"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ― Mark Twain
Did you ever ask yourself why you were born?
You were born for a purpose! God created each of us for a reason—and we are happiest when we are living in harmony with the purpose he has given us. But you need to know what that purpose is.
In order to find your purpose in life, you have to get out of your comfort zone and explore. Get to know new cultures, new people, new cities, new adventures, new food, new living, new insights and new experiences.
“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” – Danny Kaye
Something strange happens to you when you board a plane to a new country. It's almost as if your eyes open again for the first time. Your heart starts beating with renewed excitement and happiness. It's hard to capture with words the very moment you lay your sights on new interesting places;
or when you finally understand what someone is saying in another language;
or when you get to know an interesting thing about the country which you’ve never heard of before;
or when you live with locals and they cook their local food for you and tell you fascinating stories about themselves or even their culture.
These moments are life changing; they take us out of our element and remind us of why we are here.
One of the keys to discovering your purpose is Self-Discovery. A big part of knowing yourself is understanding what makes you unique. Being different from everyone else is not always easy. But take it from me, to each their own. My story of discovering my uniqueness wasn’t just about travelling to another country but rather volunteering my time in another country.
This is what I’ve learnt about how volunteering changes your life:
1. It widens your mind-set
Nothing changes the way you view your own life like seeing the way other people live. Not only will you appreciate what you have, you will also have a sense of curiosity and empathy for other cultures and countries. Soak in the different lifestyles, the complex languages and people’s traditional values- and you will eventually realize just how different people are and it will make you evaluate your own values.
2. You learn to enjoy the moment
Whether you are having difficult times or good times, you will learn to enjoy the moment because you realize that each situation is a learning experience and you emerge out of each one of them a different person. You begin to accept that you are growing up and become more self-aware. These feeling makes you value experiences over things. So, for example, sitting on the beach in an island in Bali with your favourite book and drink outweighs by value any merchandise you could ever purchase.
3. You learn to be flexible and accepting of any situation
Almost everyone has experienced a hard time at some point in their lives. These experiences could range from the consequence of a delayed or cancelled flight, to traffic when you’re already late, to the culture shock of being in a new country, and sometimes direr situations. The beauty in these difficulties is that it teaches you how to keep moving forward despite the hard situation at hand. It teaches you to be content with the things you have under these circumstances. You start to adopt a calmer approach and do not get easily frustrated. Once you reach this stage of calmness and acceptance, you will be happy to move onto your next adventure and be open to experiencing new situations. And then, you start figuring out that you can handle most situations and that there really aren't a lot of things worth getting upset about.
4. You develop a sense of achievement
A sense of achievement is the air that makes us feel alive, the passion that makes us wake up every day feeling excited about life and ready to conquer the difficulties that we could possibly face through the day. We feel alive when we find this kind of sense of achievement which results in reducing stress, depression and remaining mentally stimulated.
These stages essentially lead to developing your sense of purpose which is like your first step to ascertaining your purpose in life.
You are now very excited, eager and curious to learn more about your actual purpose. In no particular order, you will:
- Start setting new goals and priorities in your life as you don't want to waste precious time anymore.
- Start getting involved in varied types of volunteer work because you want to discover your true calling and passion in life;
- Begin to feel that you are more connected to your society and will cultivate the right kind of passion to make it a better place;
- Be more self-confident because you know that you are doing something for the greater good of your society;
- Gain faith in your sense of achievement when you see people actually living better lives because of the work you do.
Finding your purpose is a journey, my friend. It may not be exactly these steps, but however you choose to follow your destiny, once you’ve discovered your purpose, your life will never be the same and that’s a good thing.
You will begin to define your happiness on your own terms. You will wake up every day excited and ready to change people's lives. When you know your purpose, you start living and breathing fresh air.