You know you have one…you just aren’t sure what it is.
But here is why you should seriously consider finding your purpose…and going after it.
How Finding Your Purpose Affects Your Health
My dear friend, the late Dr. Jamie Zimmerman, was a recently minted medical doctor, who became disillusioned with medicine years before she graduated…her medicine was meditation and mindfulness. Instead of working in a hospital or clinic, Jamie dedicated her life to helping people make their passion their paycheck, because she believed that when you followed your purpose and calling, you would become the best, highest, happiest, healthiest version of yourself.
She was inspired by the work of neurologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor (who made it through 3 concentration camps and learning that his new wife and parents did not), and then devoted his life to studying the importance of humans finding meaning in their life.
According to The Viktor Frankl Institute:
“Human beings are not only free, but most importantly they are free to something – namely, to achieve goals and purposes. The search for meaning is seen as the primary motivation of humans. When a person cannot realize his or her “Will to Meaning” in their lives they will experience an abysmal sensation of meaninglessness and emptiness. The frustration of the existential need for meaningful goals will give rise to aggression, addiction, depression and suicidality, and it may engender or increase psychosomatic maladies and neurotic disorders.”
Frankl pointed to research indicating a strong relationship between “meaninglessness” and criminal behaviors, addictions and depression. Without meaning, people fill the void with hedonistic pleasures, power, materialism, hatred, boredom, or neurotic obsessions and compulsions.
If you’ve ever met someone with a strong purpose, you realize, that they don’t have time for hedonism, materialism, hatred, or boredom. You can watch them get knocked down a million times, but get up a million and one times. They have a will to do, to be, to live. They have a purpose.
How to Find Your Purpose According to Deepak Chopra
Jamie recently interviewed Deepak Chopra on the subject of Purpose, Passion and Paychecks, and he gave 5 questions that you can ask yourself in order to find yours:
- How do you express your unique skills and talents?
- What would you do if you had all the money and time in the world?
- Would you feel joy doing it?
- Would it bring about joy to others?
- Would it improve the quality of life (in general)?
I didn’t realize it at the time but when I was stuck and trying to figure out my purpose, a few years back, I actually checked off all of these questions, and truly feel like I’ve found my calling.
My first job out of college was in finance, and I used to joke that I finally realized why there is such a thing as happy hour. The work was monotonous and boring, and ultimately, in the scheme of life, did nothing but facilitate a small group of people getting richer, while not really moving the needle on any of the issues our world really needs help solving. Things like cancer, world peace, hunger.
I had a fire in my belly to contribute more to society than fattening someone’s bank account, so without a clue as to what I was going to do, I quit my job and vowed to find my purpose. I wasn’t really sure where to start, so I figured I’d use the free time to do things that made me happy, and then it would come to me.
- I signed up for healthy cooking classes, as nutrition and healthy eating became an interest of mine around my freshman year, after healing my own health issues.
- I traveled, partly so I could learn about healing and cooking techniques in different regions.
- I read books on business and health.
- I realized, everything I did for fun revolved around food, health, and wellness, and that I could immerse myself in it for hours without even realizing it.
- I gladly shared my health and eating tips from what I was learning, and I sort of became the resident food guru amongst my friends and family. I loved being able to serve up “food cures” for common ailments, and help my loved ones get healthier and feel better. I loved talking to people and sharing my knowledge, as a teacher.
And then one day it clicked. I had found my calling. My purpose on this Earth is to make it a healthier place, and to teach people how to eat for good health. I researched my options, and decided that becoming a Health Coach was the path I wanted to take.
Each of us has a purpose. Including YOU.
In loving memory of Jamie, I urge you to find yours. Live fully now, and stop saying one day. Going after your dreams isn’t always easy, but it’s rewarding and satisfying in a way that a paycheck could never be.
Go after your dreams. The world needs that special gift that you have to offer.