“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”
Palmer J. Parker Educator, Author and Activist
How do you know what you were put on this earth to do? How do you discover who you are and what your purpose or mission is in life?
Is this something you can discover at a young age? Is it obvious and clear? Or do you have to live and go through trials and tribulations to discover your calling or purpose? These are questions many people, myself included, ask ourselves everyday. These are answers we all seek to know at some point in our lives. For some of us, we discover at an early age a set of talents and gifts that propel us into our purpose or at least give us a feel of what it can be. My two sons are prime examples. They literally came out of the womb drawing at an exceptional level. They enjoy it, it comes natural and effortlessly to them, and they can both spend hours doing it, so I nurture it because it can possibly become something they use to serve the world in some capacity. However, for me I discovered my passion and purpose during one of the darkest moments in my life.
If you're anything like me or millions of other people around the world, it may not be as obvious and clear as to what your passions are. You may have even found yourself at one point or another in your life asking, "What am I passionate about?" "What am I here on this earth for?" "What is my purpose?"
Why do you need to know your purpose in life? Purpose gives your life direction and meaning. Without it, you are simply existing and not truly living.
First, what is purpose? Purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Your life purpose is the reason you wake up in the morning. It inspires you. Your life purpose is your contribution to the world. The Creator inhaled inside of you ideas, gifts, and talents for you to exhale into the world.
I personally believe your purpose can be obvious and clear at a young age AND life experiences will give you a purpose as well. Some people even feel you are given a soul contract before you are sent to earth, this contract determines how situations are brought to you but not how you’ll respond to them; and how you respond helps you to grow in knowledge of yourself. While I don’t know if that is the truth, what I do know for sure is when you find your soul purpose, you’ll know.
If you knew your purpose soon as you were birthed in this world, would you make the same choices and go through the same experiences needed to mold you to the person you were destined to be?
One thing I have always admired about those living in their purpose is the amount of confident and expertise they seem to have. I can only imagine how this takes time to master. You may go through moments of doubt and insecurities before you are walking in your full purpose. For example a musician has to practice before they perfect this craft and your purpose is no different. You will have to practice to master your purpose. I think this is all part of the Creator’s Divine Plan to help you grow as a person.
Below I will share different ways to find your purpose. There are a few questions below to get you started on discovering your purposes. I have also included a quiz to determine your dharma. Keep in mind, no one can tell you what your purpose is, this is why you will have to go within and be aware of your desires, passions, gifts and life situations to discover it.
We will look into different purposes as explained in Simon Chokoisky’s “The 5 Dharma Types.
Dharma is a Sanskrit word that means "life purpose" it also signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with the order that makes life possible.
Before we get into The Five Dharma Types, let’s reflect on a few questions to help you discover your purpose.
The following questions are more effective when written down somewhere such as a journal, so you can go back and reflect at a later time. This is a time to be honest with yourself. So often we try to mimic someone else’s purpose or do something that was meant for someone else to gain wealth or recognition. But doing so will only frustrate you in the long run, waste your unique talents The Creator blessed only you with and leave you unfulfilled. Try to answer these questions as honestly as possible as it will help you to tap into your authentic self.
These questions can lead you to where you are meant to be
What are your passions? What are you absolutely passionate about? What brings you joy? What makes you happy? What was your favorite thing to do as a child? What can you spend hours doing? These answers can give you an idea of the direction of what you are meant to do; your compass.
These questions can help you discover the qualities and talents you have to help others
What makes you unique? What comes natural to you? If you asked your family and friends, what will they say you are good at? What advice do people come to you for? What can you become a Master at? These answers will help you to determine some of the tools you’ll have to help others.
These questions will help you discover Your vision and what you want to be. Visions are Attainable
Where do you see yourself in the future? What are you doing in the future? Who are you with? What will make you feel whole and complete? What would you do for free? What is your dream story? What are your wishes? Goals and aspirations? The answers here will determine your vision. Use your imagination!
These questions will help you to discover your impact and your contribution to the world
What causes do you care about? What situations have you had to face but got through them? If you were asked to give a five minute speech to the whole world, what would it be about? Who do you want to help? Why do you want to help them? How would you help them? How would it make you feel? How would it make them feel? This is your impact and contributions to the world or your community.
Once you’ve written these answers down, go over them. Do you notice a common thread in each answer? Does something stand out and give you a good feeling? You may have just discovered one of your purposes. If so, write down how you can start walking in that purpose today. What steps can you take right now, what skills can you learn today, what books can you read today to get you closer to that purpose?
Quiz to discover your purpose Before you click on this link read the intro to the different Dharma types below to see if you see yourself in one of the descriptions. Once you’ve read them all, write down the one that resonates with you the most. Then take the quiz.
Take the quiz, but first read the descriptions below to see what resonates with your spirit. Are you an Educator, Merchant, Laborer, Outsider or Warrior? When you are done comment your dharma below and if you agree with it or not.
You are an EDUCATOR. As the name suggests, you are the counselors of the Dharma Type family. People gravitate to you for your wisdom, but you do not always follow your own advice. Unlike LABORERS who are eminently practical, you are the most idea-oriented type, preferring to work in concepts and philosophies rather than day to day practicalities. You are the Renaissance man or woman of the Dharma Type family, possessing a natural love of knowledge and curiosity about the world . Whether it is reading National Geographic, watching the History Channel, or getting advanced university degrees, you are always in pursuit of enlightenment and self-betterment. This tendency is not great for specialization, however, and Educators may become conversant in many subjects, but masters of none.
As an Educator you have probably experienced the phenomenon of ‘instant karma’ That is, when you do something wrong or improper, the consequences usually come back quickly, and may haunt you forever! This is because, as a paragon of virtue and model for the other types, you are supposed to be beyond the pettiness of the world. Like the Air Element that rules your type, Educators are supposed to soar above the mundane difficulties of everyday life, though they often get entangled by their own powerful desires.
You are a MERCHANT type. The Merchant’s natural talents lie in sustaining, sheltering, and providing for the material needs of people. They work well in any profession that caters to the masses, be it in non-essential goods such as fashion and entertainment, or day to day necessities like food, hospitality, clothing, and drugs. Their natural ability to network and manage material resources also makes them masters of trade, commerce, and banking. Sales is a natural profession for Merchants, as they have the ability to evoke and shape strong emotions in others. Since most of us are led by our emotions, Merchants generate success by attaching their products to the positive feelings people want to have. This ability is also supremely useful in the entertainment industry, where Merchants excel at creating, performing, and producing popular music, art, and movies.
At their core, Merchants feel an emptiness that no objects can fill. This is why they hate to be alone. Ultimately, the antidote for their inner loneliness is CHARITY. Giving and filling others cures the Merchant’s emptiness by filling them with gratitude and blessing. Perhaps this is why so many Merchants turn to entertainment, where they can share their creative energy with audiences, or to philanthropy, where they donate their time and money to benefit others.
You are a WARRIOR type. As the name suggests, Warriors are the protectors and fighters of the Dharma Type family. They are strong and ambitious, and make natural leaders. And while sports, law, and the military are obvious Warrior professions, so is being a stay-at-home mom who makes it a point to protect her kids and family. Warriors can fight for their causes on the world stage or on the home front. In fact, Warriors do best in life when they have a cause to fight for, a goal to accomplish. Lacking this, they may grow irritable, stagnant, and lose their way.
Having something to fight for brings out the Warrior’s generosity and courage. Warriors are the only type that will unquestioningly give its life to save another. They are blessed with natural strength that is a beacon for others, and people may sometimes abuse the Warrior’s generosity.
You are an OUTSIDER. Outsiders are the Rebels of the Dharma Type family. They often grow up feeling biologically, philosophically, or culturally different from their surroundings, and sometimes have a hard time finding their own identities… who they really are. In their quest to discover themselves they may opt for tattoos, unique clothing, or behavior that effectively distinguishes them from the rest of the world. Outsiders often embrace or live in cultures different than their own.
Outsiders seek freedom above all other things– the freedom to be themselves. But in order to have freedom, they must free others. Learning how to do that is a lifelong quest!
You are a LABOR, or LABORER type. Laborers are the glue that holds people and society together. They have natural instincts for community and enjoy gatherings centered around food and family, believing that the way to the heart is through the stomach, that it is easier to know someone over a meal and a drink than in hours of stuffy conversation. Laborers are also the most caring of the Dharma Types, and gravitate to industries and professions that succor, nourish, or otherwise tend to the needy. Laborers make great social workers, nurses, or therapists and can often be found working ‘in the trenches’ with the people they serve.
Sometimes people who take the test might say, ‘I would really hate to be a Labor type, or an Outsider!’ This underscores the false belief that one type is better than another. The truth, as discussed in The Dharma Types: Secrets of the Five Ancient Castes that will Transform Your Life is that all types are equal, with different roads to happiness. But if any type were to be considered complete it would be the Laborer, who needs little from the outside world to feel self-fulfilled.
Every type receives something by the natural operation of its talents. In protecting others, Warriors gain fame and power. From enriching people the Merchant gets money and gratitude. By enlightening the masses, the Educator earns respect, and by shaking up society, Outsiders find their own unique expression in the world. But the Laborer has no such agenda: the reward of good work is more work.
In conclusion, we are all put on this earth for a purpose. Your purpose doesn’t have to be this grandiose purpose that puts you in the spotlight or known by many people. Being a mother or father is just as important as being a motivational speaker, a teacher, astronaut or an famous artist. Your purpose is unique to only you. And only you can grace the universe with it. There may be others with similar purposes, but none like the way you will deliver it, or the people you will touch. The Creator birthed and inhaled in you something that needs to be exhaled in the universe.