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Do you know what your life purpose is? Does thinking about it make you feel overwhelmed, confused or excited? Do you feel paralyzed to make any decision about your future because you don’t want to miss your life purpose?

Most people struggle with identifying what their purpose is. They get distracted by the details of life and of just surviving day-to-day; they forget that they’ve been uniquely created to impact the world. But determining your life purpose isn’t as tricky as you may think. In fact, all you need to do is look at some clues, and you’ll have a very good idea about what you’re meant to do with your life. Try asking yourself these questions:

What do I enjoy doing?

What makes me feel successful?

How do I spend my free time?

What talents or abilities do people compliment me on?

What do others admire about me?

Which activities interest me or fulfill me most?

Which activities am I least interested in?

Which activities make me feel stressed or overwhelmed?

Answering these questions will give you big clues about your life purpose. What you’re gifted to do and enjoy doing will often indicate what you should do with your life. Likewise, if you’re not good at something, then why force something to happen that doesn’t line up with your talents and purpose? For example, if you enjoy caring for young children, then volunteering at your local senior citizen center probably wouldn’t be a great fit. If you enjoy working with teenagers and young adults, then working in a preschool may not be what you’re meant to do.

Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself. If you’re dreaming of becoming an accountant, but you’re terrible with numbers and can’t even keep your bank account in the black, then it would probably be better to pursue a different path. Don’t get discouraged about what you can’t do; focus on what you can do!

In short, your gifts often reveal your purpose. For instance, from a very young age, my friend Michelle has had a love for horses. Every chance she got she was at the stables learning about how to care for and ride horses. She loved grooming them, feeding them and riding them. She fell in love with training horses and found that she had a real gift to understand them. Soon others were recognizing her abilities to connect with and train horses, and they were interested in hiring her to train their horses.

Michelle felt very fulfilled in what she was doing, but she took it a step farther: she began offering free riding lessons to disadvantaged and physically/mentally-challenged children. She knew that disabled children could benefit behaviorally, emotionally and cognitively through interacting with horses. She knew her purpose wasn’t just about riding and training horses but about using this gift to help and heal others too.

So, let’s go back to that first question again: What’s your life purpose? Don’t back away from this question; embrace it. Determine what your gifts are, and then develop them. Chances are, there are others waiting for you to discover and develop your gifts so that you can reach out and share your talents to positively impact the world around you.

- a the word changes contributor

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