5 Reasons Most People Never Discover Their Purpose

A recent article came out from Inc. about why most people don’t discover their purpose in life and it inspired me to write this.

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People don’t define what is right for themselves.

I hear it too often, “I did it because I was supposed to”.  That common phrase might be one of the most dangerous phrases today in modern America.  If you are here reading this, there’s a good chance that you know this all too well.  When we grow up we often look to those around us who we trust to help us make decisions and we are smart to do so.  However, there comes a time when we must really start to rely on ourselves more and through introspection, learn what is right for us.  We can still seek the council of others, but as we grow, we must understand when to ask for help and more importantly who to ask.

Not taking the time for introspection and goal setting.

How crazy is it that we spend all this time doing things that may or may not make us happy, but we can’t take an hour to just think about what we are doing with our life.  Introspection is one of the strongest tools I’ve found to help me navigate life.  It brings clarity, it bring confidence, it spurs new ideas and it speaks to the soul.

Using introspection allows you do realize your dreams, but also grapple with your fears; both in productive ways.  Most people never take the time to do this, they do what they do because they are “supposed” to, but don’t take the time really think about things.

Most people are scared of their darkside

Most tiny housers are great people, but everyone has a darkside.  We aren’t talking about a darkside a la sociopath or the like; We are talking about your regrets, insecurities and selfish drives.  Everyone has them and it isn’t until we wrestle with them that we can make any real progress.  It has been my experience that the most amount of growth and understanding occurs in this space; where you face these dark parts of yourself and lean into them.  In some cases I have learned from them, other times I have come to accept them, or in some cases I have come to embrace them.  Whatever it is you have been intentional with them.

Too busy worrying about everyone else.

There are those who’s opinions you deem important, but for most people, we are too concerned with everyone’s opinion of us.  It’s only natural, but spending too much time worrying what others think about us is dangerous.

It is funny in a way, But I have found that those who are most likely judge you or chastise you are often the ones that are the most uncomfortable with themselves, haven’t found themselves, do what they are “supposed to do”, and haven’t decided things for themselves; why would you care about a person’s opinion that is so ill conceived and fraught with insecurities?

Seek the advice of those important to you, then go forth, ignore the rest.

People don’t “buck up” and go for it.

There has been one thing that I’ve found when it comes to people who are doing what they love, are well balanced, living an adventure.  They don’t let excuses get in the way and they act today.  I did this with my tiny house, I put it off, but in the end when I did it, I realized I, myself, was literally the only thing holding me back.

What is more tragic than a life where you don’t get to live your dream?  Having the chance to do something amazing and not jumping at the opportunity.

  1. WOW! This was an amazing article! This spoke to me on so many levels and it was almost as if I NEEDED to read your article tonight. Ah-MAZING. Well done~

    So much SO true, all equally well and thoughtfully written. Topic worthy, THE essential ‘topic’ of life. I am 64 come this December. A former wife, always mother + grand and great grandmother, disabled (truly) and retired, worked full time since 16. Have lived in almost all regions of the USA. Choosing to become a TINY HOUSE on wheels DIY proud owner.

    From my observation, life experience, and in my personal opinion, the depth and quality of introspection you speak of, usually comes at a point in our lives, when major change AND/OR a traumatic life experience occurs or simply with OLD age. I find this unfortunate in many ways.

    Infrequently do any of us under age 40 actually do this ‘self inventory’ in earnest, with purpose, and willingness to learn from the past/present, and choose to significantly alter the course/’quality’ of our lives. Often I believe we think , by the time we do this, it is ‘too late now’. NOT

    Great that life will for certain FORCE us into self introspection at some point. Not everyone ends up really benefiting, even then. As CHOICE to do so, to what extent etc, is still at the nexus of the process. In my opinion, CHOICE is the key to our life course, period.

    To choose to deeply look within ourselves, without urgency, and see the bad, ugly, ..and simply stupid things we have chosen in the past, to ‘be’ like, or to ‘let be’ in our lives, as well to review the ‘good’, our innate talents, our acquired skills, and smart things we did/ allowed ‘to be’,… ‘ and see their impact on our life’s path is always difficult, and challenging. Then to, without blinking, PROCESS WHY and or HOW, what we could/should have done differently is not for the feint of heart. AS THEN WE ARE GIVEN ( OR FORCED WITH) THE OPPORTUNITY to then CHOOSE to alter our lives.

    All of this boils down to an ancient and holistic concept: what is RIGHT ACTION and what is WRONG ACTION, the discernment of which I believe is inherent within each of us. Irregardless of life experience/circumstances, I believe we each have a life choice ‘compass’ that we can CHOOSE to use, or ignore. I believe that beginning early in life we either do CHOOSE to use it wisely, or we CHOOSE to ignore it to the point we no longer ‘hear’ it.

    As it always has been through eons of time, life is ALL about how/what we individually CHOOSE to do, what ACTION we will take, moment to moment. Non action IS an action. That being a CHOICE to do nothing.

    I belabor this point, of CHOICE, that being between and right action vs. wrong action, as I believe it ultimately, truly does determine the outcome of our lives and impacts that of others. Obviously we do not choose to be run over by a car at a young age, to be physically and or mentally abused as a child, be born with a serious physical or mental ‘defect’, to be struck down by lightening, to have gone to bed hungry every night of your childhood. On and on one could go citing circumstances we had/have no control of and yet drastically impacted our lives.

    Life is, and always will be, one of struggle. Regardless of one’s ‘position’ in life, it is the ‘human condition’. Universal, forever and always, and I believe this is the center of what life is ALL about. What we do, with what we have been given.

    Simply put, I believe life is a continuous series of ‘lessons’. Each moment, each day, an opportunity to learn from the presented ‘lesson’ or not. I believe the longer we put off learning the RIGHT action response to the lesson (that which will enrich us as an individual human being), the more difficult the ‘lesson’ becomes. It follows then, that in some significant way, it becomes harder by the delay.

    I personally did not come to understand the fullness of this concept, until I was approximately 45 yrs old. Life had given me plenty LESSONS. All along the way I strove to be a ‘good’ person. Become a good wife/mother/worker. Yet, early on at several key points in my ‘adult’ life, I made poor choices and took the wrong action, and in the end ‘clueless’ as to how come my ‘life’ didn’t turn out the way I expected. All along the way, in making wrong decisions, taking the wrong actions, what was lacking was forward thinking, objective analysis, ….thoughtful self introspection.

    What and how we first think upon that which life presents us, HOW we decide to CHOOSE a course of ACTION, precedes ACTION. Therefore our ‘inner’ life of thought is the key to the outcome that is our life. So why have I taken the time, with braces on these hands to laboriously type carefully all of the above?

    I will be educating my 13 yr old granddaughter ‘at home’. She does not live with me, at some point I most likely will be living with, or near to her Dad, my youngest son. What and HOW I shall be teaching her, the method and intent, the curriculum and its content, all has prompted me to reply with this ‘comment’. WHY?

    I have come to understand the incredible influence of a positive ‘mentor’ in childhood. What RIGHT actions I have taken, that I do not regret, that I am proud of, that have benefited me firstly and secondly others, I can trace back to these individuals in my life at a YOUNG age. They taught me to THINK critically, to look at things from many angles, to choose actions accordingly. Yet this was not OVERTLY taught. I think it should be. We all too often make choices, and take actions based on extraneous ‘influences’. Top of the modern western civilization list I believe are: FIT IN, don’t go against the general flow of ‘society’, don’t question authority, and success is equated/measured by material gain, if an ‘authority’ states it is true- it is.

    With one child, who has already developed a ‘world view’, yet is right at the age of forming a perspective for determining the course her life will take, I plan and hopefully will succeed in offering a habit of self introspection as part of her ‘education’. As a good habit to acquire early in life, PLACING HERSELF AT THE CENTER from which to view her options to choose from.

    I made too many wrong decisions and therefore took wrong actions based on faulty logic. Being ‘good’ does not mean ‘selfless’. Right action is often the one you are least attracted too, at FIRST THOUGHT. Taking the time to be DELIBERATELY SELF AWARE, WILL ENCOURAGE TAKING THE TIME TO LOOK DEEP WITHIN FOR THE ANSWERS AS TO WHAT ACTION TO TAKE.

    As children, young teens, and as young men and women in their 20’s,the years when so many life determining choices are made….as Americans, they are adrift in a sea of ‘cluelessness’ to such concepts. Inundated with other, strong ‘messages’ daily. War is normal, global warming isn’t really a problem, it doesn’t matter what you eat, and OWNING things is life’s big reward.

    One child, that will influence and be influenced by those she knows ….we are all interconnected. The ripples will flow through time.

    As an example of rippling waves…OWNING a Tiny House, you built before graduating High School so you could attend college college, graduate already owning a decent home, easily maintained and cheaply off the grid, will in itself have provided much self introspection. Perhaps adding self employed to the mix. These accomplishments, along with the resultant consideration as to what is really important in life to you the individual, and best for you as a member of the global population, I think should naturally follow.

    Having physical Independence to a large degree already achieved for current period of life, having come from self introspection and self analysis as to what is most important to oneself, will assuredly give one a holistic ‘world view’ from which to determine small and large choices as to one’s life course.

    So I embark, wish me well.

    I have no idea how you got to the end of this ‘comment’, if you did, I congratulate you for the interest in such a ‘philosophical’ ramble.

    • RISHIA ENDED WITH “I have no idea how you got to the end of this ‘comment’, if you did; I congratulate you for the interest in such a ‘philosophical’ ramble”. Very well said Rishia you have one aficionada in me; I did not read everything once, however a couple of time. No congratulations required you executed every point you had to convey so beautify, concise to the point. You are unquestionably a deep thinker and exquisite word smith.

      If you have ever read the nonsense I spew on these pages by your caption, WARNING! MAN WRITES THOUGHTFUL ARTICLE, WOMAN REPLIES WITH BOOK:-) would certainly indicate I have heavy female qualities, in that, I would be honor the recognition because of my loving respect for my mother who always instilled self analysis of oneself and consideration for actions. Just before she grabbed me the ear and took me to a mirror and asks me to have a few words of common sense with the foolish boy looking back at me. A practice I use often. I generally end up with a book and even now had to use two paragraphs to thank you for your insight. I for one was totally intrigued Thank you.

      • By the way, I wish you well.

        • Kind Sir, You are too kind! I appreciate so very much your acknowledgement of my EFFORT to express myself regarding such a vast topic. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, as was my intent. Then I got caught up in a discussing the whole Tiny House concept.
          Went to site to see what was ‘happening’ before replying to you, and then read Allyn’s plaintive posting seeking information and heading down dead end road if specific issues for his situation were not addressed…So serendipitous that ITG mentioned the whole issue of Universal Access, which I found interesting, not necessarily the way it was introduced as a topic for discussion as much. Interesting topic none the less, one I have had to deal with, and it seems many in same situation to one degree or another.
          Great topic that initiated it..wish more response…maybe I am to blame. I need to not be so impulsive with my comments.
          So I sincerely apologize for being just that. Please know i mentioned to him about how to get alot of info real fast in one place at my ‘P’ place, truly with only altruistic intent. i only started there several months ago, darn boards going viral, the strangest groups ‘following’ , along with many great individuals I admire and follow back. Now I feel obligated to them. Many individuals like Allyn with real problems needing resolution quickly. With mid year change up regarding educating my granddaughter and other things colliding together…I did not see your reply for several days. as I had initiated a total offline blackout ..except to land at this site
          I appreciate your site very much. It is humble, thought provoking and informative. The tiny Life I truly think is going to bust wide open soon, as soon as the writing is not just on the wall but in one’s face. My compassion for the young runs deep. What will the global situation be in 30 years?
          Hopefully many more successful TINY HOUSE COMMUNITIES, among other prayers for the future generations.
          There I go ….now stopping. Take Care, and keep in touch, intelligent exchange of words and meaningful topics for discussion will keep me coming back.
          Sincerely, Rishia

    • Thank you for this! I am at a transitional time in my life,and this essay is really supportive and echoes my thoughts exactly. After 25 years and 6 kids raised in Israel I am going back home to America to help raise my grand daughter in Phoenix and begin my much longed for Tiny House lifestyle. It is heartening to know someone else out there is going thru the same changes after 40!!!. Piaget said it like this, or close to it ” Go where you least want to be and there you will find yourself” Anyway thanks so much Rishia

    Think of the possibilities. With a big house inm the middle for community meals, get toghteres, extended family parties. Live LARGE in a tiny house commUNITY. I BELIEVE! Google Community Renewal Internationsl Shreveport. Thanks, jan core 318-458-2863.

    • Jan I concur with you and wish that I could get someone to listen.

  4. Have had my own little carpentry business for over 20 years but it is going down now partially because because I could not work much lately because of recovering from two cancer operations and the next one will be next week. I suppose I will loose my 400 sqf house as well. In that case my next house will be a tiny one because that can be built with a very low budget: as a builder I am pretty sure I can build a solid tiny home for 5.000 dollar from a mix of new and reclaimed materials and I am sure I will love living in it. I love the idea of having tiny costs and tiny financial pressure. Pressure is what makes people ill in the long run. WARNING DO NOT TAKE LOANS but meditate instead. Loans put you under pressure and make you ill.

    • I sure wish someone has told me that part about debt and financial worry making you ill about 20 years sooner!

  5. Thanks so much for this very insiiteful article! I also read the lovely and lively comments.
    Funny enough, I am going through some self introspective at this time in my life and was moved to type in Google something like: When does people realize their purpose…
    And lo and behold, I happened upon this article and I’m so happy I clicked on it.
    Life! If only we knew the answers in advance, it would have been so much easier, right?
    I’ve got so much welled up in me at this very moment that I won’t even bother to get started. Just know that I thoroughly enjoyed this piece and I Thank You!?

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