How to live a purposeful life

How to live a purposeful life

What were you born to do?

When we’re at the beck and call of deadlines, to-do lists and other people’s demands, it can be impossible to think more than short term. We just need to get things done. But finding your purpose in life, your vocation, is what makes sense of everything else. It’s the thing you were born to do, where you feel fulfilled and truly yourself. No pretences.

Living a purposeful life means that you’re moving towards a single goal that aligns with your values and makes you happy.

But your purpose won’t find you, and you won’t discover it by sitting at home, or sticking to the same routine and people, day in, day out.

Having a clear sense of purpose makes our lives meaningful

Finding your vocation is bigger than just changing jobs, taking up Spanish or joining a new gym. These are great goals, but they won’t necessarily help you find your purpose in life.

Discovering your personal vocation in life can sound daunting; even overwhelming. It can be tempting to put it to one side, or to put it off. But the start of every year is a perfect time to take a moment to reflect on, and discover, your purpose.

Your purpose isn’t the same as your goals

Goals are about achievements –they give us something worthwhile to aim for. But purpose is what makes your goals meaningful, and a means to an end. A goal without a purpose always keeps you wanting more.

Goals are what we do. Purpose is why we do it.

Finding your purpose doesn’t sound like something you can define by putting it on your to-do list. But making a list is a powerful, positive way to start the journey. Your possibilities are endless.

Why it all comes down to happiness

Finding your vocation is about looking back over your life to all the times you felt at your happiest. Was it sharing a moment together gazing at the stars? Or the satisfaction of helping someone complete something that they were struggling with? Or when you stood back to admire a painting you’d created? Listing the things and the moments when you felt your deepest sense of reward, makes us feel that life has meaning, and that you have a purpose.

Listen to yourself, not others, or social media. If you build your purpose around what makes you happy, you’ll stay happy.

Writing your life-changing list

We at Zebra Pen are list-lovers and list-makers by nature. They inspire us, motivate us, and help us achieve our goals, however big or small. So, take your time. Choose your favourite pen to mark the moment. When you’ve written your list, you may want to re-create it and design it as an inspirational artwork for your study wall, or the inside cover of your journal.

Use your purpose to set your goals

Once you discover your purpose, you can start planning your journey in small steps. You might start volunteering with a new charity, learn to paint outdoors, change jobs, or learn a new language on your commute to work.

What a difference a list makes

Imagine re-reading this list in 10 years’ time. By then, you could well be in a new career, another country, or with a life partner and children you love. Finding and fulfilling your purpose is like a promise you renew every day. It’s the touchstone for every goal you set, and everything that you do or new thing you try.

Let 2023 be the year you decide to do something different.