Last month I wrote about how and why to define your life purpose. Your life purpose is the core theme or message of your life and can help you choose career options that will fit you just right.
Discovering your life purpose may sound about as quick and painless as learning classical Greek. It does take time (sometimes a lot of it), but it's worth it.
Most of us who try this encounter some bumps along the way, so here are a few obstacles people commonly experience when doing this kind of work, along with alternative perspectives for you to think about.
These ideas are from Marcia Bench, founder and director of the Career Coach Institute. I've added my own insights as well.
1.) You don't see a talent you have as being that special or interesting -- at least interesting enough to inspire something as important as your life purpose.
Not everyone can do what you do and how you do it. You may take your talents for granted. Everyone has natural abilities, but not everyone is great at recognizing them and describing them.
Find out from friends, relatives, co-workers, and others in your life what they believe your talents are. If you don't want to ask directly, write down what you remember being told in the past and write down comments people make about you in the future. You'll see themes.
2.) You believe that everyone's life purpose has to be completely unique, and how the heck are you going to come up with something completely unique?
A life purpose statement is supposed to be broad -- waaaay broad. Groups of people across the globe will share the same life purpose yet have their unique way of living it. Think of it this way: If more than one person in the world has a life purpose to, for instance, "Help make the lives of children happy and full of hope," then that's a very good thing which will simply help accelerate the process of change.
3.) You don't have time to think about your life purpose.
Of course there are times when focusing on your life purpose will need to be deferred for a bit. Your big project at work is at a crucial point, there's a new baby in the house, you're moving to a new city tomorrow -- there's no extra bandwidth to work with.
The trick is recognizing when you can start a "sneak attack" to uncover your life purpose while you're in the midst of your everyday, hectic life.
If you truly don't have 10 minutes a day to yourself or you feel constantly drained, your first challenge is to take a look at that and see what you can tweak.
What could be delegated, scaled down, deferred or done differently to free up some time and energy to focus on your life purpose? Whose support can you enlist? (Warning: Going down this road requires challenging some assumptions you may be quite attached to.)