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Lorena Bernal5 min

An Easy Guide to Finding What’s Driving You Forward – or Backwards

In today’s world, finding a purpose is like a light guiding those lost in wondering why we’re here. Many people are searching hard for something to drive them, a cure for the feeling of emptiness or lack of movement that life’s obstacles can bring. The key point of our discussion is this: life, with all its brief beauty, doesn’t hand out a big reward or top honour at the end. The end is just a quiet goodbye, a soft ‘game over’ in the big picture of life. So, why should we spend our time chasing blindly after some kind of answer out there that’s so vague and hard to catch? Looking for such a thing means we miss out on what life is really about – just living. Every second, every breath is a chance to connect with our true selves. This ‘true self’, the heart of who we are, knows our interests, skills, and what we’re meant to do. It’s not about chasing after something, but living in tune with what naturally makes us happy. Think back to the carefree days of childhood, when every day was about discovering something new, a blank slate to fill with our curiosity’s colours. Back then, moving forward was an exciting journey, fuelled by the pure joy of living and seeing the world in our own way. That natural energy and love for life is what we should aim to get back to. Yes, life’s realities mean we have to take part in society, needing to work and earn money. But these shouldn’t make us feel trapped in boring and meaningless routines. Instead, they can be ways to share our passions and live fully and happily. Not doing so wastes the precious chance at life, leaving us to wonder what might have been. As we go further into this guide, let’s remember that finding what motivates us – whether it pushes us forward or pulls us back – isn’t about getting approval from others or reaching some far-off goal. It’s about looking inside ourselves, finding our core, and living every day with excitement and a true connection to our mind, body, and spirit. This, dear reader, is what purpose really means.  

Getting off the hamster wheel

Continuing our talk about finding purpose, let’s think about a simple yet deep story.  Picture a hamster running nonstop on its wheel. Every day, it’s stuck in a loop, running to nowhere. Even as it wonders why it keeps running, it can’t escape the cycle. The endless running leaves it too tired and caught up to look beyond its wheel. What if the hamster decided to stop? To get off the wheel, take a breath, and really look around? In this break, this moment of calm, the hamster starts to think. It sees the still wheel and questions its purpose. Why keep running if it gets nowhere? By taking a moment to think and watch, the hamster realises something important. It understands that it runs not to get somewhere but because it enjoys the movement and fun. The wheel isn’t a road to somewhere but a way to meet its need for exercise and enjoyment. The hamster learns that its purpose isn’t on the wheel, but in finding joy in the activity itself. This story is like our own search for purpose. Like the hamster, we might be caught up in life’s rush, chasing what we think we should achieve. But only by stepping off our own wheels, by taking time to think and watch, can we discover the real meaning of our journey. It’s in understanding ourselves that we find our purpose, not as a place to get to but as a way to live fully, enjoying each moment with purpose and happiness.  

Living with purpose

Understanding the connection between our mind, body and spirit is key in navigating our journey to purpose. Often, our thoughts, influenced by the world around us – family, friends, society – push us towards goals that aren’t truly ours. These outside pressures create a gap between what we do and who we are, making us less motivated and slowing our progress. We’re stuck trying to meet standards that don’t match our true selves. On the other hand, when we follow our hearts – our passions, desires, and interests – we tap into real motivation. This doesn’t need outside rewards; it comes from a deep place within us that wants to explore and connect with what really matters. In this harmony, purpose grows, not just as an idea but as a part of our daily lives. Trying to think our way to purpose can lead us off track, into a complex web of thoughts that pull us away from our true selves. But when we listen to our feelings and bodily responses, we find a powerful guide. Excitement, happiness and a sense of rightness are signs we’re on the right path. They are the body and spirit’s way of speaking with signals that go beyond words. As we walk through life, many of us will wonder, ‘What is my purpose?’ If you’re feeling empty, lost, or unmotivated, see it as a wake-up call. It means you’ve been going through the motions, possibly off your true path, and now it’s time to take control and live intentionally.  

The guide to finding your true purpose

  • Start by acknowledging: Realising you’re questioning your purpose or feeling empty is the first important step. It shows you’re ready to leave autopilot living behind and look closely at where you’re heading.
  • Pause and reflect: Take a deep breath and calmly think about your life. Consider what you do every day, why you do it, and how it makes you feel. This isn’t about judging yourself but simply understanding your life without bias.
  • Assess your emotions: As you think about your daily life, notice how you feel. Do these thoughts make you happy? If so, you’re probably living in a way that’s true to yourself. Feeling happy points you towards a life filled with purpose.
  • Think about changes: If you’re not finding joy, it’s a hint that you need to change something. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big leap; even small steps towards happiness are good. Changes are about aligning more closely with what makes you happy.
  • Find what makes you happy: Reflect on what activities really bring you joy. Whether it’s sports, puzzles, being with friends, or enjoying nature, think about why these things make you happy and how they help you feel immersed and present.
  • Add joy to your life: Make space for these joyful activities. Even if you start small, find ways to do what you love and be yourself. This process is not just about seeking happiness, but about building a life that matches your deepest desires and passions in order to organically let your purpose bloom.
Finding your purpose doesn’t have to be a stressful hunt for something hard to grasp. At its core, our shared goal is to love, connect and enjoy the beauty of life on this wonderful Earth. Remember, life’s value is not in some final reward but in the love and happiness we experience and share. These moments are the real treasures we keep and the legacy we leave. In this journey, let go of trying to find a fixed purpose.  Embrace forgiveness, acceptance and happiness instead. Cherish this incredible life, finding purpose not in reaching a specific goal but in the fullness of daily life. To love, to enjoy, and to live fully - that’s what it means to lead a life with purpose.

Lorena Bernal

Lorena Bernal is a certified life coach and spiritual life coach, and founder of the events and coaching platform Live Love Better.