10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Discover Your Purpose
Countless books have been written and podcasts recorded about purpose. We have an innate drive to better understand why we are here and what we are supposed to do with our time here that will have lasting meaning. Unfortunately there is not a formula that will unlock the mysteries of purpose. Fortunately, we have a God that desires to journey with us as we simply unfold the wonders of His unique design of our life. Below are 10 questions to ask yourself to discover your purpose. Do not think of them as problems to be solved or keys to hidden doors. Instead, think on them as invitations to sit and consider your design with your Creator.
10. If income was not a need/factor, what would you want to do for a career?
It can be fun to contemplate how you would spend your time if bills weren’t looming and financial responsibilities were already met. While many of us might initially respond, “I would be an ocean observer from a Caribbean beach.” Keep thinking. If you still had to get up daily and prepare yourself to accomplish something or lead in some capacity but there were zero paystub incentives attached, what would you do?
9. When do you feel the most you?
Think back to a moment when you felt the most at peace and confident. Consider your most recent “life is good” moment. Recall a time when all things felt right and you sensed comfort in your own skin. Days or moments when we feel equipped, capable and loved point us not only to that ever present (but quickly forgotten reality), but those moments can also be a God head-nod toward a deeper understanding of how you are designed.
8. What are you natural gifts and talents?
Purpose is not always attached to what you naturally do well, nor to the skills you have developed through training. God’s picture of your life is larger than the things you do or accomplish. While God’s main interest is the condition of your heart, as He crafted you, He placed a unique set of abilities. Consider how your life has unfolded, what comes naturally? Have you submitted those assets to God?
7. What do others say you do well?
“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2
Most likely, along your lifetime, someone has pointed out a trait, temperament, or quality that might guide you toward a path of purpose. While God should be our final filter for how we see ourselves, sift through comments and memories and note themes or consistent comments.
6. What gives you results?
“Wisdom is proved right by her children.” Luke 7:35
There are things that simply work, areas in your life that you are naturally capable. Think of things you have accomplished. What do they point toward? When have results arrived easily? God’s guidance is not as illusive as we might think, and He often guides us through evidence or “fruit” we have already been producing.
5. What is your soapbox/topics or facets of life that get you pumped and heated?
We each have those hot button topics that get us fired up. There are often issues that stir a passion within us. “From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 What are those concerns, issues of injustice, facets of God’s work in the world that you easily lose yourself in debate or discussion? Perhaps your passion can point toward your purpose.
4. During what activities do you find yourself losing track of time, forgetting to eat or drink?
What were you doing when you forgot to take a break to eat, what activity made “time fly” for you? Noting moments when time flies may guide you toward what can be found in terms of purpose.
3. What is at least one thing you want to be remembered for?
Most of us desire to live a life of influence, hoping the dash between the beginning and end of our lives represents things that last beyond our time here on Earth. While we can often think of qualities or characteristics we hope to have as a legacy, stretch beyond that to consider things you might want to accomplish or offer to future generations.
2. Who do you admire and why?
The law of attraction states that “like attracts like.” There is a reason certain authors, thought leaders, or mentors garner your respect and attention. Take some time to ponder the themes that stretch across your fan-list. Perhaps the things you most admire among those icons can nudge you toward a deeper understanding of your design.
1. Have I been in conversation with God about my purpose?
We often cite a well known passage from the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. But we would benefit from including verses 12 & 13, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Pursue your purpose in consultation with the original designer of your being. Be sure to begin by seeking wisdom from the very source of purpose.