Maybe this is you. You were zipping along feeling like you knew what you were created to do or were supposed to do, but something happened. Now you keep thinking, I lost my purpose. How could this be? How can you lose your purpose? Well, sometimes events in our lives create unexpected changes in direction and any of us can find ourselves going on a totally new path. For instance, suddenly having a loved one to care for because of a disability, or having a head injury, or losing a job.
To relocate your purpose, you might need to begin with where you possibly lost your purpose. Everything has a season. Maybe in looking for where you think you stepped out of your purpose, you’ll learn that it’s a new season and you won’t be returning to that same thing. Have you looked at a timeline of your life to identify when things were sailing along nicely, or to see where things took nosedives?
A Life Timeline is a simple visual to help you see what has occurred in your life—both good and bad. Usually, it’s best to start at birth so you get the full picture of your life. Turn your paper horizontally and draw a line the whole way across the page. (See the Life Timeline example and also look online for free timeline templates.) Leave room to extend lines (like decade or age indicators) out and write info above and beneath the line pertaining to each decade or age. Above that timeline, fill in the good things that occurred (like high school graduation, college graduation, first job, first paycheck, first date, marriage, first promotion, etc). Using lines that extend out from the timeline under that line, fill in the unpleasant things that happened (like bullied at school, abuse, auto accident, loss of a loved one, job loss, surgery, storm damage to house, divorce, health issues, etc.) I think you get the idea. This can be a revealing process since life happens so fast that we don’t always stop and consider what all has happened to us and the impact those things have had on our lives.
Once you complete the timeline and look at the ups and downs in your life, you’ll gain some insight as to where you might have lost your purpose. Traumas and losses have a way of zapping our vision of where we’re going and throwing us off course. When we get off course, we may also lose our passion.
To move toward relocating your purpose, create your Career Timeline like in the example. Compare your Life Timeline, with your Career Timeline. You can even merge them together if you want.
Relocating Your Purpose
Now look at the timelines separately or merged together on one sheet, identify what you were doing and what was happening in your life that made you feel like you were on top of the world because you were so passionate about what you were doing. That, my friend, will be the start to relocating your purpose.
Is relocating your purpose that simple, you might ask? Sometimes. Other times, we have to dig deeper to find what impacted our lives to steal our passion. For now, give these timelines a try, then let me know in the comments how they’ve helped you or feel free to share a different tool you’ve used to relocate your purpose. I look forward to your comments!