7 Questions to Start Finding Purpose in Life
Finding purpose in life can seem like a huge daunting task, but it is actually very simple: you have to get curious about yourself.
For most of my life, I wanted to become an OB/GYN and help women as they prepared for one of the toughest transitions of their lives, but that changed when I married my husband in my final year of college. I still wanted to serve, but I realized I didn’t care if it was specifically in a medical setting. Motherhood was a priority for me, but I had no idea how I wanted that to look. I was confused about how to live a joyful life when I couldn’t clearly define what my purpose was or what I was working towards.
I learned that finding purpose in life starts with choosing a direction to walk in that brings me joy. Here are the questions that helped me find some direction so I could start living a joyful life of purpose, even though I wasn’t completely clear on what that purpose was.
This post is all about the seven questions you need to start finding purpose in life.
Finding Purpose In Life
1. What do you do for fun?
How can you live a joyful life of purpose if you don’t even know what you enjoy doing? As a recovering workaholic, I am very familiar with overbooking myself and overworking myself. The problem was, if someone asked me what I did for fun, I didn’t have an answer. Not only did I not make time for it, but I was so out of touch with myself that I couldn’t tell you what I would want to do for fun if I did make time for it!
As life changes, sometimes your old hobbies become less realistic. Going out dancing or playing soccer is more difficult when you have to find a sitter, but that doesn’t mean you should stop having fun! I started drawing for a couple minutes before bed and treating cooking as more of a fun game when I was 25 with a new baby. These small ways of getting in touch with my creative, playful side helped me develop my identity outside being a mom.
Being curious about yourself is an important part of finding purpose in life. As you explore and develop your skills and interests, you will find more confidence and direction.
2. What can you cut out of your life?
Sometimes finding what you want and finding purpose in life starts with realizing what you don’t want. In college, I did research about the morning routines of successful people and created a 4 hour routine that I had to start at 4am! Especially as a mom, that kind of routine is not sustainable! My solution? Cutting things out and seeing if I missed it. I realized that gratitude journaling matters more to me than meditation, a couple of sun salutations gets my blood flowing nearly as well as a workout, and splashing my face with cold water can replace a full cold shower. Now, my morning routine is 30 minutes. I don’t feel like I have lost anything, and I have gained back so much time!
Cutting things out of your life leaves you with what is important. Spending more time on those things that matter, and less on things that don’t, is an important part of learning how to live a joyful life.
3. How does your diet make you feel?
Whether you eat to live or live to eat, food is a big part of your life! For much of my life, I had a very rocky relationship with food that was, if I am truly honest, focused around mind games I played with myself. Every step I’ve taken to mind my relationship with food has not only helped me enjoy eating foods that are better for my body, but has given me more energy for everything else that is important to me.
Like it or not, food has a big impact on your day. If the foods you eat are making you feel physically sluggish or emotionally guilty, then something needs to change. Finding purpose in life becomes much easier when you are feeling energetic and confident in your eating habits!
4. What adjectives come to mind when you think of your home?
The perfect home is a perfectly clean home, right? Wrong! Granted, cleanliness is a part of it, but your perfect home might have toys in the middle of the living room or handprints on the windows.
Part of finding purpose in life can be recognizing ways you want your home to support you. Your home should be a place of peace and safety that encourages you to have the feelings you are looking for. If your home stresses you out, then it is a place you want to escape FROM not escape TO (aka, not a place of safety!). Lighting candles more often can make things more calm. Putting the games somewhere more accessible can promote family bonding. Consistent tidying can help you be more productive because you actually know where everything is. My house is definitely not clean all the time, but living a joyful life of purpose continues to feel more possible as I make my home a place that I want to be.
5. Do you feel “at one” with your body?
I’ve gone through many phases of my life where I feel like my body hates me. It felt like my body and mind were at war. My body would be exhausted, but my racing mind would keep me awake. Eat more healthy foods would send me on emotional roller coasters that drained me more than energize me.
Feeling “at one” with your body means that you recognize the connection between your body and mind and use them to take care of each other. For example, I found that using my hands to paint helped calm my mind. Healing my relationship with food and learning to play with it helped my body feel the energizing benefits I was looking for.
Finding purpose in life will always be difficult if your body and mind are not on the same page. Your body should not hold you back from accomplishing what you need to. That may mean strengthening your body so you can play soccer with your kids or strengthening your confidence to finally sign up for that dance class. For many people learning how to live a joyful life of purpose starts here.
6. Are you consistently trying to connect with the people you care about?
“Hey, what do you need?” That greeting felt like a knife to me. Was I really that person? The friend that just called when I needed something? From that day on, I made it my mission to never hear that from someone I loved again. I needed them to know that I cared about them. They are so much more than tools to be used!
We often discover how to live a joyful life when we serve the people we care about, making our relationships some of the most valuable things we can have. They are a place we can find safety, support, and belonging. They give us a sense of belonging and are a part of the core of any joyful life of purpose. Close connections can be difficult to find, but easy to take them for granted and forget to maintain them. Even if it is just a text every couple months to check in, give your time to those you care about.
7. What is an indulgence you have been denying yourself?
You may ask, what does indulging yourself have to do with finding purpose in life? Here is why:
Two years into our marriage, my husband cautiously made a request. He said, “Katherine, I really appreciate how much you do and how much effort you put into feeding our family, but would you mind if we had a little more variety?” For the past two years, I would make a huge batch of two dishes each Sunday that we would eat for lunch and dinner all week.
Honestly, I was wanting more variety too. However, lets be real, eating something new every day is technically an unnecessary indulgence! I tried it though and quickly got sick of cooking after trying to make something new every night. Long story short, I spent the next three years creating recipes that I could use with a variety of ingredients, so I could bring more variety into my home without constantly googling “quick healthy meals.” Today, the recipes I used the most often are now in Getting Into Creative Cooking!
The little things that bring you happiness may not only help you feel more complete and connect with yourself, but it may be a way you can help bring others happiness as well. Your purpose should ultimately bring you joy! If you are struggling to find that joyful life of purpose, start by giving yourself permission to enjoy life. Take a moment, slow down, and savor that indulgence. Maybe it is a chocolate bar, a dirty song you don’t want your kids to hear, or just an unrushed shower.
Finding purpose in life doesn’t start with choosing a career. It starts with recognizing where you are and finding a place in it. That is when you will start to live a joyful life of purpose.
This post was all about the seven questions that can help you start finding purpose in life today!
Other Posts You Might Like
– 10 Ways to Find More Happiness