A lot of people feel like the life they live is far from their true calling. This is for many reasons—we’re afraid we’ll fail, or we believe our passions don’t make good occupations, or we care what others will think of us. But a bigger problem for some of us is that we simply don’t know what our purpose is. Without knowing your purpose, it’s easy to fill your life with things that don’t serve you, things you don’t want—things that make you unhappy. One of the greatest keys to unlocking happiness in your life is finding and living your purpose.
Everyone wants to find their purpose in life. Skylight has a lot of content on this subject, and this article is a review of some of that content. We’ll look at three key takeaways about finding your purpose from previous blog posts and then summarize three meditation practices for finding your purpose from the Skylight app.
Find Your Purpose in Your Spiritual Core
Your spiritual core is the first place to start on the journey to find your purpose. Our blog post “Discover Your True Self, Your Spiritual Core” outlines (1) what your spiritual core is and (2) why it’s so important:
“Your true self is somewhere inside of you, in your spiritual core. When you access this part of yourself, you feel happy, peaceful, and centered. Your actions align with your purpose. You live a life that looks more like the life you dreamed of as a child. You feel a magical sense that life is good and things will work out for you. Being connected to your true self doesn’t mean that everything is easy or that you won’t experience pain or heartache—rather, it means that you’re living a deliberate, fulfilled life.
“When you’re not in tune to your true self, you’re simply existing. You feel like your choices aren’t aligned with your calling. You may daydream about a life you could’ve had if you’d made a different decision once upon a time, or you may live every day looking forward to when you can get back in bed. You experience pain that often feels unexplainable and untreatable, whether it’s physical or mental or emotional or spiritual. Without an awareness of your spiritual core, your whole self is off-balance.”
Do you feel disconnected to your spiritual core? That might be a reason why you feel so lost regarding your life’s purpose. Try this exercise, Investigating the Self, on the Skylight app.
Your Purpose Will Change
Because your spiritual core will evolve over time, it makes sense that your purpose will change throughout your life, too. Our blog post “Your Soul Purpose” shares this truth:
“Our journey to discover our purpose isn’t just a one-time rollercoaster ride. Each new phase of life brings a fresh start to re-learn your ‘why.’ Maybe you’re a new employee seeking to understand where you fit in and what you have to offer. Maybe you’ve started a new nonprofit and are trying to determine your outreach. Maybe you’re dating and feeling insecure in the relationship.
“Multiple times in my life—at very different stages—I’ve taken the time to write a personal mission statement. Reflecting on my passions and priorities has helped me focus my time and energy to fulfill my purpose. Each time, my statement changes drastically. Because each day changes us. So be prepared to feel a little uncertain about your purpose. That’s okay. Another chance to enjoy the ride and discover the core of you. Remember: change is constant. And your purpose is constantly changing.”
Take a moment to think about the different phases of your life. Was your purpose different from one phase to the next? How did it change? How did you re-find it each time?
Meditation Can Help You Find Your Purpose
One reason why you might not know your purpose yet is because you don’t take enough time to slow down and actually search within. This is where meditation comes in. As uncomfortable as it might feel to unplug and spend ten minutes of quiet time with yourself, the effort is well worth it. In our blog post “The Science Behind Meditation”, we discuss how meditation helps you find your purpose:
“Through meditation, you can find ways to give your life a higher purpose. Many of us look at our jobs as merely a way to pay bills, and not something that allows us to contribute to society in a significant way. Meditation practices encourage us to think about extending kindness to others. When we then extend that kindness in our day to day lives, we increase our eudaimonia, which is a type of well-being that includes purpose. Studies found this boost in well-being lasts for weeks, even after people stop performing acts of kindness.
“If you are seeking to live a life at a more elevated state, integrate a daily meditation practice. Meditation offers you a space to detach from the pressures and stress of life, step outside of our egos, and become aligned with a higher version of ourselves. It affords you a connection not only to yourself but to all living things in the universe.”
If you need help starting a daily meditation habit, read about starting a spiritual wellness practice here. And now, with the understanding of how meditation can help you find your purpose, the next sections will review some of the guided purpose meditations on the Skylight app.
Meditation Practice 1: Purpose Finder
The Skylight app has a meditation exercise specifically designed to help you tune in to your purpose. In the meditation, you’re invited to answer the following questions:
- What topics do you love learning about?
- What's something you're good at?
- Is there something that makes you lose track of time? What is it?
- How do you spend the majority of your time?
- What is the most meaningful thing you do?
- Are the answers to questions 4 and 5 different? If so, what could you do to make them the same—to make the most meaningful thing you do also the thing you spend most of your time doing?
Read through the questions again. Are you surprised by any of your answers? Not everyone can make their passion their job, but most people could spend a bit more time pursuing what makes them happy—living their purpose.
Meditation Practice 2: Find Your Calling
Another way to find your purpose is to think about something you feel called to do. This calling feels like it’s coming from something bigger than you, like from the universe itself. You feel drawn to it, and you’re probably good at it. Not sure what your calling is? Wellness trainer Kelly Boys leads a meditation about finding your calling on the Skylight app. Here’s what she suggests:
“What is a calling that you have in your life that you just sort of get the goosebumps when you think about it? It's something that you know is just really clear for you. There may be one word that comes to you. It may be something like family or love, or it may be more specific. You know exactly what your calling is. And the underlying thread of your calling is what is gonna carry you through your life. It may look different in all of the different situations and scenarios, but actually the thread of it is your calling.”
What can be learned from this is that your purpose doesn’t have to be a specific activity. The way it presents itself can adapt depending on the circumstances. You can hold your purpose within you at all times, even if it isn’t really clear how it applies to a situation. If you treasure your calling and keep it in the top of your mind, all of your actions will be informed by your life’s purpose.
Meditation Practice 3: A Prayer For Purpose
If you’re still feeling stuck, God can help you find your purpose. One way to connect with your higher power is through prayer. Even though this prayer is spoken by someone else, you can make the words your own:
“Spirit, I'd love to live a life of purpose that's aligned with my deepest values. Please help me to know what my deepest purpose is, the purpose that arises naturally as a calling in my life.
“If there's anywhere that I've gone off track, help me to reorient, come back on track and to find my purpose, knowing all the while, we're never truly off track, and that each step we take is meaningful for our journeys. And yet, I long to be in tune with a song that is mine to sing.
“So I pause for this moment to listen, to open to presence, listening for what my calling is, breathing in, breathing out, and tuning in inwardly, listening for my calling for my purpose, noticing if a word or image arises. As I listen and feel my way into this inquiry, I open to the unknown future that's ahead of me.
“I commit to doing this practice of deep listening and I commit to act on what my inner knowing tells me. Listening to the guidance of Spirit, whether it's through nature, through this still small voice in my heart, through encouraging words of others. May this prayer for purpose bear fruit now and in the coming days and months.”
Did you like the meditation exercises linked in this post? If so, then try listening to this intention-setting meditation tomorrow morning to start the day with your life’s purpose. Or listen to these affirmations about creating and living your best life.