Finding a life of purpose, a life filled with meaning and joy, a fulfilling and satisfying life is the ultimate do-it-yourself project.
Finding your passion is an inside job, accomplished with lots of reflection and honest, insightful consideration of what makes you happy, what feels right, what represents the authentic you.
This article complements A Life of Purpose is a Life of Passion, which describes how you can zero in on the characteristics of your true life purpose by starting with an examination of the things you love to do.
The approach of this article is to go back to your childhood and examine the passions in your young life for clues. Even at the tender age of eight, you knew your purpose, though not consciously.
Flash Back to the Eight-Year Old You
Think back to your childhood. When you were about eight years old, in the third or fourth grade. What did you love to do then? What, you might be asking, does this have to do with finding your life purpose?
This time frame, when you were old enough to have some independence and young enough to have some free time, when you had lived a few years of experiences and had memory of those years, provides strong clues to your life purpose.
Recall that your true life purpose was formed within you at birth, polished and cultivated during your youth, but present within you for your entire life. When you were about eight years old you probably had enough life experience to know what you loved to do, and enough free time after school, after household chores, and during summer vacations to cultivate the activities you loved.
You loved certain activities then, just as you do now, because they gave you the opportunity to experience the true you, your purposeful life. Though the activities themselves might not be the identical activities you love as an adult, they were surely childhood versions that permitted your qualities of purpose to shine through.
Who Were You Being?
As you recall the things you gravitated toward as an eight-year old, focus on the qualities of being, the characteristics and values you were experiencing while absorbed in these activities.
In my youth I played lots of team sports in the neighborhood. Much of the time I paired myself with younger boys whom I led, taught, supported, and encouraged. In my adult life I often took on a coaching role, both life and athletic coaching. The qualities of being between the childhood and adult me were consistent: mentoring, leading, teaching, supporting, encouraging, and challenging.
The Passions of Your Youth
What did you love to do when you were around eight-years old? List your activities and reflect on the qualities and characteristics you were experiencing while in these activities.
If you’ve been working toward finding your life purpose with the other processes I’ve been describing in these articles, you probably see some consistent qualities and characteristics throughout. Those are most certainly components of the real you.
Are you feeling the excitement of understanding the real you? Finding a life of purpose and a lifetime of passion? If it’s still eluding you, don’t despair. There are many more processes, each designed to provide you with the insights necessary for your journey of purpose. Watch for future articles on this site. Better yet, Subscribe to Your Purposeful Growth Update by Email