North Stars to Find Your Purpose

I wrote this post with anyone beginning a new career, or wanting to, in my heart — and there many of you! and I am as well often in the ranks of starting fresh. Here are six proverbial north stars* to consider in the wild navigation.

1. Take pride in doing what you have to do to pay the bills. I know this may seem antithetical to the title, but if you can really let this in, it can help release so much of the tension that can keep you from feeling what is calling your heart.

Not only is there nothing wrong with feeling called to some great vision but working in a fast food restaurant to get by, but that is so, so beautiful in its own way. I hope you can see that.

2. Whatever you’re doing, do it with all your heart. There’s an old saying that how you do anything is how you do everything, and if you’re not sure if that’s true or not, try it on for the next hour and see what happens.

3. Know that what you love to learn, and what you will share with the world, may not be the same thing. This has been a huge one for me to learn! You might love practicing yoga, but really not be fulfilled by being a yoga teacher. Notice, then, what lights you up in particular when you share it with others.

4. Try quitting something you’re doing now, and let the empty space teach you about your yearnings. That might take a minute, so give it a minute.

5. Address what life is asking of you right now.

You can think of this as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — like you probably won’t contemplate your big vision if you’re struggling to find a roof over your head — but you can also think of it beyond that, that what is before you right now is quite literally the most perfect step can take in the direction of the life you want to live.

You don’t have to produce an intention; the intention is already there in your heart. Let it do its good work while you attend to what life is presenting you with right now.

6. When in doubt: be radically honest, especially in the ways you do not want to be radically honest, and then see what happens.


*The north star, Polaris, is a fixed point in the night sky. Because of the earth’s axis, everything appears to revolve around it.