Our definite trajectory in life is a mystery none of us have the privilege of knowing. Psychology has made it popular, however, to know or pursue one's definte purpose and plan in life as soon as possible. Although the likes of Rick Warren and Stephen Covey have made significant steps in clarifying how to go about that, where does that leave the one's who haven't read their books yet?
What is purpose anyway?
Simply put, purpose is the thing that makes you get up in the morning. The cynics among us would claim that it sounds quite petty, especially if the only thing getting us moving is a cup of coffee. This is where the 7 Habits book from Covey and the Purpose Driven Life from Warren steps in and helps us a great bit in pursuing this, but once again it leaves the non-readers in the dark.
Discovering purpose in the most basic form then, try to make a list (even of just one thing) that makes you excited. If, for now, it's just coffee...that's still amazing. The second list that should help you, would be to ask how the thing that makes you excited can make the world or other people's lives better. Get Going!
What excites me? Coffee.
How does it make the world a better place? Share it.
More than coffee.
Once you have stepped out of your comfort zone and moved beyond just giving coffee away, the true quest to purpose can begin. If you haven't noticed up until now, this whole purpose thing is a journey, so never feel pressured to be at any given place you don't feel comfortable. This is where chance taking comes in. Finally!
"If at first you don't succeed, try and try again" - American educator Thomas H. Palmer. The quote above is but one in an ocean of motivational material to advocate continually trying. Taking chances can be futile, however, but taking chances in a general direction is a different game all together. What this means is that we can safely start trying, with the inevitable risk of failure hopefully now a motivator, rather than a looming 'monkey on the back.'
If I stick with the coffee example, don't be worried if the first person denies your generous offering of caffeine, just try and try again...or make them tea.
Having it "all figured out".
Having a purposeful life is not about achieving a Jedi status and getting a plaque with a mastery certificate on it. Purpose is something that we continually move toward and within. To help you understand what I just meant, watch this video of Matthew McConaughey:
We will never know, if we never try and we will never learn if we never fail. Don't try to have it all figured out. What you can do, however, is to start taking chances in the direction of what makes you excited.
Your action will create the momentum you needed all along!