Ever wonder why you’re here? What your calling is? What you’re meant to do? There’s a relatively simple exercise that can give you a pretty good idea of the answer to those questions.
First, clear your mind. Take a few minutes somewhere quiet, by yourself, and just breathe deep and relax. You’ll know when you’re ready when your mind quiets down a bit.
Now, get something to write with. This can be pen and paper, or a computer, or whatever else, as long as you can write stuff down. Now, think of what seems like it would be the most meaningful, satisfying thing you could do. Write down ANYTHING that comes to mind, and pay no attention to how realistic it is. This is what would be meaningful and satisfying if you had no other obligations to anyone or anything.
After freely writing down anything that comes to mind until you start drawing a blank, take a minute and look back over the list. Cross out (or delete) whatever seems less important, and write down any new ideas that come up as you re-read and refine your list.
Repeat this process as many times at it takes to get down to where you can’t really eliminate any of the things left as less important, meaningful, etc. than the others. If there’s one, great. If there’s more than one, look at what they might have in common (building houses for the homeless and feeding the hungry might have in common helping the “least of these”).
Whatever you end up with, when you really think about it, imagine it, and visualize it, it should move your heart, wake up emotion, and possibly even bring tears to your eyes. When you get something that really means something to you where it involves and fuels every part of you (mind, body, spirit, and emotions), you know that you found it.
Knowing your purpose can be a great motivator and really make clear certain choices that otherwise might be difficult. Some things just obviously contribute to you fulfilling your purpose, and others obviously take away from it. You might even want to post it somewhere, or something that makes you think of it (if you’re concerned about someone else seeing it, though it’s a more powerful motivator if other people know, too), to keep it in your mind and awareness every day.