19 Ways To Discover Your Purpose That I Wish I Would’ve Known In My Twenties

woman sitting on cliff overlooking mountains during daytime
Milan Popovic / Unsplash

Find your passion, unleash your purpose, live out loud — these all sound great on paper, right? Tucked creatively into motivational Instagram quotes, they’re everywhere.

But it’s hard to do that if you’re feeling stuck, your belief is low and it seems like there’s no way out.

You wake up and every day seems the same, with the dry bank accounts serving as a reminder of what’s not working. As time passes, the motivational messages on purpose, passion and living your dreams start to annoy you. And then downright piss you off.

I’ve been there, and it’s okay. It seems like a lifetime ago. But now that I do find myself living a life of purpose and passion, I want to help you breakthrough the conventional wisdom so you can start living them now. These are the things I wish I knew a decade ago and would have saved me a ton of emotional stress and anxiety.

Here are 19 ways you can begin to discover your purpose and passion, living more fulfilled every single day as you grow into the person you want to become.

1. Remember, purpose is discovered through the act of trying new things — this week, try something you’ve never done.

2. Spend more time alone. The woods, meditation, long walks — this is where insights are most likely to happen. Create space to reflect and turn the noise off.

3. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you love. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do it — every single day. Release all expectations. This is powerful creative energy.

4. Allow yourself to be exposed and uncomfortable. Meaning, go the spiritual retreat even if it makes you uncomfortable. Try the Improv class. Join an MMA gym. Take the dance class on a whim. Get out of your box!

5. Take an energy inventory for an entire week. One side is plus (what gives you energy) and the other is minus (what takes it away). These paint a powerful story.

6. Take a day off with nothing planned and see what you’re naturally drawn towards. This will provide a deep insight into what you already love.

7. Turn off Netflix, ESPN and the political gossip. Instead, read a book. Spend time disconnected. Unplug so you can tune back into the wisdom we all have inside.

8. Force yourself to teach every single day — and identify the topics that come up the most. You are already an expert (someone who knows more than the average person) in at least one field.

9. Leave your environment. You will not find your purpose on the couch. Take the day trip. Drive for 100 miles in any direction. Lose yourself to find yourself.

10. Go to events, seminars, retreats — even if you have no idea what you’re getting into, you’ll start to peel back the layers. You’ll be surrounded by people who are living on purpose, and their energy will have an impact on you. This energy is palpable and will transform you.

11. Make a list of 10 things you’re deeply curious about, then spend the next 10 days learning about each.

12. Ask for open feedback from 10 people — frame it the right way and ask them to tell you what they see in terms of your purpose.

13. Journal every single day and ‘free write’ for 15 minutes. You’ll start to notice trends and themes.

14. Stop trying to find your purpose. I know, it goes against what’s on here — but sometimes, you’ve got to release the pressure. (Ever lost your wallet and give up, and then find it? Yeah, same deal here —surrender is a powerful place of insight.)

15. Find your purpose in what you’re already doing. This is the Linchpin effect by business author Seth Godin, and you’ll begin to unravel it. All this means is to commit to being the best at what you do today: whether you’re a bartender or cleaning dishes, practice the art of a purposeful life.

16. Go to the woods alone. Don’t come out until you’ve made a step towards identifying your purpose. If it takes you six hours, that’s great.

17. Make finding your purpose, your purpose. Meaning, set your intention on being open to any possibility, and get out there.

18. Take note of the conversations you have that you can’t seem to stop having. Identify the common themes.

19. Remember: your purpose will evolve over and over as you do. You are not who you were six months ago, let alone two years. Understand one day it’s all going to make sense, but don’t let the pressure of finding your purpose stop you today.

There’s so much pressure around discovering your purpose — it’s no wonder people feel stuck and overwhelmed to the point of doing nothing. But I do want to leave you with one powerful reminder:

The moment you commit to living a life on your own terms, based on what you want, and you’re in alignment:

Your purpose will find you, not the other way around.

Meaning, the world will throw the people, places and opportunities your way that make it obvious to you.

When that happens, your entire life will change. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

Sponsored by Homecoming available now on Amazon Prime Video

The People Bringing You Delicious Dairy

A new Thought Catalog series exploring our connection to each other, our food, and where it comes from.

Meet Katie Dotterer-Pyle
19 Ways To Discover Your Purpose That I Wish I Would’ve Known In My Twenties is cataloged in , ,