“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” — Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
In the hustle everyday life, it’s easy to lose sight of where we are truly going. We get caught up in routines, responsibilities, and demands that can drown out the voice of our deepest aspirations. Even in the midst of life’s chaos, we can find ways to reconnect with our inner North Star and live a more purpose-driven life.
- Re-engage into an Old Hobby: Make a list of activities or hobbies that have brought you joy throughout your life. Reach out to a friend or acquaintance who shares your interests or values and schedule a conversation or meet-up. Creative expression can unearth hidden talents and passions.
- Journaling: Start a journal to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. Write down your goals, dreams, and what truly matters to you.
- Write a letter to your younger self, reflecting on the dreams and passions you held. How have they shaped your journey?
- Reflect on a past challenge you’ve overcome and describe the lessons you learned from it.
- Travel: Travel to new places, whether near or far. Experiencing different cultures and environments can broaden your horizons and trigger self-reflection.
- Mentorship and Coaching: Seek guidance from a mentor or coach who can help you explore your goals and values and provide valuable insights. A therapist, life coach, or career counselor can also help you explore your purpose and life direction more deeply.
- Solo Retreat: Take a personal retreat, even if just for a day, to reflect on your life and goals in a peaceful environment. Consider attending a silent retreat to deepen your introspection and cultivate inner peace and clarity.
- Adventure or Challenge: Step out of your comfort zone by taking on a new adventure or personal challenge that forces you to grow and learn. Choose one passion or interest and set aside time each week to engage in it, no matter how briefly.
- Networking and Conversations: Connect with people who inspire you and engage in meaningful conversations about your purpose and goals. Join a local club, group, or online community related to your passions and purpose.
- Nature Immersion: Spend extended time in nature, such as camping or hiking, to reconnect with the natural world and your inner self. Take mindful walks in natural settings, paying close attention to your surroundings and thoughts.
- Volunteer or Service Work: Get involved in volunteering or community service. Helping others can provide a sense of purpose and perspective on your own life.
- Read Autobiographies: Read about real-life people who have achieved great things helps us gain insights into their journeys and similar motivations. Learning can open new avenues for self-discovery and personal growth.
Remember that the process of rediscovering your North Star and reigniting your purpose is personal and may take time. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate this journey of self-discovery.