In what situations have you felt a natural interest or curiosity?
What drives your curiosity?
What do you gravitate towards when online or when you are out and about? Answering these questions will help you to discover your purpose. Write down the subjects that fit into this category. Early in my career, I was obsessed with art and that was ALL encompassing in my interest.
Who inspires you or do you admire? You may find that some of the people that you are inspired by having similar qualities that you would like to emulate. I am most inspired by entrepreneurs and people that have taken one idea and created something huge with many tentacles. Who do you like to watch/read or follow? What is it that connects with you? What part of their life do you want your own?
What compels and energizes you?
You know when this happens, the energy or excitement from doing or thinking about a certain subject. When has this happened to you? What was the situation?
What problems do you want to fix? What motivates you? Do you want to change your life? If so WHY do you want to change? Do you feel compelled to change the world in some way? These will probably change at different points of your life, so reevaluate often.
Do your talents lend itself to this profession or can you learn enough to become proficient? This is important! If you are 30 and decide to be a basketball star without ever being very good at basketball up until this point… well, then that is NOT reasonable. Be honest with yourself about your abilities and the likeliness of learning enough for this to become your career.
What will you sacrifice and struggle for?
If up until this point, everything points to you being a doctor, but you do not want to put in the years of necessary sacrifice, then this is NOT for you. Everything requires struggle, there are no jobs or careers that are enjoyable all the time. Knowing this, we need to find something that we are willing to suffer for.
What is worth struggling for?
How best you would like to achieve this that is a good fit for your personality and strengths? This is similar to the above question but requires you to be specific about the probable training/schooling or practice necessary to achieve your goal. Your personality should be a reasonable fit or you need to be aware of the changes that you would have to make.
What makes you lose yourself so that you forget everything else? What makes you forget about time? This is called “flow”, when you are completely immersed in the activity. Athletes talk about being in flow when everything is working as “one”. I would feel this at times when painting, and it feels very good!
How would you like to be remembered?
What would you like your obituary to say? These are all things that help to narrow the things that are the most important to you. When you are not in this world anymore, what would you like to leave behind?
Write down the answers to the questions above and see what they have in common. Where do they overlap? What have you learned from this exercise? Hopefully this will bring you closer to taking actionable steps while reevaluating when necessary.