I have never come across a person who, on some level, did not sense that they have a purpose in life. Whether as a roaring fire or as embers in ashes, everyone has a passion that burns inside them.
When someone tells me they do not have a purpose, I talk with them for a moment and it soon becomes evident that they do have a purpose, but they feel they are disqualified to pursue it.
The thing that I find helps the most is to get people to start talking about their purpose. It is often pushed down and the act of simply stating it begins a release. As I ask the simplest of questions about their passion (What is it? How does it make you feel? Where have you felt that before?), I can almost see it start to churn within them. As they once again begin to feel a yearning, it’s easier to the deeper, more intensive questions about their sense of disqualification and move them into a resolution of them.
It’s fairly easy to encourage others along the way. It’s a little harder when you need to stir yourself up. That’s why I am big on urging two things: networking (see March 9, 2012 entry) and journaling. With networking you’ll find others also both thrive and struggle along the way and (hopefully) become more understanding of yourself. When you journal, you’ll be able to look back and remember that there were times of great confidence and movement forward, and that hard times can be overcome. And you’ll be reminded that you can burn bright.
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.
(Henry David Thoreau)