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5 Ways to Rediscover Your Purpose in Life

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Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer. But my quintessential Indian father thought that was a terrible idea, and well, so did everybody else I knew. Eventually, thanks to nasty teachers and being in the wrong stream (IT engineering), I resigned myself to having a purposeless existence. But after graduation, I could not bring myself to conform any longer. So I dove into the world of writing.

Soon, I discovered that my childhood dream was not something to be taken lightly. Over seven years, I figured out what I wanted to write and why. I even wrote two books and launched a blog. For the first time in my life, I felt that I was making a difference in the world. But then the pandemic came, and everything changed.

Suddenly, I began to feel that I was no longer following my purpose. My contribution to the world did not seem impactful enough. I tried to resist this stream of thought as I knew words are powerful, and mine had certainly helped people. Also, I did not want to rock the career boat after all my struggles. I hoped that this was only a phase brought on by the uncertainty of the pandemic. But as days turned into months, my thoughts remained the same. I took a deep breath and realized that I would have to rediscover my purpose all over again. 

The prospect of starting all over again was daunting. Plus, I had never heard of anyone needing to rediscover purpose. But on introspection and research, it became clear that this was normal, just not talked about as often as it should. As people change and evolve, so does their purpose. Once I accepted this fact, I set out to rediscover my purpose. I did it by following the steps below.  

1. Adopt a beginner’s mindset

As the term indicates, a beginner’s mindset is all about seeing things through the eyes of a beginner. In this context, you need to explore your interests and values as if you are doing it for the very first time. Disregard your likes, dislikes, biases, and opinions about yourself and the world in general. Let go of all your professional knowledge so that your mind is like a clean slate. 

This is easier said than done, but you need to get in this headspace. For example, I used to believe that writing is my sole purpose in life. Even when I was not feeling that way anymore, I found it hard not to cling to this belief. Once I let go of it, I felt like I had a world of possibilities. And I’m sure you will feel the same when you adopt a beginner’s mindset.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Allen Saunders

2. Take a couple of career tests

Now that you have a beginner’s mindset, this step should be easier for you. Pretend that you are a graduate student who has no idea what you want to do in life. Then go ahead and take a couple of career assessment tests. Take 3-5 tests and save the results of each. Each test will show you a bunch of careers that might be a good fit for you. Zero in on career choices that interest you and career choices that show up repeatedly. Make sure you focus on the change you want to make in the world instead of the usual ‘follow your passion’ cliche. 

Once you do this, you will have a list of potential careers that you are likely to excel in because you have the required aptitude. You are off to a great start! Now all you have to do is marry your strengths and interests. For this, you have to conduct substantial research on what each career involves regarding job responsibilities and how they align with your interests and personality. Doing so will help you further narrow down your list of professions. For example, if you are an introvert who dislikes attention, and one of your potential careers is actor, it’s not a good fit. Full disclosure: this is the only reason why I had to cross acting off my list. 

3. Write down what you want and what you don’t want

In my experience, career test results can be overwhelming. Like me, you are likely to get a long list of potential careers. Having too many choices can lead to anxiety, confusion, and analysis paralysis. I figured that the best way to deal with this issue is to write things down. So I made a list of things I want and a list of things I don’t want in my professional life.
One of the items on my ‘don’t want’ list stated that I don’t want to work with people with major mental health issues. And one of the items on my ‘want’ list stated that I want to help people with mental health issues. Only after I figured this out could I choose between counseling psychology and clinical psychology. 

4. Listen to your gut instinct

Once you complete the above steps, you should have one or two solid career options in front of you. When you can’t pick one, or if you have a longer list, you know who you should rely on, right? Your gut instinct. Even when you have all the data you need, your gut instinct is powerful and should not be ignored.

Towards the end of my evaluation, I was torn between becoming a counselor and a life coach. Both options change lives for the better. But my gut said I would be far more suited to the field of counseling than coaching. Plus, I always wanted to study psychology. So I have enrolled myself in a Master’s in Counseling Psychology. And now, I can’t wait for classes to begin! 

I hope this four-step process helps you rediscover your purpose in life. And once you do that, make sure you pursue it. Self-motivation helps and so does public accountability. I just did it by making this public declaration. Remember, no one has all the answers, and life is unpredictable. The wisest way to avoid regrets and succeed is to give everything your best shot.

Mahevash Shaikh is an author and freelance writer with a penchant for coffee, personal development, and self-awareness.She blogs about mental health and sociocultural issues at Mahevash Muses. You can connect with her on Instagram at mahevashmuses.

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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