Who am I?
This question has plagued humanity since the concept of a self has existed. Such questions are at the heart of life values and a finding a fulfilling life purpose in life.
A sense of a purpose or reason for being has resulted in many of the great, historical breakthroughs in science and philosophy. Humanity is now advancing so quickly that people are discussing the morality of cloning humans just for their organs.
The question "who am I" and the subsequent answer often drive people to get out of bed in the morning, face insurmountable odds to achieve a goal, and keep going even if that goal is not met.
But, what is someone's purpose? And how does someone go about finding theirs? While each journey to this discovery is unique, certain truths are universal:
Leaving the place where you are the center of the universe can teach you about just how much else there is to existence and to life. Your purpose, believe it or not, will not be in the center of a world that is only yours. We learn more about ourselves by traveling, and that knowledge can lead us somewhere valuable.
The most common drive to act on a purpose tends to be the answer to the question: What have you witnessed that you just can't live with? Many doctors once knew people with serious illnesses and they used that loss or devastation to motivate them to make the world healthier. Being appalled at domestic abuse drives some to social work. What would you like to see more of (or less of) in the world?
Many who have overcome challenges use their stories to motivate others. The best recovery counselors or addiction coaches are often former addicts. The most successful youth counselors may come from homes with tumultuous backgrounds.
Something from your life will undoubtedly leave you with strong feelings on a topic, and knowing what that strong feeling is can lead to a sense of purpose.
Often referred to as "finding your tribe," being a part of a social group can lead to a sense of purpose by surrounding us with others who have found theirs. Even if there isn't a social cause that ignites a drive within you, meeting someone who is passionate about a topic could motivate you to become engaged in that or another matter.
Have you been triumphant against major adversity? Have you accomplished a goal against all odds? There are others who are currently facing the struggles that you have already conquered and are eager to learn what they can to expedite their own completion.
Evolution has programmed people to feel good when helping others. It's how tribes were able to survive in the hunter-gatherer days. Those who could catch prey shared with those who couldn't or humans wouldn't have survived.
Those who are most open about having found their purpose tend to profess how their purpose involves helping others.
Embrace a purpose by shifting your focus from what about me to what can I do for others?