How To Find Your Purpose & Work You Love In 8 Steps20 min read

Ready to find your purpose, change direction in life, and find a job you love? This article is all about how to find your purpose and direction in life so that you can learn how to change careers at 30, 50, or any age, and find a job that you will love or start a business that fulfills you.

It never aligned.

The corporate ladder I found myself climbing immediately after graduating university left me depleted. The career I thought I wanted, the one everyone said I must be thrilled about, actually made me miserable.

I didn’t know a life of fulfillment, freedom, and financial abundance was within my reach. I didn’t know I could build the life and business of my dreams within 2 years.

I thought I was stuck.

You might feel the same way too, if you’re clicking on articles about finding your purpose… I’m happy you found my little corner of the internet. I’m here to help you get unstuck, so that you can create a life you love living.

If you’re a high achiever craving FULFILLING success, ready to create financial freedom ALONGSIDE happiness & fulfillment (not at the EXPENSE of it), but struggling to figure out what to actually do next with your life, this is an invitation to find your purpose & create a career you love.

Download the End of Year Reflection and Goal Setting Workbook to realign with your values going into the new year!

After helping my clients leave jobs that drained them & create businesses that light them up

> like R, who was battling burnout running a business that drained his energy every day, and through this process, discovered what he really wanted (more time with his family, the freedom to travel multiple times a year, and work that he could put away at 4pm that didn’t call him in on Sundays), and launched TWO new remote businesses that allow him to continue being the breadwinner in his family WHILE also being around to watch his kids grow up, and is happier than he’s ever been before

> or like A, who after 8 years of being a manager at a large corporation (working through every lunch break, putting in hours on the weekends, doing more than one role because they were always understaffed) finally prioritized her happiness, went through this process, and realized she wanted to open a microbrewery and bring her community together while providing a workplace that treated its employees BETTER, and is now taking vacation whenever she wants and spending more time with her family and friends than she has in years

> or like S, whose job changed during the pandemic and she could no longer handle talking to rude customers at a call center and wanted desperately to be her own boss but had no idea what kind of business she would run… through this exact process she discovered her passion for personal finance & money mindset and launched her own online business, is now traveling many times a year, working with dream clients, and making money doing work that fulfills her

In this article, I’ll share 8 steps on how to find your purpose and direction in life and change careers at any age to so that you can make money doing work you love.

how to find your purpose and direction in life, with life and business success coach Ana McRae in the background of text

As a life & business success coach, I help high level CEOs and aspiring entrepreneurs grow thriving businesses while living fulfilling lives. Today, I want to share the 8 steps on how to find your purpose, the biggest reasons most people are not pursuing their purpose, and how you can create a life that you love.

What is your purpose?

Your life purpose is the intersection of your deepest values, your unique abilities, and your biggest passions. It’s the reason you get up in the morning.

You cannot find your purpose without understanding the following three things:

Your Values

Your values are the things you’ve determined are important to you in life; a set of principles that guide your decisions. Family, freedom, health, adventure, stability, minimalism, luxury, are all examples of values that are held by many people. But what each of your values means to you is unique.

For example, “family” to me means “build a treasure house of happy memories with my kiddos through adventure and travel”. For someone else, “family” might mean “being there, physically and emotionally, for my parents in their old age.” Neither one is “right” or “wrong” but getting specific in what your values are allows you to live in alignment with them.

If you’re not 100% clear on your values in life and business, read this post: How To Define Your Core Values.

Your Superpowers

Your superpowers are the activities you do exceptionally well and feel energized doing. These are skills that come naturally to you, submerge you in a state of flow, and light you up when you get to use them.

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For an entrepreneur that might be visioning big ideas, facilitating team conversations, or solving complex problems. For a project manager that might be organizing people and materials, visually displaying information, or hosting meetings.

These are not to be confused with things that you’re good at, but don’t love doing. We all have plenty of those. What makes a superpower a superpower is that you could literally do it all day long and be so freaking happy.

In this article I’ll explain exactly how you can define your superpowers and figure out what you actually like doing and what you’re good at.

Your Passions

Your passions are the things that get you fired up, that you could spend all day thinking or speaking about, that give you boundless energy and leave you feeling fulfilled.

following journaling prompts for how to find your purpose

Passions are centered around movements that extend beyond your personal narrative (like environmentalism, female empowerment, ethical clothing manufacturing, fair wages, access to clean drinking water, etc.) but they don’t always have to be big “change the whole world” ideas. You can be passionate about creating a clutter free home environment, helping people feel comfortable in their bodies, or making sure kids feel safe and loved.

Your passions are the causes you feel a desire to contribute to. They start as small sparks of interest first, and develop into life passions through experimentation, dedication, and time.

Related post: 4 keys to feeling fulfilled in life and work

Identifying your values, your superpowers, and your passions is the foundation of finding your purpose and direction in life. Here’s exactly how to go about it…

How do you find your purpose and direction in life?

Here’s the exact framework for finding your purpose and direction in life that has helped me and all of my 1:1 VIP Purpose Coaching Clients figure out what they want to do with their lives and change careers or start businesses.

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Audit Your Life To Find Your Purpose

Get clear on what is and isn’t working for you right now. Audit all the different areas of your life and reflect (honestly) about how happy you are in each one. (No, finding your purpose and direction in life isn’t just about your job/business, it’s about creating a life that is aligned in all areas.)

I’ve written a very in-depth article on How to Do A Life Audit that will help you do this step well – it’s a must read!

Basically, reflect on what’s working in all the different areas of your life:

  • Financial Wealth
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Friendships
  • Family
  • Relationship
  • Hobbies/Creativity/Learning
  • Travel/Freedom
  • Physical Environment (Home)
  • Career

Ask yourself: What’s currently feeling really good? What isn’t? If you were standing here 3 years from today and it was the most amazing 3 years of your life, how would this area look and feel?

Related post: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Goals and Achieving Personal Growth

I’ve created a fillable/printable PDF workbook to help you reflect on your life so that you can set powerful goals and create the life and business of your dreams. You can purchase it for only $7 by clicking here or on the image below.

Define Your Values To Find Your Purpose

Living a purpose driven life means spending your days in alignment with your values. If the way you spend your time, how you interact with people, and where you work is in conflict with your values, you will be unhappy.

purpose driven life

In order to live in alignment with your values, you have to know what your values are. Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to clearly define their values, and therefore have no idea why they’re so unhappy or what needs to change to find the happiness and fulfillment they’re searching for.

In this article, I provide more depth on how to define your values so that you can live a life of purpose.

Pinpoint Your Superpowers To Find Your Purpose

Most people find it challenging to recognize their superpowers. Your natural talents and the things that you excel in come so easily to you that you often don’t realize they are unique. By reflecting on the activities that you love doing, that give you energy, and that make time stand still, while seeking multiple outside perspectives from the people who’ve spent time with you, you can create clarity around your unique gifts and which direction to explore first in the process of finding your purpose.

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There is a simple exercise for identifying your superpowers. I remember the day I completed this exercise and discovered that not everybody can stand up in front of a room full of multi million dollar business owners and lead a 2 day strategy session that helped them create a roadmap to grow their businesses. 

If this is not your strong suit, you might read that and think OF COURSE NOT… but to me, everything about it felt natural. This exercise helped me appreciate the value I bring to the world and build a life around my unique abilities. Now I coach high level CEOs and aspiring entrepreneurs to help them grow thriving businesses while living fulfilling lives. If you’re ready to accomplish more in life and business, VIP 1:1 Business Coaching might be the right next step for you.

The superpowers exercise essentially consists of asking the people around you who have spent a substantial amount of time working with you what your superpowers are. Ask them what they count on you for, what they have observed gives you endless energy, and what they think your unique ability is. Funnily enough, no matter who you ask and how many people you pose these questions to, the answers are usually very similar! Because you are you and you do have a set of extraordinary abilities that you’re just not recognizing yet.

Figure Out What You Actually Like To Do

When you want out of a certain job or career but have no idea what to do instead, go back to square one and figure out all of the things you actually like to do.

As we go through life, it’s easy to lose sight of who we are and what we enjoy by comparing ourselves to others and chasing somebody else’s dreams. 99% of my life purpose coaching clients realize that they’ve always known what their dream job/business looks like, the vision just got buried along the way.

Related post: Building a Meaningful Life

Turn the timer on for 3 minutes and pour out as many ideas as you can think of. A mind map is a fantastic tool to use in structured brainstorming. Think about what you do in your spare time, what you would do if you didn’t need any money, how you would spend your days if you had all of the skills and qualifications and permissions to do whatever you want. It doesn’t matter what pops out of your head, just go with the flow. Don’t try to censor any ideas and shut off the little critic inside your head.

These things may not provide you with a specific job title but they will help you understand the qualities and content of a career that you would love. When you find or create a career that allows you to spend your day doing what brings you joy, you win.

Answer Tough Questions To Find Your Purpose

The reason most people aren’t living in alignment with their purpose is because they haven’t disconnected from the day to day grind long enough to answer the questions that would help them identify it. We are creatures of habit. We get caught in our day to day routines and continue living our lives a certain way just because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

Related post: How to achieve more by working less: reduce brain fog & increase mental clarity

happiness is on the other side of your comfort zone

If you want to find your purpose, you need to ask yourself some hard questions and give yourself the space to ponder and answer them. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
  • If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend your time?
  • When things are going really well in your life, what does that look like?
  • What are the movements you’d like to contribute to in your lifetime?

I’ve got 10 questions to find your purpose outlined in this post, which will help you gain clarity when you’re feeling lost and directionless. Grab a pen, a journal, and dig in.

Create Your Resume From The Future

If you lived in your ideal world, 5, 10, 20 years from now, what would your resume say? Who would you be?

One of the tricks we can play with our mind is to imagine a future in which we’ve already succeeded, and we have what we want. This gives our brain permission to see past the obstacles, and focus on the goal.

This is the same strategy that I use daily in my morning routine. I write down my 10 biggest dreams as if they’ve already happened so that my brain can get to work coming up with ways to make my dreams a reality.

There are a couple of reasons why this is so powerful. First off, it forces you to get crystal clear on what you want. Second, it flicks a switch in your brain whereby suddenly your new goal is possible. Building it into your vocabulary, getting it down on paper, putting it out into the universe, all makes it tangible, and thereby achievable.

If your goal is an undefined, arbitrary concept, that is never spoken, or always referred to as a ‘maybe, someday…’ then it will never be achieved.

So, the first step in making a career change is defining where you want to end up. Make up your own job titles and elaborate on the responsibilities. What would your resume say in the future? Get as detailed as you can, and cover as broad a range of interests as you’d like.

Examine Your Limiting Beliefs & Rewrite The Narrative

Our brain is so good at getting in our way and keeping us stuck with its limiting beliefs. Too good. In order to bypass self sabotage, you need to become aware of your limiting beliefs and rewrite the narrative in a way that supports you in pursuing your goals.

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In this article, I provide an in-depth guide to identifying and overcoming your limiting beliefs.

The most common limiting beliefs holding people back from pursuing their purpose are:

  • You can’t make money doing what you love.
  • You can either be happy or rich.
  • Making a lot of money is a lot of work.
  • Work creates stress.
  • Success is measured financially.
  • Entrepreneurship is too risky.
  • I’m not cut out for it. (I’m too … )

If you want to make some changes in your life, you’ll need to become aware of what your brain has to say about it, and override its automatic thought patterns so that it doesn’t hold you back.

Related post: 5 Personal Development Books To Change Your Life

Start Taking Messy Action To Find Your Purpose

There’s no one right answer to the question “what should I do with my life?”

Too many people put all this pressure on themselves to find the one perfect path to their everlasting joy and wealth, and end up getting nowhere instead. Because the perfect answer doesn’t exist (much to our dismay).

your purpose develops as you start taking action

Ana McRae

Clarity comes as a result of putting one foot in front of the other.

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Start trying stuff. Get creative in matching your superpowers with an income or impact opportunity. Experiment with different hobbies, internships, and volunteer opportunities. Find ways to practice your purpose. Reach out to people you know really well and people you barely know – let them know what you’re looking to do and see if they can open any doors for you. Ask questions. Do unpaid gigs. Shadow someone who is doing what you think you might want to be doing. Try new things.  Do a small scale project of your business idea. Just do something, other than crying on the couch on Sunday night.

Your purpose isn’t going to find you, you are going to create it through action.

The quickest way to understand what direction you want to take your life in is to find opportunities to use your superpowers and see how they feel. Give 100 people your time/service/product in 15 minute increments for free, to assess whether there’s a market for your idea, and to help you refine your skills.

Then, you will either be well on your way to launching your product/service successfully, or you’ll be able to move on to something more worthwhile without investing too many resources into something that’s doomed to fail. The key here is to start quickly. Avoid analysis paralysis. If it works, you can improve it. If not, you haven’t wasted much time.

If you don’t know where to start, download the End of Year Reflection and Goal Setting Workbook to get you started!

There is no limit to the ways in which you can use your superpowers to make an income and impact the world in a way that aligns with your values.


What will hold you back from finding your purpose and direction in life?

If the path to finding your purpose can be reduced to 8 simple steps, why are 80% of people still stuck in jobs they don’t like? If you’re determined to find your purpose and direction in life, you should know exactly what holds most people back so that you don’t fall into the same traps.

In this article, I wrote about the 11 reasons people fail to pursue their purpose and create lives they love – it’s a must read if you’re serious about changing your career and finding work you love.

How to find your purpose in life by Ana McRae

It can be agonizing to spend your days mindlessly toiling away at a job you don’t enjoy, or running a business that no longer lights you up, wondering when on Earth you will be able to get out of this mess and build a better future.

I’ve been there… I spent months crying in the bathroom every day at work because I felt so unfulfilled. My clients have been there… feeling like they have no other options but desperate to get out of the career they find themselves in. 

Related post: How To Reduce Anxiety During Uncertainity

Finding your purpose is less about finding it and more about deciding you are worthy of pursuing the dream that’s always been there but has been buried deep beneath your fears, your self doubt, and other people’s expectations of what you should be doing with your life.

Today, my clients and I are running our dream businesses and living fulfilling lives on our own terms, not because our purpose fell into our laps, but because we chose to get very intentional about designing a life and career that gives us freedom, fulfillment, and financial abundance.

If you aren’t sure where to focus to hit your goals as an entrepreneur take our personalized quiz!

The pull to settle for mediocrity, society’s pressure to avoid all risk and play it safe, and our primitive brain’s ability to maintain the status quo and avoid any and all change creates a complacency so powerful that it pulls 80% of the public into an average life of good-enoughness.

Ana McRae

But you were made for more.

Related posts:

What’s the biggest thing standing between you and a career you love? Let me know in the comments below.

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