Skip to content

How To Discover Your Purpose (And Align Yourself With It Every Day)

Daniel Dowling
August 14, 2017
Daniel Dowling
By Daniel Dowling
mbg Contributor
Daniel Dowling is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Photo by Ali Lanenga
August 14, 2017

It sounds like a big, rather nebulous task, to "align with one's purpose." But I've found it takes only five minutes to align with my purpose each morning. And when I do it, I always find a way to blast through negativity and difficulty while giving my absolute best to the day’s tasks. That’s because I’m working toward the things that are closest to my heart—that inspire me to contribute to a bigger picture.

My purpose today is to share writing and coaching that is packed with value, truth, inspiration, encouragement, and hope with millions of people and to inspire those people to make self-love and self-improvement a lifestyle by committing to a year of being successfully single.

That’s pretty damn specific. And because of its specificity, I automatically know what the most important things are to accomplish. I fix my eyes on the finish line, and then I’m running toward it all day—writing, brainstorming, taking awesome care of myself, coaching, and working on my business.

For the same reason you’ve never seen a bored marathoner or Indy race-car driver, you won’t see me with ennui. I’m motivated. I’m doing what I love and working toward my dream of making a bigger difference. And I know exactly how I’m going to do that.

When you've homed in on your purpose, nothing can stop you from making the most of today.

Part of aligning with my purpose is prayer. I want to do these amazing things, but I know that I can’t do it on my own. So I ask God to give me everything I could possibly need to make these things happen. For me, those things include:

  • Focus
  • Inspiration
  • Wisdom
  • Patience
  • Gratitude
  • Courage
  • Resilience

I then ask for the things I need to move my career forward: bigger publications, more money to spend on my website, etc. And since I’m working toward this purpose of helping others improve their lives and relationships, I know that if I work my ass off and do my best, I will get exactly what I need. That’s faith. And I’ve transformed myself from a broke, lovesick pup to making $5,000 a week doing what I love by working toward my purpose every single day.

I’m charged because I’ve aligned with my purpose. I’m focused purely on the positive so that I can overcome my challenges and make a bigger difference today. That way I write with purpose. I coach with purpose. I live with purpose. And it takes only five minutes to do!

This one small exercise can be the catalyst for the profound changes you’ve desired in life and love. But finding your purpose can be another challenge...

How do you find your purpose?

When I first began to work toward uncovering my purpose, I landed on something very general: to help others through writing. So I wrote on relationships and self-improvement and whatever else I could think of to make life better for others. I won my first few writing gigs after I got enough exposure on non-paying publications online. And as I earned my independence through an actual career, I was blown away by how cool it was to do what I loved and earn a living at it. That’s when my purpose shifted to inspiring millennials to make a career of their passions.

Through that purpose I started my coaching career and worked with people individually. It wasn’t long before I got incredible coaching results by having my clients commit to the thing that really worked for me: taking a year to be single. So now my purpose is clear.

There is nothing else I want to do, and I will commit to it until it morphs into something new—like helping married couples later on down the road when I’m married, maybe. But it started just from wanting to help others through my passion.

So if you’ve got a passion, all you have to do is work toward helping others through it. That’s how you find your purpose.

If you find yourself having trouble with finding your passion, think back to the things you always did (or wanted to do) as a kid.

Reading was my thing, and when I got into high school I knew I wanted to be a writer. But writing didn’t become a passion until I forced myself to do it every single day.

How to make your own purpose-aligning routine:

All you need is five minutes in the morning. If you have an affirmations or prayer routine, do those first. Then before you get on with your day, save the last five minutes to align with your purpose. Then, follow these five steps:

1. Meditate on your purpose.

Who are you helping? How will you help them? It’s OK to start in generic terms. But the more clarity you get on exactly who you want to help and how you’ll help them, the more energy you’ll have to attack your day.

2. Ask for what you need to live that purpose.

Ask God, the universe, or whatever higher power you believe in for whatever you need to fully live your purpose today. Confidence, courage, humility, vulnerability, grace, wisdom, truth, gratitude, kindness, selflessness, patience, discipline, focus, decisiveness, forgiveness, and resilience are all good to start with.

3. Visualize your purpose.

Imagine what it looks and feels like to make the impact you want to make on the people you want to help. See their smiling faces. Feel their gratitude. Feel your confidence and pride swell. Imagine all the benefits that accompany your success in helping others: the financial security, the job satisfaction, the new places you’ll get to see and explore.

Your purpose is unique to you. And if you have the courage and persistence to live it, it is the most exciting and fulfilling journey you can have. So get pumped about it.

4. Plan for your purpose.

No one else is going to make you live out your purpose, so you have to do it yourself. And in order to live it out, you have to plan it out. That means taking a blank journal sheet every morning and picking the 5 to 10 activities that will plant you firmly in your purpose. This was my list for today:

  • Write inspired.
  • Work on coaching.
  • Encourage yourself 10 times.
  • Pitch another lifestyle publication to grow my audience.
  • Take care of my body with nourishing movement.
  • Edit, print, and pitch a new magazine article to send in the mail.

These are very simple things. But because they are so simple and actionable, I do them. And when I do them, I know I’m doing my best and living out my purpose. Now I get feedback from audience members and coaching clients that verifies my purpose. I also get increasingly large paychecks that tell me I’m doing a better job and advancing in my purpose.

If you want similar results, all you have to do is plan out the activities that align with your purpose. Could be studying, reading, practicing, getting a coaching session, learning how to tame lions, tigers, and/or bears—whatever is part of your purpose!

5. Encourage your purposeful efforts.

It’s one thing to get something done. But when you do something well, take pride in that thing, are aware of its connection to your purpose, and when you express gratitude for the hard work you’re doing, purpose becomes a pleasure.

The main thing that prevents people from sticking to their purpose is a lack of encouragement. They think that other people will affirm their worth and applaud their work, but that never happens. Because people see only 5 percent of any improvement you make. So, between now and the time you become a purpose-driven success, when everybody can see and applaud your stardom, you need to encourage yourself like it’s your damn job. I recommend my clients schedule in 10 checkboxes for daily self-encouragement, and it works like nobody's business. Try it out for yourself.

If you’ve been treading water in life without the progress you desire, chances are, you’ve lost touch with your purpose. But if you get clarity on your purpose today, and if you follow this five-step morning routine to align with your purpose, I guarantee that you will experience all the joy and fulfillment and progress that you’ve been dying for. All you have to do is stick to it.

Want more insights on how to level up your life? Check out your love horoscope, then find out why holding on to past relationships is the worst thing you can do for yourself.

Daniel Dowling author page.
Daniel Dowling

Daniel Dowling is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His writing focuses on personal development and has been featured in Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and FitBit. He studied sociology and anthropology at New Mexico State University.