Tommy Acierno

Stop Trying to Find Your Purpose

Instead of finding your purpose…

…focus on choosing what to do instead.

I longed to find my purpose. I wanted to know the answer to some of life’s illusive questions:

I’d scoured the books, assessments, techniques, methodologies, movies, and insights on a personal quest of discovery.

Finally, in November 2016, I started my life and leadership coach training program with iPEC. Everything about that experience felt so right: the skills, the philosophy, and the community.

I was 100% sure that I finally found my purpose.

The smile couldn’t be removed from my face, and I had a hard time getting to sleep from so much excitement (once I fell asleep, I slept quite peacefully).

That training program led me to change my career , start a business, and find an even clearer “purpose” as a lead trainer (and eventually in a senior leadership role) for the same coach training program.

It’s been years since my epiphany in November 2016. Everything has changed. Yet, something familiar remained.

I was still longing for purpose. The doubt of “who” I was or “what” I was doing lingered like a pebble that wouldn’t get out of my shoe.

So I looked in the one place that I never thought to look: right outside my front door. I questioned the purpose of various objects in nature.

Reflecting on these questions, taking the tree for example, answers emerged such as “to absorb carbon dioxide; to produce oxygen; to grow leaves; to lose leaves; to provide structure for nests; to create shade; to create energy in the form of fire…” On and on it went. But I realized that those things weren’t the purpose of a tree, per se. Those were things that it did, naturally.

And then it hit me.

An elegant, simple, and beautiful answer.

An answer that applies to trees, squirrels, stars, people, and, indeed everything.

Yes…all things in creation share one fundamental purpose.

To Exist!

That’s it. It’s that simple.

People (myself included) torment themselves trying to find their purpose, as if it’s a secret hidden message buried in a cave somewhere. When, in fact, it’s right in front of us and nature has already revealed the answer.

Your purpose, my purpose, our purpose is to exist. Now, just like the tree, there are many different things you can do during your time of existence. But by realizing this deep insight first, you release a stressful burden from your mind. When your purpose is simply to exist, life becomes simpler. You remain more present, in the moment. You appreciate your connection with all things because you share the same fundamental purpose.

Exist and simply be.

With this realization comes freedom: the freedom to do. You have the power to invent, create, sit, do nothing, play music, volunteer, watch a movie, and on and on doing as you wish. The choice is yours. And in doing, you get a front row seat to the universal principle of cause and effect .

Exist, fully, absolutely, unapologetically.

Release any other romantic illusions of what your purpose “should” be. And from this place of greater freedom, express your strengths, gifts, and talents by simply doing what comes naturally to you. And you will be just as harmonious with creation as a tree, a squirrel, a star, or the Universe itself.


Do you have thoughts about this post? Feel free to share below...

Home | Blog | Now | Contact | About