Why Finding Your Purpose Is Kind of Irrelevant

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I’m pretty sure I should have been a lawyer. Or a manicurist. Or a personal stylist.

I can argue with anyone and about anything for a long period of time. It doesn’t matter how wrong I might be – I am relentless.

I’m really good at painting nails. Not elaborate nail art, or anything too crazy, but if you want a straight-up basic manicure that’s pretty decent, I’m your girl.

I excel at helping people choose outfits for special occasions, work, etc. While I don’t love shopping for myself, when it comes to my friends and family, I can spot things immediately.

These are the gifts that come naturally to me. These are things I find fairly easy. It’s very possible at least one of them is something I am meant to be doing. There is a good chance that something on that list is My Purpose.

And yet, here I am – a life coach, writer, and entrepreneur. You’ll notice none of these things are on the list above.

Other factors to consider: I’m a Cancer and an introvert (an extroverted introvert, but an introvert. Another article, another time). So, I find the need to be consistently visible, put myself out there, remind people of coaching programs I offer and connect with them in authentic ways that also let them know I’m selling something, challenging. If I were doing a skills assessment, it would probably not suggest any career that necessitates doing these things on a daily basis. And yet here I am. So…that’s interesting.

Does this mean I’m not “living my purpose”? Should I be worried? Should I abandon what I’ve been doing and jump to a more sensible role? Should I get more serious about building a career that aligns with my natural abilities?

One of the great things a changing economy has allowed for is the possibility of work that fulfills us. There is less expectation that one job is done for thirty years until retirement and then we can finally enjoy life on our pension and social security. Maybe the role of choice has made things measurably better. However, maybe it also arrived with increased stress as well.

If I now have the choice to pick a career I love, does anything less than “love” mean I’m doing it wrong? Does anything less than My Calling mean I’m working in the wrong job or in the wrong field? Can I be happy if I never figure out what My Purpose is?

So, what if it turns out we’ve actually just been talking about it the wrong way? What if your purpose wasn’t something you had to uncover like a treasure, but something you could choose? Maybe it’s not that you can’t find it no matter how hard you look, but it’s not there because you haven’t created it yet. Maybe you can’t find it because searching for it feels stressful, and stress + more stress does not = carefree happy life.

When people talk about setting their intentions for each day, they’re actually just talking about choosing their purpose. It might not be a huge answer dropped from the sky that solves everything, but it might just be better than that. Creating your purpose, one small step at a time might not be the easy way out, it might be the way out.

For some people, the thought of having to create a purpose might be the more stressful of the two. But for others, the fear of missing out on your purpose, having something that you’ve completely missed, and when you die it just remains buried in the earth forever, is the real nightmare. So, what if your purpose was something you actively chose? Maybe even as frequently as every day?

So maybe you have a purpose now. Maybe you don’t. But what if you just chose one? What if it didn’t matter what it was “supposed” to be? What if it was the thing you wanted it to be? Sure, we have natural skills and abilities, we’re more adept at some things than others, but we also have free will. So maybe just choose something. It doesn’t have to be forever, but what if it happens to be the perfect thing for you right now?

If you could choose your purpose, what would you choose?


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Getting Unstuck and Making Real Life Choices

5 Steps for Digging Out the Pain and Letting it Go


SARA KRAVITZ helps people realize it’s not too late to figure out what you want and, even better, to be able to do something about it. She understands how frustrating it can be to want to work hard and feel fulfilled, but not have a clue where to begin. As a life and career coach, she loves helping people understand (but, like, really understand) that this doesn’t have to be life. You can climb out of every hole. It might be awkward and uncomfortable at times (in fact, you can probably guarantee it will be), but there’s always a solution. (Even for you.)

She is also the author of the international, bestselling book Just Tell Me What I Want. You can download her book for free here.

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