Health Library

Finding Purpose

Getting Started

Do you feel a little lost on your journey toward purpose? If so, this may be a good time to pause. It may help to remind yourself that purpose doesn't need to find you. You can find it. And it might not be one big purpose but many small things that bring you joy.

Think of purpose as a blend of what you're good at and what you care about. It may help to think of purpose as something bigger than you. You also can think of it as something that matters to others as well as to yourself.

Here are a few steps you can try to find purpose.

  • Look at where your skills overlap with your passions.
    • Write down the things you do well. You could also ask friends to list your skills. It's okay if you don't fully agree with their lists. You know yourself best. But it may give you some more ideas.
    • Make a list of the stuff you care about or your passions. Add details. For example, "I care about dogs," could become, "I care about dogs having good homes."
    • Compare your lists. Where do they overlap? For example, what if singing was on the list of skills? And what if being part of a team was on the list of passions? Put together, joining a choir could be one way to find purpose.
  • Take a purpose from your list, and try it out.
    • Talk to a few people who you admire. How are they putting purpose into practice? It may give you an idea of where to start. But try not to compare yourself to them. Remember, your purpose doesn't need to be big or grand to be the right fit for you.
    • Find groups of people who have a similar purpose. Maybe you feel called to write poetry. You could join a writing group. Or start a meetup group with other people interested in writing poetry.
    • Volunteer in your community. If the first place you volunteer doesn't feel right, it's okay to try somewhere else. Check in with yourself often to be sure you're happy with your choice.

Credits

Current as of: June 16, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine