Ali Jafarian
Ali Jafarian

You may have heard this phrase before – “purpose journey.”

At the time of this writing (May 2022) it’s very in focus for me. I’ve spent the last 12+ months on my own purpose journey. There are various ways to interpret such a phrase, but here’s my unique spin.

What is a purpose journey?

It’s an intentional search to find who you really are.

Some other ways to describe it:

  • Figuring out what you want to do when you grow up
  • Mid-life crisis
  • Period of transition in life related to identity
  • etc.

I think purpose journey has a nice ring to it, so I prefer my definition 🙂

Regardless, here’s why it’s important.

1. Finding meaning in life

The main reason most of us spark a purpose journey is to find meaning in our lives. We’re no longer content with some of life’s routine motions and rhythms. This is usually associated with our professions, work or where we spend significant amounts of time.

We’ve started asking bigger questions like:

  • What’s the point of everything or anything?
  • What’s my purpose?
  • What do I want to do with my time in this life?

These are deep questions that have complicated answers.

2. Feeling useful

Another big driver here is feeling useful to ourself and others. Or feeling that our contributions in life are worthwhile. Some of this can be easily mapped back to psychology and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Credit: Joshua Seong / Verywell

This represents a pyramid model where we start at the bottom seeking food, shelter and safety. Then we work our way up to seek love, belonging and achievement. Then ultimately we reach the top to seek impact or self-actualization.

3. Showing up as our best self

Finally, I think the last piece here is figuring out how you really want to show up in life. This relates to how you want to show up for yourself first, and then how you want to show up for others. This essentially means becoming our best self.

The Roadmap

Purpose journeys are unique to each traveler, so there is no way to prescribe how you should approach it. That’s my perspective at least. In fact, I think too much instruction on how to do it defeats the whole point. It’s something you have to navigate your way.

So there is no roadmap.

You may even find that you have no purpose! Or, you have all kinds of purpose in different ways. That purpose is for you to discover and realize.

I will share a few things I’ve found helpful so far:

  • Find a guide or mentor to coach you. Choose someone you admire, respect and consider wise.
  • Surrender to what wants to happen instead of trying to control things.
  • Focus on awareness. Becoming aware has no right or wrong. It’s simply being in tune with what is.
  • Pay attention to patterns. Our past can often hold key insights into what wants to happen next.
  • Be open to the possibility that there is no end of this journey. In other words, we may find that the journey is accepting something perpetual.

This is what I’ve learned so far and I intend to share more as it evolves.

Ali Jafarian

Ali is a father, husband and serial entrepreneur with a deep drive to create. He writes, records, codes and builds things to inspire the artist in all of us.

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