Live life with a purpose based on your natural gifts

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Life is an amazing thing since we all start life on a clean slate.

As infants, we are malleable in both mind and body. And as we grow up, with the introduction of our families, cultures, upbringing, schooling, as well as external media and parental influences, our character and personality begin to take shape.

A fortunate few would have known what they want in life from young but most of us would have been sculpted by society to become what we are expected to be – as opposed to what we are meant to be. To work towards what we are meant to be in terms of contributing to the betterment of society, we have to first discern between what we are inclined towards as compared to what are imposed upon us.

As starters, consider these innate inclinations which might serve as indicators that direct us to our natural gifts:

Set A

  • Our interests which we naturally gravitate towards
  • Our personalities and their respective strengths
  • Creative things that we tend to produce out of interest (rather than being paid to do so) such as blog posts, journals, handicrafts, paintings, teaching etc.
  • Activities that we tend to spend most of our time in
  • Leisure activities that we choose whenever we are free
  • Topics in conversations that stir up our interests
  • Role model that we choose for ourselves

Now, consider these external factors that might be determining what we should do:

Set B

  • Educational influences
  • Media influences
  • Careers which offer large monetary remuneration as opposed to our passion
  • A need to compete with others in terms of wealth, social status, self-aggrandisement and prestige

Notice that we gravitate towards activities that we have passion for (Set A) out of our own free will but when it comes to the second set (Set B), it’s merely a matter of choice. Note also that while we feel happy and light-hearted while engaged in Set A but we often feel highly tensed and stressed out while pursuing Set B. Why is this so?

So, what does this tell you about the differences between the two sets of choices (which are often mutually exclusive)?

In life, it’s best to work towards our natural gifts. 

Once you have determined this, it’s time to list out the details of Set A. There are tons of books guiding individuals on assessing their natural strengths and you can use these books to aid you.

Some of my recommendations include:

“Strengths Finder” 2.0 by Tom Rath (You can access a free test here, which is probably not related to the book. A free registration is required though)

“What color is your parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek

List of “personal branding” titles on Amazon.com

Once you have worked out your strengths, it’s time to determine your life purpose in one single sentence.

What would that be for you?

Write it down and try to look at it daily.

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