4 Unexpected Little Ways to Find Your Purpose

So it’s Saturday morning, you’ve just woken up — perhaps well-rested, perhaps still a bit tired from going out and having a little fun last night with your colleagues. Nonetheless, you’re ready to chill out for the next 48 hours or so because it’s finally the weekend, work has been hellish recently, and well, you deserve it. So you take a step back and try to wipe out the stress. You sink a bit more under your comforter. You plan a relaxing day ahead.

Suddenly, in the span of a split-second, the big questions come. What am I doing with my life? Is there something missing? Am I making a difference in the world like I want to? Do I even want to? Do I have any life purpose at all?

I’m sure all of us have been in this spiral at some point in our lives. Maybe you’re slowly realizing you don’t like your job. Maybe you like your job enough, yet still feel a little lost about your career path. Maybe you keep constant communication with your friends, but you’re not as fulfilled with your relationships anymore. Maybe you have hobbies, but no passions.

There can be an infinite number of reasons why any of us would question our purpose. A Google search will probably yield a thousand other posts about it already. And while it’s good to have perspective, personally I think it helps to zoom in and try not to think so big. Instead, think deeper. Look inward.

And sometimes, thinking deeper or looking inward means simply moving along with your weekend plans to take a step back and relax. Sometimes, it means doing little, ordinary things. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Read.

Remember that book you bought months ago, tucked in your shelf, and accidentally forgot about? The one you saw at the bookstore and were too eager to read? Yes, that one. Pick it up. Sit comfortably. Sip your tea.

Reading about another person’s life, whether fictional or real, might just give you insight about your own. Seeing what motivates the characters — or perhaps the historical figures or artists — in the book might help you answer questions about your motivations as well. Aside from that, reading about the great ideas that shaped the world might also inspire you to participate and do good yourself. Who knows? After all the crisis, you might even end up writing your own story someday.

2. Dress up nicely.

I know, it seems exhausting after a week of making yourself presentable in meetings or the workplace or whatever. You just want to stay on the couch in your jammies and a cozy sweater all day. But for once, won’t it be fun to dress up for yourself? Put on your Sunday’s best. Your favorite little black dress. Or experiment with a new outfit. Wear whatever makes you feel good.

And then: look. Feeling confident could be an ideal place to start your self-evaluation. It seems petty to appreciate your appearance, but appraisal of the outside could lead to a fruitful introspection. List your strengths in your head. (Or actually on paper, if you want.) Look good, feel good, and think about the best version of yourself that you want to become.

3. Do something messy.

Get those hands dirty. Try finger painting. Dig around and fix those flower beds in your garden. Lay out those baking tools, don’t be afraid to get flour all over your kitchen, and make something sweet. This way, you’ll loosen up. Minus the pressure of failure, you’ll allow yourself to explore what you can really do. It’s gonna be a good experience. At the end, when you look at your artwork, cupcakes, or dahlias, you’ll see it was worth making such a mess. Know that the same is true for the mistakes you’ll make in your life.

4. Go outside.

Literally and figuratively. Remind yourself that you’re not the only person in the world, because sometimes, finding your own life purpose means sharing your life with others. Volunteer in a community activity like fund drives or clean ups — you might just discover a passion and a vocation. Get to know your neighbors — you might see the community in a new light. Plus, don’t be afraid to help out a stranger — you just might make new friends and feel fulfilled at the same time.

If you want to learn about various ways to help people in need near your area, you can check out the BeepBeep Nation app. You can also watch this video for more information on how to get going. Helping out and perhaps finding your purpose along the way has never been this easy.

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Paralyzed Woman Writes Book Using Only Her Eyes

Locked-in syndrome is a condition where the person loses all muscle control or becomes entirely paralyzed, while maintaining most cognitive functions. In simple terms, this means they can still think and feel, but cannot move or speak. Some people, however, have found technological leads on how to help locked-in patients communicate, such as this nanoscience professor who created a computer interface that helps them identify letters and words using only their eyes.

Using a similar device, a woman diagnosed with the syndrome wrote an entire book about her experience. Mia Austin was only 21 years old when she suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed, but now at 29, she finished her book In the Blink of an Eye using only eye movement, a spelling chart at first, and eventually the specialized computer.

Her mother Carole, 62, recalls: “She [Austin] was in the hospital for around 14 months and writing poems and stories kept her alert and occupied. I think the idea [for the book] stemmed from there really.”

According to her father Rick, the book took about a year to write. Meanwhile, Mia’s siblings also helped in her process, especially with the spelling chart, which took a lot of energy and made Mia exhausted. Despite this, Mia just doesn’t seem to run out of achievements.

The book is by no means Austin’s only incredible feat of determination. She completed a criminology course at Wirral Metropolitan College in 2017 before signing up for a forensics course with the Open University. And this year she will begin another course in criminal justice.

Aside from academics, Mia is also incredibly engaged in charity work. She launched a campaign for disabled travellers. She participated in awareness projects for homelessness. She has been on aid missions to orphanages even outside the country.

In an interview with The Mirror, Austin explained her desire to give back to the charities that have supported her. She said: “I love to take part in new challenges to prove I can succeed despite my condition. I also want to support various charities because I have received help myself in the past.”

Mia’s story sort of robs us of any excuse to waste our energy today, doesn’t it? It could just as well inspire us to push our minds and bodies to the limit from here on out.

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