Find Your Purpose in Life Through Buddhism

Everyone has the potential to make a unique contribution to the world. How do we identify and clarify that unique contribution?

Set aside what others think you should be doing. Well-meaning loved ones might try to shoehorn you into their idea of success. For example they might want you to follow the established family career direction.

Identify and ignore the distractions of the media, advertising and electronics.

To find your purpose in life you have to look inside, find your own unique gifts, then follow the promptings of your heart.

What’s Stopping You?

Maybe you don’t yet see the way to use your particular abilities or don’t believe other people will welcome them. For example maybe John wants to go to Africa and work in a refugee camp. What might stop him?

  • He doesn’t believe he can raise the money to do it.
  • His family doesn’t think this is a practical career, which will allow him to raise a family.
  • He lacks confidence.
  • He has no idea how to find the path to his goal.
  • He doesn’t know anyone who has done this.

What is stopping you? Write down a list of the issues that come to mind.

How to Find Your Purpose

You have to articulate the desire to do something first.

  • Chant with this intention- you are going to find your purpose and discover how you can contribute.
  • Note anything which comes to you relating to that goal. For example, an idea might come to you while you are chanting, such as doing internet research. A book might fall into your hands that relates to your question. You might have an internal prompting to talk to a certain person.
  • Take action on what comes to you. Chant for the strength, confidence and courage to follow through.

Often we procrastinate or avoid doing something because we are afraid of doing it. If this is the case, chant with another person for a longer period to raise your confidence and courage. Then, while you are feeling confident, do the task. Courage will grow over time and permeate your life as you continue to chant.

If you are avoiding the action because you are conflicted about your goal, then chant for clarity. Look at your list of what is stopping you. If it is finances, chant for what you need. If is fear, chant for courage. If you don’t know the path, chant to find it.

Other Suggestions for Finding Your Purpose

Try writing down ten things you have done which made you happy. Do you gravitate towards a certain type of activities. List them. You might find a common theme.

Your purpose will be something to serve other people in some way. If your goal is only to make money, ask yourself, how can I serve other people and make money doing it?

Have Faith

  • How do you know when you are on the right path?

Check your feelings. Do you feel fulfilled, contented, and connected? Do you have the feeling you are doing what you want most to do?

A personal example: Early on I sold household products and didn’t feel motivated or fulfilled with the work. Then I ran into a book called What Color is Your Parachute. The author suggested I write down ten things I had done which made me happy, volunteer work, a job or hobbies. Studying my list, I saw a clear common thread, helping people to grow in some way. I understood why my focus on selling to make money had not been fulfilling. Knowing that I want to help people grow has been my lodestar and has guided my decisions in life.

  • What do you do when goals seem unreachable?

First, embrace what you want to do even though you feel it is impossible. Through you can’t see the path right now, when you chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the way will open up. When you connect with the universal level of life through your Buddha Nature, you  are never deadlocked. Envision what you want a though you are already doing it. The universe will support you. Keep the end in mind as you start to chant. Envision exactly what you want to have happen. And, be specific.

To find our current home I chanted to find country in the city ten minutes from a home development store. The result, a home six minutes from the city center overlooking a park and river with a horse grazing in the field across the street, ten minutes from a home development store.

  • Clear your mind of doubts and fears. Get rid of thoughts that whisper you can’t achieve your goal.
  • Your purpose may not be a specific job but a type of contribution.

My husband describes his purpose as helping others communicate their ideas. Another person describes her purpose as helping people become happy. She does this by teaching them to chant and guiding them to use the practice successfully. Your prosperity, benefits and success will always support other people, never take anything away from them. They have the same ability you have, to manifest what they need from the inexhaustible supply of the universe.

  • Give gratitude that you have already found your purpose in life, even though this has not yet manifested in the physical world. Behave as though what you want to create is already here. When you chant, it will manifest just as you see it.
  • Examine where it’s necessary to overhaul your life completely. Can you adjust your work in some way to fit you better? Maybe your company doesn’t have goals you can support. Your adjustment? Another company that has more compatible goals.

Try these ideas and let me know what happens.

Join the Conversation:

If you have found your purpose how did you do it?