We all want to feel fulfilled in life. In fact, it is safe to say that all we want in life is to feel fulfilled. So, many of us spend our lives going after things that we think will make us feel fulfilled – the relationship, the accomplishment, the promotion, the body, the money, etc. – and we are misled. We feel good for a moment when we get what we thought we wanted, but the feeling is fleeting at best.
In yogic philosophy, we are taught that true fulfillment comes when we are living our dharma (our individual life purpose). Deepak Chopra describes the Law of Dharma --“everyone has a purpose in life…a unique gift or special talent to give to others. When we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal.”
So the question becomes, how do we find our individual life purpose and blend this unique gift with service to others? Here are some questions to consider:
1. What are you curious about? If you already know what you are passionate about, you are lucky! If you are not sure what you feel passionate about, don't worry! First try to figure out what topics you are curious about (avoid putting the pressure on yourself about finding a “passion,” just identify your interests). What type of articles are you drawn to? What blogs do you read? What types of conversations do you like to have? What shows do you watch? What do you do with your free time? If you don’t explore the things you are curious about, you will never give yourself the chance to develop a passion. The more you follow your curiosity, the more likely you are to discover your dharma. For more on this, check out Elizabeth Gilbert.
2. What breaks your heart? What are the issues that really pull at your heart strings? What makes you want to scream? What makes you want to cry? Climate change, racism, gender injustice, sexual abuse, poverty, immigration laws, mental illness, the list goes on – what is that one issue that really breaks your heart? What can you do about it? For more on this, check out Tererai Trent.
The answers to these questions will lead you to your life’s purpose. When you can combine the things you are curious about with the issues that break your heart and offer them as a service to something bigger than yourself – you will “experience the ecstasy and exultation of your own spirit, which is the ultimate goal.” You will be living your dharma.