The drive to find purpose in life is one of the most powerful drives we have, and yet many people never successfully attain it. Sometimes we set our goals way too high and land up feeling disappointed. Try finding purpose in everyday life, so that you can experience what it feels like to effortlessly draw meaning from everything and everyone around you.
First of all, don’t get overwhelmed. I want to point out that I’m not talking about finding some greater passion and purpose in life (you can get the details on that here).
Right now we’re just talking about how you can get up in the morning and feel good about what you’re doing in that very moment, however mundane it may seem.
4 Steps to Finding Purpose in Everyday Life
The good news is when you are finding purpose in everyday life, you don’t need to do anything super special or go anywhere like walks in nature in order to practice it (although that does help!).
You can do it anywhere at all—at your home, at work, or even on the subway.
Here’s how the 4 step process works:
Step 1: Focus on the Environment
Sit down and close your eyes for five minutes before you get out of bed, or before you start your routine in the other location of your choosing. You then go through a three step process in which you find and focus on three things about that particular spot.
You can use your five senses to find the things you’re focusing on: for instance, using sight or touch, or smell or hearing. You can also move around if you like, in order to explore all the different parts of the environment—for example, going outside into your yard, or into your kitchen.
Step 2: Focus on the Objects or People within the Environment
Pay close attention to the objects or people within the environment (e.g., furniture, food, trees, spouse, children, pets, etc)
Step 3: Focus on Any Number of Their Qualities
Now move your attention to any number of their qualities (e.g., colors and shapes).
Step 4: Make Connections
When you focus on the environment around you (e.g., your bedroom or workplace), you’re training yourself to become aware of how things are connected in general. That’s the same as saying that you’re finding out what has purpose and meaning for you, whether it be a certain environment, another person, or an object—you have purpose with respect to them if they matter to you.
When you focus on the objects in your environment (e.g., the furniture or food that you eat everyday) train yourself to find purpose with respect to specific things.
Finally, when you focus on any of the qualities in your environment, such as its colors or sounds or textures, you’re training yourself to find purpose with respect to qualities. Does the warm blanket bring you comfort? Does the hot coffee help to wake you up?
Benefits of Finding Purpose in Everyday Life
By stringing all three reasons together via your morning routine, you’re training yourself to make connections between things that are seemingly unrelated. And yet those connections do exist in the world—and they’re what gives it meaning and purpose.
As a result of making all these connections, you’ll end up feeling more deeply connected with your environment (which might be an office or apartment), as well as with the objects you use on a day to day basis (e.g., your TV or computer). And in turn, that will give you a sense of purpose with respect to those things, because they’ll matter more to you.
But don’t take my word for it—just try it out and see for yourself! I like to do it for five minutes in the quiet of the morning, and it always makes me feel more creative, energized and inspired. So I recommend trying it right before you either get up or to start your day on a positive note.
Also remember—you don’t need to wait until morning time to practice this exercise; you can practice it any time you want but it does take practice. You may need to change your habits to add it to your daily routine. So do it whenever you’re trying to find purpose in everyday life—at your office, at home, or even while shopping!
Live Your Life on Purpose and Get the Most out of Each Day
Once you have mastered the exercise above try some of the strategies below to find more passion and purpose in life.
You might be working hard right now, but are you excited and fulfilled?
Strategies to find more passion and create a life that fulfills you
Determine what’s most important to you. Is it helping others or personal achievement? Does music move your soul? Do you love to compete? What brings you the most joy and happiness? Your passion in life is hidden in there somewhere. Can you find it?
Think short-term to Help Finding Purpose in Everyday Life. What could you do right now that sounds exciting to you? While long-term goals can be more meaningful, it’s important to enjoy yourself in the short-term, too. Now might be the time to try skydiving or visiting New Orleans. Maybe it’s finally time to try out for the local theater.
Think long-term. Pursuits that are more meaningful are likely to require more time and energy. What do you want to do over the next 10+ years?
Imagine your doctor just told you that you only have weeks left to live, what is the one thing you wish you had done?
Finding Purpose in Everyday Life – How do you like to spend your free time now? If you have a few hours or a Saturday to yourself, how do you choose to spend it? Are you building a boat in your garage or writing a post for your blog? Your ideal life might include your current hobbies on a larger scale. Think about why you enjoy the hobbies you currently spend time on.
If you were retired, what would you like to do? If you had more resources and unlimited time each day, how would you choose to spend your time? Describe your perfect day.
Get out of your comfort zone. Most of us are limited by our fear of failure or a fear of the unknown. However, the most meaningful activities are most likely outside of your comfort zone. Be brave – explore all your opportunities.
Finding Purpose in Everyday Life – Set a goal to find meaning in your life.
If you can set a goal to lose 25 pounds, you can set a goal to create a more exciting life. Create a goal to find your life’s passion. Give yourself 30 days and spend a few minutes each morning and night on the task. Close your eyes and listen for the answer. Keep a running list and evaluate it at the end of the month.
Keep track of your short term and long term goals using habit trackers. When you decide what you want to accomplish, set a goal and keep track of your progress. You will feel more fulfilled and proud of yourself.
Turn off the TV. It’s hard to live a meaningful life full of passion if you’re spending time watching TV. You can find something better to do. Go do it.
Do something new. If you’re stuck in a rut, the easiest way to shake up your thinking is to try a new activity. Take a salsa lesson or book a dinner cruise. New experiences help to make each day unique.
Humans have been searching for the meaning of life for millennia. While there isn’t a universal answer, you can learn how finding purpose in everyday life can allow you to avoid letting your life pass you by without fully living it. Set a few goals and experience life outside your comfort zone. Find your passion and build your life around it.
Whether you are an entrepreneur looking for your next big idea, a part-time or full-time employee who is lacking passion and enthusiasm at your job, or a stay-at-home parent looking for purpose in your life; the How To Determine Your Passion In Life workbook will help you unlock the passion and purpose that lies within.