How Do I Find My Passion and Purpose?

Find your purpose

What a tough question. Philosophers, theologians, and academics have wrestled with these questions for millennia. Finding your passion and purpose isn’t just about identifying what you enjoy; it’s about understanding who you are, what drives you, and how you can make a meaningful impact on the world. We will explore how several schools of thought have approached answering these meaningful questions.

Finding your passion and purpose is done through introspection, emotional intelligence, evaluating several schools of thought on the matter, living authentically, enjoying the journey, and overcoming challenges.

Continue reading. We will delve into the importance of discovering your passion and purpose and provide actionable insights on how to navigate your life’s path with a deep sense of meaning.


In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the constant flow of external stimuli, leaving little time for self-reflection. However, introspection holds immense value in our personal growth and well-being. It’s the practice of looking inward, delving into our thoughts, feelings, and experiences with a curious and open mind. Introspection allows us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, our motivations, and our desires. It’s a process that promotes self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. By setting aside moments for introspection, we create a space to unravel the complexities of our inner world, identify patterns, and make informed decisions. Introspection doesn’t just enrich our relationship with ourselves; it enhances our relationships with others by fostering empathy and effective communication. It’s a powerful tool that empowers us to align our actions with our values, leading to a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

Introspection may seem daunting at first, especially if you’re not accustomed to looking inward. However, starting a regular practice of introspection doesn’t have to be complex. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Begin by simply sitting with your thoughts and feelings. Focus on your breath to ground yourself in the present moment. As you do this, gently turn your attention inward. Ask yourself open-ended questions like, “How am I feeling right now?” or “What has been on my mind lately?” Allow your thoughts to flow without judgment. You can also keep a journal dedicated to introspection. Write freely about your experiences, emotions, and any insights you gain. Over time, you’ll notice patterns, uncover hidden beliefs, and gain a clearer picture of who you are and what you want. Remember, introspection is a practice that evolves with time and consistency. Be patient and kind to yourself throughout the journey.

Emotional Intelligence

It’s not entirely clear if emotional intelligence aids with introspection, passion, and purpose or if it’s the reverse. Or perhaps it’s some combination of both. Here is one thing that is clear though; you will need emotional intelligence to succeed in whatever your passion is. The National Institute of Health has cited emotional intelligence as the single greatest predictor of career success, even over IQ. Gaining emotional intelligence aids you with self-assessment. This way you don’t fall into traps like saying, “my passion in life is to become a lawyer.” When, no that was actually your dad’s dream for you. It helps you delve deep within to assess yourself and your own feelings on the subject. And then, once you figure out what that passion is, it will be your greatest tool in giving you the best odds for success.

Evaluate Schools of Thought on Passion and Purpose

There are numerous schools of thought on what finding your passion and purpose are. And although there are many, and many are good, one of my favorites is the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai. It’s one of my favorites because it’s simple, pragmatic, and easy to teach.

Ikigai roughly translates to “life worth” or purpose. It’s a systematic way to find your purpose in life by answering four questions.

  • What do you love doing?
  • What are you good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What could you be paid to do?

If the answer to all four of these questions is the same, congratulations! You have found your Ikigai! That’s awesome! Close this browser window and get busy living your life with purpose and meaning! But if you did not find your life’s purpose after reading 4 paragraphs of this blog, please keep reading.

But if you are like most people, you don’t quite hit all four, or if you do it’s not immediately apparent. So here is how to break this down.

What you love + what you are good at = Your passion.
What you love + what the world needs = Your mission.
What the world needs + what you can be paid for = Your vocation.
What you can be paid for + what you are good at = Your profession.

This concept encourages individuals to identify their passions, strengths, societal contributions, and avenues for dollars. By aligning these dimensions, ikigai helps us unearth a sense of purpose that resonates with our true selves. It guides us toward activities that not only bring us joy and satisfaction but also make a positive impact on the world around us. Ikigai, in essence, acts as a compass, pointing us towards a life characterized by authenticity, contentment, and a sense of interconnectedness.

For a more in-depth look, check out Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Healthy Life

Living Authentically

Living a life aligned with your passion and purpose requires authenticity. Embrace who you are, your strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. When you’re authentic, you attract opportunities and people that resonate with your true self, leading to more fulfilling connections and experiences.

There’s nothing worse than being around a poser. Seriously, in the history of history has there ever not been a poser who isn’t totally transparent? Authenticity is magnetic. When you start living in harmony with who you truly are as a person, people sense and are attracted to that energy. It’s better to attract people who appreciate your true self, even if you’re a total weirdo (yes, Michelle I’m talking specifically about you), than to attract people interested in your false self.

Enjoying the Journey

It’s possible you may never find your purpose. And that’s honestly ok. The pursuit itself will forge you into a better person. Do not be obsessed with finding the answer, you will miss out on a whole lot of beauty on the way.

I once took a 10-day trip to Alaska. I can tell you the journey between Anchorage and Fairbanks was magical. The scenery was stunning, unlike anything I had ever seen. The destinations themselves… a bit less so. The journey is where the magic is and so it is with your passion! Allow yourself to explore various interests, experiment with new activities, and engage in introspective practices like journaling or meditation. The journey itself is rich with insights and growth.

Overcoming Challenges

Sometimes we discover who we are when we are going through it. I mean, really going through it. Hardship has a way of revealing our true selves. The path to discovering your passion and purpose isn’t always smooth. You might face doubts, societal pressure to conform, or fear of failure. Remember that challenges are part of the journey. Embrace setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning. Your journey is unique, and it’s okay to take detours as long as they leads to your true calling.

Do not allow anyone to tell you what your journey should be or how you should do it. You are the only you that has ever existed or ever will exist. The universe only made one of you, and only made one purpose for you. It is for you, and you alone, to discover and embrace.

Photo credit by Eneko Uruñuela on Unsplash

Erik Murrah

Author, nerd, chess player, artist, business owner, runner, mediocre philosopher, outdoorsman. Creator of the Arise Tribe.

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