Dr. Jim Bailey
Guiding You to Work that FIts

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7 Strange Questions to Help You Find Your Purpose

A couple of years ago I stumbled on this article by a guy named Mark Manson. Although it was a bit course, and often profane, I thought he did a decent job of identifying some key ideas that can help us determine a vocational identity. So, I took the liberty of rewriting his article for my own use, but I want to be careful to credit the mind that created the original. If you're brave or curious, then you might want to go to (https://markmanson.net/life-purpose) to see the original on the web, but remember Mark and I have a different approach in our writing.

7 Strange questions that help you find your purpose

By Mark Manson (https://markmanson.net/life-purpose)

 1. What struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate?  Because everything sucks, at least part of the time, ultimately what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days. What are you willing to suffer through in order to do what you love?

2. What is true about you today that would make your 8-year-old self cry?  We all have a tendency to lose touch with what we loved as a child. Something about the social pressures of adolescence and professional pressures of young adulthood squeezes the passion out of us. We’re taught that the only reason to do something is if we’re somehow rewarded for it. So, what have you given up about yourself that you’d like to recapture?

3. What do you love doing so much that you can become totally engrossed in doing it?  We’ve all had that experience where we get so wrapped up in something that minutes turn into hours and hours turn into “Holy crap, I forgot to have dinner.” Supposedly, in his prime, Isaac Newton’s mother had to regularly come in and remind him to eat because he would go entire days so absorbed in his work that he would forget. What in your life has held that level of fascination, preoccupation, or enjoyment for you?

4. What are you avoiding doing in your life because you don’t want to get hurt or “fail” trying or “be seen” in a negative way?  Right now, there’s something you want to do, something you think about doing, something you fantasize about doing, yet you don’t do it. You have your reasons, no doubt. And you repeat these reasons to yourself ad infinitum. But what are those reasons? Because I can tell you right now that if those reasons are based on what others would think, then you’re keeping yourself from the potential of experiencing something great.

5. How are you going to save the world?  Research shows that to live a happy and healthy life, we must hold on to values that are greater than our own pleasure or satisfaction. So, find a problem you care about and start solving it. Obviously, you’re not going to fix the world’s problems by yourself, but you can contribute and make a difference. And it’s that feeling of making a difference that is ultimately what’s most important for your own sense of happiness and fulfillment.

6. If someone put a gun to your head and forced you to leave your house every day, for everything except to sleep, how would you choose to occupy yourself?  Discovering what you’re passionate about in life and what matters to you is a full-contact sport, a trial-and-error process. None of us know exactly how we feel about an activity until we actually do the activity. What would you choose to do with all of that time?

7. If you knew you were going to die one year from today, what would you do and how would you want to be remembered?  What is your legacy going to be? What are the stories people are going to tell when you’re gone? What is your obituary going to say? Is there anything to say at all? If not, what would you like it to say? How can you start working towards that today?

James Bailey