess that you would pay me to teach you? Why?

Your friends may be able to make you see things about yourself in a new, surprising way. You may find your purpose in a place you weren’t even looking. 

I hope this helps, at least this will give you some ideas about what you want to focus on.

Comment below if you found this helpful.

5 Simple Hacks to Work Smarter and Be More Effective

There are plenty of people who deeply underestimate the ability to work smarter and not harder. While hard work is its own reward, it’s better to exert it in situations that require it. In many situations within the workplace, you just need to become more strategic and smart about the way you approach your work.

When you do this, you’ll become even more effective. If you’ve found yourself in a rut where you struggle to complete tasks to the best of your ability, it’s time to examine your workflow and consider a different approach. With the following five hacks, you can implement a strategic plan that’ll help you become more effective, confident in your abilities and productive. 

1. Avoid the temptation to multi-task.

There’s a term called decision fatigue. It’s when people struggle to make the right decisions because they’ve made so many throughout the day. Decision fatigue tends to happen closer toward the end of the day. In order to eliminate decision fatigue, notable figures like President Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook tend to wear the same look each day. That’s one less decision they need to make. This frees their brain to focus on the most important decisions of the day. 

If your brain needs space to focus on one singular task at a time, it’s a terrible idea to get into the habit of multi-tasking. Too often, people see multitasking as a sign of efficiency and productivity. Truthfully, your brain can only comprehend so much at a time. Knowing this, it’s best to work smarter and focus on one task at a time when you’re ready to work.

If you’re taking a conference call, focus your attention on taking the call. Don’t try to write a full-fledged email while you’re on the call. You can make a costly mistake that way. Once you focus on the task in front of you, it’ll be easier to process what’s happening. You’ll also get through each task in a shorter amount of time. 

2. Eliminate distractions.

One of the biggest distractions of this generation is technology. More specifically, tons of people waste a lot of time on social media platforms. They mindlessly scroll for hours on end. As a result, they look up, three hours have passed and they’ve missed the opportunity to work smarter. This is the time you can’t get back. Knowing this, it’s best to create a schedule for the scrolling. If you don’t want to give it up cold turkey, you don’t have to.

However, place your phone in an area where you can’t reach it. Then, be mindful of how often you go to check it. Set a timer that shows you how much time you’re actually scrolling. Work on decreasing that time by fifteen minutes each week. You can reward yourself by designating a few minutes each evening to scroll through all that you missed during the day.

However, it’s important to recognize when you’ve been using social media as a coping mechanism or an escape route from your actual life. Instead, work smarter by making your life better so that you don’t feel the strong urge to get lost in your phone. 

3. Get comfortable.

A supportive chair is golden when you have to sit for hours on end. Instead of sitting uncomfortably for hours, make sure to invest in a supportive chair that cushions your back well. If you prefer to keep your feet up as you work, find a footrest that you can use at your desk. If you’d prefer to stop sitting so much, this is a positive habit to consider as many studies suggest that sitting is the new smoking.

Many manufacturers have created efficient standing desks. You can use the standing desk to remain mobile while you’re getting lots of circulation and movement. When you’re comfortable, it’ll be easier to do your job well. If you tend to be hot at your desk, get a desk fan. Create the necessary environment in order to be as efficient as you need to be. 

4. Create time limits.

Since you’re not a robot, it’s going to be very challenging to sit up straight and type for eight hours straight. Instead of killing yourself with this type of rigid structure, create time limits for all of the tasks you need to take care of. It’s best to do the most challenging task first so that it’s out of the way. Plus, it can be a confidence booster when you tackle the challenging task. That momentum can spill over to the next task. Use a concept like the Pomodoro Method to keep track of your time as you work on longer projects. As you’re able to gradually build the time between breaks, you’ll increase your capacity to be effective for a sustained period of time. 

5. Take breaks.

When you’d like to work smarter, you need to consider breaks. You’ll be the most effective when you learn how to relax and take breaks. If you’re constantly working without recharging, you’re going to burn yourself out. In order to avoid this, schedule breaks for five to ten minutes at a time. Take a longer break at lunchtime. As you take breaks, step away from your desk to get a sip of water, walk around the building or run to the local coffeehouse. As you take the time to refuel yourself with breaks, you’ll work smarter, be more focused, more effective and sustain yourself for the long haul. 

As you work toward developing your expertise in these areas, recognize that it won’t happen overnight. As you’re working to change and shift your mindset in regards to work, you’ll need to unlearn a lot of habits that you’ve developed over the years. This can become a potentially frustrating experience.

The key is to be gentle with yourself. As you take it one step at a time and remember that the process is a gradual yet permanent change you’d like to make, you’ll be able to maintain a consistent rhythm towards becoming more effective and efficient within the workplace.