If someone asked you what your passion or purpose is, could you answer their question? Maybe you have never given it any thought, or perhaps you think about it all the time but just can’t nail down the answer.
When you think about pursuing your purpose, do you think about pursuing happiness, success, or money?
“It is found that when you pursue these individual things, all you get is that thing,” Jay Shetty explains. “If you pursue money, you make money, but it doesn’t provide fulfillment or genuine joy or meaning. When you chase happiness, you often feel unfulfilled because you are chasing something that isn’t clearly defined. When you chase success, you may get success, you may win awards, but you still lack that deep, purposeful meaning in your heart.”
How can you avoid feeling unfulfilled by your pursuit of purpose?
In this article, Jay Shetty unpacks six strategic steps to help you discover your passion, explore your potential, and live your purpose in a profound, meaningful way.
The most crucial pursuit you will ever make is the pursuit of your purpose, but too many people choose not to take it.
According to Jay Shetty, there are two lies we hear growing up. The first lie is that you are nothing or worthless and that you will never make it in life. The second lie is that you can be anything that you want to be. As great as this would be, it is simply not true.
“You're not destined to do nothing,” Jay Shetty says. “And you're not destined to do ‘anything’. You are destined to do something special, something beautiful and something powerful.”
When you tune out the naysayers, you will start to see your potential. Recognizing your potential is the first step in the pursuit of your purpose.
According to Jay Shetty, criticism is a negative remark, observation, or judgment directed toward someone based on perceived faults or mistakes. We have all endured some form of criticism at some point in life, but repeated criticism and negativity can leave us questioning our potential and abilities.
Most people don't believe they have any potential. Perhaps you want to achieve more in your life but lack the confidence in your potential to do it. How can you tap into your hidden potential?
Be grateful for the reason you do things, encourages Jay Shetty.
Someone at some time may have doubted your ability to do something, so you did it and proved them wrong. Maybe it was hard or caused you pain along the way, but showing up for that situation means you know you have something to share with the world.
“Be grateful for the pain and the pressure that got you here today,” explains Jay Shetty. “It may have been that teacher in fifth grade that looked you in the face and told you that you were not going to go anywhere in life. That pain is the birthplace of your potential. All of that pressure you've experienced is full of potential. There is so much hidden potential inside your pain, pressure, and stress.”
To help prepare your mind to realize the hidden potential in the pain and stress you experience, take a minute and list five things you are grateful for at this moment. By expressing gratitude for the moments of despair that brought you to this point, you start to see the potential in that pain. Take pride in that potential, celebrate those things, and invest in yourself.
When you are pursuing your purpose, it helps to understand your passions. What are you curious about? Are there things in life that you get excited about and want to learn more about? Maybe you have no clue what your passions are.
“I loved sports growing up, but I've realized recently that the reason why I love sports is I love an athlete's mindset,” explains Jay Shetty. “I love how athletes think and how they prepare for the big game. So I love sports. But what I love specifically about sports is how the athletes prepare.”
A great exercise to help you identify the things you are passionate about is to write down what you love and why you are curious about it. Then write down specific reasons why you are passionate about that.
Ask family, friends, or co-workers to help you identify things they think you are good at. Where do you excel? Sometimes other people can see our passions better than we can. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others to ask them what areas you shine in. Examine the answers you receive and use those passions to propel yourself to fulfill your purpose.
We have all heard the saying practice makes perfect, and there is some truth to that. Practice helps make things more automatic when the time comes time to use that skill.
According to Jay Shetty, The most prominent reason we forget our passions is we don't get to practice them.
Living your purpose feels pressure-filled and at times unattainable. These reasons are why some people never start. If you break things down into manageable steps, living your purpose is not just a fleeting thought. It is achievable. You need to use your skills to live out your passions and purpose. Learn to display and demonstrate your skills. They are not going to be mined from within you by the people around you.
“Your boss, your family, and your friends are not going to discover this about you,” shares Jay Shetty. You have to demonstrate it. You have to display it. If you display it and start practicing it out loud, the universe is going to take note and you're going to start attracting incredible things.”
Persistence and Resilience
Persistence takes hard work, but it’s what separates those who make it and those who do not. Possessing the ability to pivot when you need to try something new is not just about chipping away at things. Success comes when you re-strategize and bring fresh energy to what you are doing.
Jay Shetty’s life coach, Thomas Power, told Shetty that life is about moving from being controlled, selective and cautious, to open, random and supportive. He said the problem with most people is their closed opportunities. They're selective too early, and they're too cautious. If you're open, random, and supportive, you will discover more.
“The next time someone asks you to do something you've never tried before, I want you to be open,” encourages Jay Shetty. “The next time you're walking down the street, do something beautiful for someone random. Next time your friend asks you for help with something, be supportive, because you never know what skill you might learn.”
When you approach things with an open, supportive mind, you may discover things about yourself that have been holding you back or discover a new passion that connects you to something you never thought possible.
Turning Purpose into a Paycheck
You may have heard the phrase “Money is the root of all evil”. That can be true, but it doesn’t have to be.
Making tons of money is many people’s goal, and they are willing to do just about anything to get where they want to be in life. This leads to negative actions and greed. Think about how your relationship with money gets polluted. When did you start to see it as worthless or as the goal?
“I'm so grateful I rewired my relationship with money,” shares Jay Shetty. “I changed my relationship from one that was negative to realize the positive value of money as energy. The money is just energy. Energy is a resource. It is a tool. It’s not a goal of life, and it also isn’t the worst thing in life. I want you to purify, not idolize or demonize, your relationship with money so you can have a greater impact and serve more people.”
When you receive money, receive it with joy and intention. Use it to take care of your mind and body and your family and their needs. Be intentional about using your money for the service of humanity in ways that align with your purpose.
Finding a community that supports you in your journey is essential. Living your purpose is a marathon, and it will require breaks and self-care along the way. It does not mean you have to stop your journey, and the support from your community will encourage you to continue moving forward.
Service is what motivates purpose. Without service, you can’t have a purpose. People often find their purpose by identifying what they see as the greatest need in the world.
“What is the suffering that you see that you want to remove?” questions Jay Shetty. “That is a guide that is a signal to your purpose.”
Find the community you can serve, and use your skills and passions to serve your purpose.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “6 Strategic Steps to Discover Your Passion” in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.