Kay Douglas – Discovering Purpose and New Directions

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The start of a new year can call into question how we are living our life. The dissatisfactions we may have lived with during a busy year are likely to surface during the holidays. We may realise that life has become ho-hum – somehow lacks purpose.

Perhaps it’s time for a change?

That thought can create a wave of uncertainty. What would it mean to change direction? How would it feel to ignore what other people think and simply follow your heart? And if you did allow your heart to be your guide where may it lead you?

Sometimes our feelings of discontentment subside when we get back into the swing of the year. And sometimes they don’t. We know, deep inside, that it is time for a change – even if we don’t know exactly where this will take us.

In contemplating a change it can be helpful to consider what options are most likely to create a meaningful, purposeful life.

Having a sense of purpose makes life feel worthwhile. Purpose brings its own satisfaction, focus and energy. With purpose there is a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

In my experience finding myself without a sense of purpose is a challenge. I’m fortunate at the moment, as developing my website constantly satisfies me.  My goal to create a great resource for people interested in health and wellbeing makes sense to me and I can see progress. Most of the time, this is all I need to keep me energised.

There have been other times in my life when I haven’t had a meaningful focus and I’ve felt adrift and aimless and lost. At these times it’s been important to spend time doing some soul searching about what I need to do next.

Finding a sense of purpose can be elusive at some stages of life. As we contemplate change we may find ourselves in an uncomfortable place of confusion and perhaps fear for a while until we find the necessary clarity and courage to venture into new territory.

If you are lacking a sense of true purpose at the moment and are wondering which direction take here are some self-reflection questions that will help you find more clarity:

• What are you happiest doing?
• What are the most important values in your life?
• How do you dream of spending your time?
• What would you truly like to be doing at this time?
• When in your life have you felt deeply satisfied because what you were doing was important to you?
• What are the finest qualities, talents and gifts you have to contribute to the world?
• Where and how can you best express these?
• What would be involved in living a more satisfying and purposeful life?
• What steps would you need to take?
• What would be the first three steps?

The process of writing the answers to these questions can be powerful. Having asked the questions we need to stay open to receiving the answers from our own inner knowing. This may come in the form of a ‘bright idea’, gut instinct or a quiet conviction about the right path to take.

The most challenging aspect of making a change is often to ‘get our head around it’. Once we overcome the mental and emotional blocks we usually have the clarity to plan the practicalities, set goals and take the necessary steps. As we move forward things begin to fall into place and our circumstances start to change for the better.

The vague wish for ‘something better’ can become a reality, if we choose to make it happen.

May this be a wonderful year for you.

© Copyright Kay Douglas. Kay Douglas is a psychotherapist and the author of four self-help books.  She is also the founder of the website Self-help Online a website offering information and inspiration to people interested in health and wellbeing. For more information visit Kay’s website – www.self-help.co.nz.