The past year of my life has been more impactful than any year in establishing who I am as an adult. Although I’ll never stop developing or changing, this year was different than previous years. This year I started off by really defining my purpose. I realized that without purpose I do not have intention. Without intention my actions are aimless like throwing speghetti at a wall. With purpose I understand my boundaries, limitations, weaknesses and preferences. I believe in my heart we were all created for different purposes. We were individually knit to be exactly who we are. It’s tough though as you are a young adult to clear out the noise and be able to really listen to your inner gut. If you are also seeking purpose, joy and peace within your life here are a few thoughts I’d like to share with you:
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Start with a list of what you are and what you aren’t
This is simiilar to a pros and cons list, but more about defining your own boundaries. When you are at your best what does that person look like to you? Write it down! For me, it’s organized, warm, focused and creative. Maybe you are analytical or resourceful. Maybe you are comedic or a caregiver. Put your strong attributes down to refer to throughout the process of seeking purpose. Then, write down the things your aren’t. It could be that you are not organized or that you are not loud. Somethings I know I’m not is an overly strict parent. For me, I pick and choose what I seek to be firm on then let the other things work themselves out throughout time and development. I don’t believe that you can understand your purpose without first being honest who you are.
Use a vision board
Whether you choose to collect things visually in print or digitally have a little folder, board or collection of things you love the most. The things that inspire you and make you feel a sweet aching inside like hearing your favorite song. This can be a great reference point when choosing your wardrobe, activities, interiors in your home and general mood. I love pastels, soft sunlight, photography, and feminine details. I like to keep my on Pinterest or saved to a collection on Instagram so I can easily refer to it when I’m making choices on a daily basis. It helps keep you focused on your direction.
Go within and evaluate
You are the only one who can change the direction of your own life. But to make a choice that is truly your own you have to quiet down the loud noise of the world. Setting aside alone time to do things like journal, pray, meditate, take long walks are all ways to go within. Powering off your electronics and ask yourself what brings you the most joy? Is it helping another person? Then, think of ways you can do more of what you love. Maybe it brings you joy to lead, then consider a career that matches those skills so you can hone and develop them fully. Cut out the things that do not bring joy. I know I hate cleaning my home - a maid would be nice, but not practical right now. Instead, I go a little easy on myself and usually clean every other day by tidying, laundry and loading rinsed dishes in my dishwasher. That way things don’t get out of hand and I’m not frustrated by the fact that I’m constantly cleaning. I keep my have to dos to a minimum so I have more time to do my want to dos.
You see, without self-definition we tend to work jobs we are not passionate about and take on things that don’t bring us joy. Every time you put on another weighted item that’s not part of your purpose it makes your life feel heavy and unsatisfying. No matter what your political views are, religious or spiritual direction is or your values are you have the choice to be intentional or unintentional. It all begins with honesty with yourself and then constantly checking to make sure your actions are in alignment.