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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.

Life

Here’s Why Productivity Hacks Don’t Work

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How many times have you eagerly tried out a new productivity hack or tool and not gotten the result you expected? There is wealth of information available to us giving us everything we need to know to increase our productivity, but most people live their life in chaos.  Why do still see so many people struggling to manage their time and simply not able to get the results they desire?  What is missing? (more…)

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4 Lies You Keep Telling Yourself When You’re Afraid to Do Something

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lies you tell yourself
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When’s the last time you let fear get the better of you? Whether we want to admit it or not, fear keeps us from doing a lot of the things we know we really should do to achieve our goals. Fear is especially detrimental to entrepreneurs (read ‘wantrepreneurs’) that want to launch their first big project. (more…)

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Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Create Your Curiosity

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Curiosity is a great characteristic that people rarely sustain in their lifetimes. Some people struggle to sustain curiosity because of their internal and external challenges. They cannot encourage curiosity to come to the fore as they condition their mindsets with their learning, experience, and environment. However, there are very few individuals who sustain their curiosity levels throughout their lives to excel as extraordinary achievers.  (more…)

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5 Life Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed to Hear

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Life is a battleground, we need to keep fighting until our appointed time on earth comes. So, in this post, you will see the best of the best life tips you have never heard before. These tips are life-changing and can change you immediately. Let’s go!

1. Be independent 

Hundreds of millions of people make this mistake. We depend on people like us. “he will get it done for me, she will get it done for me”. You rely heavily on people and guess what, you are making a big mistake. 

There are a lot of people that have helped others and perhaps time changes for them, they become poor and rely on the people they have helped, guess what comes out at the end of this reliance? Disappointment, promises backed by failures, etc. 

Who are you depending on? Who is that person you can’t do without when getting things in your life done? If there is anyone, you are making a big mistake. And starting today, all you have to do is add a prefix – what if!

What if my friend stops helping me, what if I get disappointed by people I trust with my life, what if they neglect me and turn me down”.

A man or woman that depends on people like him is equal to a feeble pillar holding the four corners of a house. What happens when the feeble pillar falls? The man’s house falls down super-flat. Your trust should only be in Jesus. Man can fail us at any time but God is always faithful till his Kingdom comes. 

2. Love your neighbor as yourself 

The gravity of this word is enough to shatter the whole earth into pieces. 

Only if the whole world just kept this simple commandment Christ Jesus gave then, there will be no murders, poverty, greediness, anger, envy, betrayal, disappointment, etc. 

Why are there such things in the world? Because we hate ourselves. As long as you are fine all is well. You care about yourself only, selfish, you have and yet you cannot give. 

Those are the characteristics of over 90% of the 7.6 billion humans on earth. Why can’t you do to others what you would have them do to you? Why can’t you help that suffering neighbor who needs food? Then, a lot of people will say 

“Go away from here beggar, what did you do with your youth, I can’t give you a dime, beggar”. Why are we so cruel? This is the best tip you must dear to your heart. 

No matter what you have, no matter how little or in whatever way you can help. Help people, show them love, love them as you love yourself. Don’t forget this, today’s beggar, uneducated, debtor, poor person, etc can later become the greatest person in the world tomorrow. 

“Don’t settle for what life gives you; make life better and build something.” — Ashton Kutcher

3. Have a growth mindset

A growth mindset is what makes one successful and go far in life. However, a fixed and stagnated mindset throws one into jeopardy of life.

A lot of people have a fixed mindset, what they believe is what they believe, nothing you say on earth can change their mindset, they are the most educated in the world so they don’t need to learn any further. Did you have a fixed or growth mindset?

A growth mindset leads to success, achievements, happiness, learning more, and becoming better. On the other hand, a fixed mindset leads to complacency, pride, lack of achievement, ignorance, the stagnancy of the mind, etc. 

Let’s see an example of someone with a fixed mindset:

Cait tells Alice: Alice stop being so proud it’s annoying. 

And Alice responds:

“How dare you say I am proud, I am not. I am the most humble woman on earth”. In the example, Alice with a fixed mindset has a fixed mindset. However, what she does not know is that she is in the darkness of her ignorance. She is ignorant of the fact that she is a proud person thus, she can’t see it. 

People with a fixed mindset are ignorant. You must never have a fixed mindset. Always be willing to learn and to grow with humility. Pride can take you nowhere. 

4. Forgive everyone and give as many second chances as you can  

A lot of people have done all they could to be happy and have peace. But, they find out that happiness is not just there and that peace of mind is absent. 

Why is that? It is because you have a lot of grudge against people that have offended you. Yes, we know, it pained you to your heart, and what next? Keep malice? But, do you know what that unforgiveness does to you?

I call it the seed of unforgiveness because it plants a seed in your heart and this seed further grows to become hatred, depression, lack of freedom, zero peace, etc. 

If in only one person’s heart are all these things, then a person like that can never know peace and happiness. For example, if you were to go to a party with your friends and you hear that perhaps the other friend that you keep malice with is coming to the same party. 

Naturally, the only thing you would think of is not going to the party anymore because you want to avoid the person at all costs. And what does that add to you? It doesn’t add instead, it subtracts from your life because you could have gone to the party, had fun, and even have new friends or even new opportunities.

If not for anything will you forgive people, forgive them for the sake of God, for the sake of Christ Jesus. Because if you cannot forget the trespass of people, don’t expect God to forgive you. Forgive everyone, give them as many second chances as possible. 

Mind you, they can still mess up and make terrible mistakes all you have to do is keep forgiving them. This may not be so easy to the flesh. However, it is only The Spirit of God that can make you forgive the trespass of people. Without The Holy Spirit, it is impossible to do so. 

5. Love God

Do you love God? Are you a child of God? Do you believe in Christ Jesus? Even if the rest of the tips on these lists do not resonate with you, I want you to hold this very important to your heart which is to Love God with all your heart, soul, and strength.

And you can do that only by being a child of God. This life is too short. It is like a vapor, it is nothing. Life is more like an empty barrel that makes noise. You will grow old, your strength will leave you and you will die but, what happens after that? Where are you going to spend the rest of your eternity? 

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