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3 Major Steps To Discover The Purpose of Your Life

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This post is about the principle of choice. There are 3 major steps to discover the purpose of your life but we start with choices.

Determining what our purpose is in life can be one of the hardest questions that we must try to answer. In this and upcoming articles, I will be going through a step by step process, exploring feelings and options, and by the end, you should have a fairly solid tool you can immediately employ in your life to help give it a meaningful direction!

Remember, these are major steps, not all the steps.

Here are the three steps to find your purpose.
1. Understanding the principle of choice.
2. Creating your “underlying principle”
3. Aligning your life with this underlying principle.

1. Understanding The Principle of Choice

picture of a menu/three steps to finding your purpose

The first principle is to realize you are always making choices.

Norman Vincent Peale has this to say about the power of choice. “The greatest power we have is the power of choice. It is an actual fact, that if you have been groping under unhappiness, you can choose to be joyous, instead. And, by effort, lift yourself into joy.

A. The most important activity.

“Choosing” is the most important activity of your mind. Your choices either support your purpose or they don’t. And the choices we make regarding our disposable time are the most important in achieving our goals. And let’s face it, some people have a lot more disposable time than others. But most of us have some disposable time. The choices we make with that time need to be in line with our purpose. If they are not, they are drawing us away from our goals.

B. Age is irrelevant.

And if you have a growing relationship with Christ, you can trust that you will eventually find your purpose. Your age makes no difference. I was sixteen and leading church groups. I grew in my faith and continued to be presented with many teaching and speaking opportunities through my thirties and forties. I finished my college education as an adult and pursued post-graduate studies in Clinical Pastoral Education as an older adult. I was then employed as a hospital chaplain. And even later, I started blogging which led to becoming a bona fide author.

This is all to say that God has no preference for one age over another. It’s only our hearts that matter. David was young, Moses older. Timothy was young; Paul was older. Throughout scripture we see God using men and women of all ages.

When I began writing, I didn’t know I had any innate ability to write. But I had been speaking at conferences, retreats, churches, etc. all of which meant I was writing my material. Then I started to blog. That led to a desire to write and the rest fell into place. All along the way, I was making choices to branch out and get out of my comfort zone.

B. Making your own choices

When I began writing my book, I kept making choices. Some were good; some weren’t. The point is, I was the one making the choices. If anything taught me about choices, it was writing a book. There were days, if you could have followed me around, that you would’ve wondered how I expected to write a book if I wasn’t writing. Wrong choices.

It is important that the choosing is made by you. A lot of us let others make choices for us, or make our choices according to what we think is ‘correct’, even if that means that we go against our wishes. What is right for someone else may not be right for you, and the way to know this is listening to what your heart says. But listening to our hearts means making sure God has our heart in the first place!

2. Ask Questions

Make a list of things which interest you; things which you have always enjoyed,which make you feel better, which inspire you to surge ahead, no matter what obstacles you face. Do you like doing something creative, or something artistic? Do you enjoy nature? Do you like working with your hands? Do you like being outside? Do you enjoy helping others? Do you get pleasure out of making a difference in other people’s life?

A. What are your interests?

Whatever interests you, write it down and answer these questions: Why do you love it? Do you want to make a career of it or is it something you want to do just because you want to do it? And that’s OK. For now, don’t list any negatives connected with your interests. That can come later.

I paint, not walls, but pictures. But if you’d asked me if that was one of my interests, I would’ve said no. But I loved decorating, sewing, knitting, etc. All of these were about color and design, right? My husband was doing a lot of traveling and our children were older. I wasn’t working and needed something else to do when my he wasn’t home. I saw an ad for a drawing class and, on what I thought was a whim, I signed up. That led to painting classes, etc. Now, I paint.

No, I didn’t make a list like I’m suggesting you do because, frankly, I never thought about it. It wasn’t on my radar and nothing I read suggested it was a good idea. I think I would’ve gotten to the painting sooner if I had. And if I’d used this approach I’m suggesting you take, I might’ve written a book sooner.

3.Christians make choices, too

Christians make choices all the times. At least, they should. Scripture is abundant with instructions about choice-making, and examples of good and bad choices are abundant. It’s amazing to me that so many Christians think that something like the principles of choice don’t apply to them. There isn’t a story in the Bible that doesn’t involve choice.

Think about the choices you make. As you go through your day, pay attention to the choices you are making., especially the fact that you are making them. And if that’s too hard, take some time in the evening and think back over your day. What choices did you make? Could you have made better ones?

I will confess something from my own life. It is January 3rd as I write, and I have completely blown my day watching TV. Well, not really but you might think so. We didn’t attend church but we did watch the service. We are avoiding crowds until the Omnicron variant has worn itself out. We had our devotions together. We walked at a nearby park and I put away my Christmas decorations, So how exactly did I “blow it”?

Today I chose to lay on the sofa and watch two mystery movies without doing anything else at all. No knitting, no computer in front of me, just watching TV. It was a conscious decision. I needed to regroup before the week begins. Then it’s back to writing, posting and taking more classes. But I made that choice and that’s what made it OK.

Every single thing we do is because we made a choice. Every thought we think is because we choose it.

The principle of choices lead to habits

This next statement is an important concept when discussing choices.

Make the same choice over and over again, and eventually it becomes a habit. Continuous bad choices create bad habits while continuous good choices create good habits. It’s that simple.

My husband and I walk forty minutes every day. If it’s raining or snowing we use our exercise equipment. It started out as a choice we had to intentionally make every day and after a few months, it became a habit. Watching the news in the morning got be a habit that wasn’t good because it chipped away at my writing time. It wasn’t a conscious choice but it was a choice. Once I realized I was choosing to waste my time every morning, I made a different decision and now I limit myself to about forty minutes. This was the principles of choice in action.

I hope you will find this series helpful.

God bless and have a great day.