I believe we have an innate desire for purpose. I believe we are all meant for a purpose. I believe if we knew our purpose and committed to it, each day would be an adventure instead of just another day.

The question is how do we discover our purpose?

The word “telos” is something I’ve been thinking about as we started the new year. Telos, from the Greek τέλος means “end”, “purpose”, or “goal”. Lately I’ve been applying the word  to my daily routine, as well as, to those around me by simply wondering about another person’s purpose. Have you ever thought of another person like this? This curiosity led me to write this letter.

My Story:
Throughout my life, I struggled with the idea of having a special gift or talent. I saw myself as average with a lot of interests, but never really exceptional at one thing that could guide my career path or define my purpose in life. I constantly lived in the future or with the what’s next mentality instead of appreciating the skills I was developing day-to-day or paying attention to the things that made me happy. To be quite honest, it was not until my mid-twenties that I discovered my gift, which helped me to see my purpose. It was not a specific skill or talent, it was the idea that “I create.” This came up during a conversation with a friend, she said to me, “you create – that is your gift.”  I can still remember the expression on my face and the clarity that came through.

For me, I do not have to be in a career that allows me to do one or two things, I can simply create wherever I go. This is part of what makes me happy. Even writing this letter, I am “creating” a story.

For some of us, we are still trying to pinpoint what our purpose is. So, maybe I can help.

Your Story:
Maybe you are in the situation where you are telling yourself  “I wish I knew what some of my gifts were.” Maybe you know what your gifts are, but you run away from them because of fear or lack of guidance. Maybe you have so many gifts that you cannot hone into one specifically because one minute you are into this and the next your are into that. 

Let’s Validate:
At Conscious, we 100% believe that we all have purpose and that we all can make a difference despite our pasts, circumstances, surroundings, or even confusions about where we see ourselves in life. If you believe the opposite of this, please do your best to remove the doubts, and be intentional about putting a stop to this kind of lie. I can say this with confidence because I have read so many stories of people who have  hit rock bottom to only rise to fulfill their purpose.

Let’s Take Action:
This is completely up to you, but take 10 – 30 minutes (or longer) to answer a few questions. The goal in answering these questions is to get you thinking, and to allow yourself to express. This may be exactly what you needed or it may be just a starting point. Don’t put limitations or expectations on it. Just see where it goes.

1. Take a few minutes to write “Your Story” as shared above. Like how I shared “My Story.” Write down exactly where you’re at and pinpoint your struggle. For example, “I wish I knew what my gifts were”

2. What makes you happy?

3. What gets you up early in the morning even though you haven’t had a full night’s rest?

4. What are you good at?

5. What are some things people ask for your help with?

6. What are your values?

7. What cause do you feel strongly about? If you can, also write down why.

8. If you were in front of a crowd of people, what is one message you would want to share with them?

9. Part 1: Describe 3 instances in your life where you felt that you’ve added value. (If you feel you can’t answer this, please write to me: rbaxter@consciousmagazine.co). Part 2: Describe  3 instances where you felt devalued. And be honest about how this made you feel. This is a tough one to answer, but you’ll feel more connected to your experiences with your honesty.

10. What breaks your heart? If you had the opportunity to help, what would you do?

Here’s what to do next. Share your answers with someone close to you (maybe even ask the person to answer the questions too). Be intentional about what you’re trying to do – you want to discover your gifts and focus on how you can be purposeful with those gifts. Ask the person to help talk you through what some of your gifts are. Just start here. Remember, no limitations and no expectations.

When we as individuals can connect our gifts with our purpose, we can hit the ground running and begin to create or participate in something that can not only bring purpose to our lives, but also bring about change in our homes, our local communities, and maybe even across the world. The act of creating change, whether you think it is small or large, is of great value.

Photo Credit: Meg Pinsonneault