If you're trying to find your purpose, these misconceptions are holding you back from happiness.
The big cosmic revelation—passed down to us by our parents, teachers, rabbis and almighty Oprah—is that we are each here to serve a certain purpose, achieve one big thing, and fulfill a soul-defining function.
It's no wonder that the start of a New Year is one of the most mentally and spiritually stressful times in a human's psyche. January rolls around and we're all focused once again on finally figuring out and then living out our "true" purpose. For many of us, this entails losing weight, purchasing a juicer, getting organized, cleaning out the garage and getting out of debt.
That all sounds fine to me, if that's truly your soul's direction. The thing is, back in 1987, after my parents conceived me on the bedroom floor after a marriage-threatening fight, I find it doubtful that my parents desired to bring a child into the world who would make sure to eventually own a juicer, stay organized and perpetually wish her body looked different. It just seems like a lot of trouble as a parent, for such narrow definitions of "purpose".
So, for the purposes of this article (hey: see what I did there?), I'm going to debunk the b.s. misconceptions we often have about finding and living out our purpose, and share with you, instead ... what your purpose is NOT (mostly because I have all the answers, obviously):
1. You must know everything about your purpose before taking action.
This clearly can't be true because millions of girls and women believe their purpose in life is to become a mother, while knowing nothing in the least about raising a child. That is, until they actually do it. Since I went there, any parent will tell you that raising a child is NO joke.
They will also tell you that although they went into it blindly, parenthood is the most important thing you'll ever done for humanity. Plus, don't forget—parents are responsible for helping their children find purpose, too. In other words, we learn about our purpose as we go.
2. I must be an expert on my purpose before I'm taken seriously.
One word: Atkins Diet. Remember when an "expert" told us to deprive ourselves of carbohydrates, causing our bodies to go into ketosis, psychological anguish, and in some cases, heart failure? After all, Dr. Atkins was just living out his purpose, right?
Now, don't get me wrong; if your purpose is to serve others, especially in the realm of health and wellness, you must possess some integrity, knowledge and forthrightness around your ultimate message. But the truth is ... the best time to live your purpose is to do it before you become a full-fledged expert, while you're still in the learning and discovery phase.
3. Living my purpose means I must constantly be taking action toward it every minute.
To all my sweet readers who struggle with this misconception, I'm giving you a big, energetic, maternal hug right now. I'm also inviting you to lay down somewhere comfy and take a little rest; chances are you're spinning and trying to keep up with your own potential, as though finding your ultimate purpose has a deadline.
Stop spinning, loves; there is NO deadline. Just keeping air in your lungs and speaking your truth is SO much of your purpose. Also, fulfilling your purpose(s) doesn't guarantee bliss. Sometimes, our purpose warrants a cocktail with a paper umbrella sticking out of it, and other times our purpose is simply to experience grief, pain and even jealousy in their purest form.
So, with love and gratitude for you being able to hear this, I declare this misinterpretation ... debunked!
4. I'm only allowed to have one purpose.
Okay, this is a great time to redefine the word purpose. But, before we do, let me ask you some questions:
- Does your body look the same as it did the day you were born?
- Do you think the same way you did when you were nine?
- Does your life revolve around the same things it did when you were in eighth grade?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, chances are your purpose changed and evolved along with you.
For example, when you were roughly 7-months-old, one of your biggest purposes was to reach various milestones—such as crawling to that shiny, noisy, sing-songy toy across the room. Your purpose evolves on a day-to-day process. It is a story in the telling, an ending waiting for you to write.
Personal purpose changes. It morphs, transforms, distorts at times, and even modifies. It's like when you go to Target; are you ever really only there for ONE thing? And yes, I believe part of our purpose is to frequent Target.
I will be blunt for a moment: you were NOT put on this earth to lose weight, clean your garage, balance your checkbook and buy a $500 juicer. You were not put on this earth to second guess why you're here. You were not put on this earth to wish you looked like someone else, and you were not put on this earth to wish you were somewhere else.
So just stick to your spiritual curriculum of choice and be proud to walk along whatever purpose-driven path feels, looks, sounds, smells and tastes right, true and authentic to you.