Having done a lot of agonising myself about this topic, I've come to the conclusion that we spend too much of our energy on finding that 'one' thing that will make sense of our lives for us.
We do the agonising usually when something is not right in our lives...
... like it's a physical feature that if we could be rid of it, our whole life would be complete, perfect and without flaws. Arguments with our loved ones would cease, we'd find the perfect partner, job.... you fill in the blank for yourself.
At one time I thought my nose less than perfect. In fact I hated it with a passion and yes although logically I knew that changing the way it looked wouldn't alter things, emotionally I hoped it would.
Did it? Well yes in a way, but not because the outside world changed. It helped because my internal landscape altered.
I was more confident which attracted people to me in a different way. More creative energy bubbled inside of me and that altered things around me.
What does this have to do with soul purpose?
Well, in the same way as if we're fixed on one physical feature, so if we fixate on one idea of what we are, it blocks other forms of creativity from opening us up to the very thing we want.
We want to be a writer of successful novels. Not merely successful but world best sellers.
So we only write fiction. We won't try anything else.
Have you heard of cross training?
In athletics and physical sports, cross training is the way that strength is built up way beyond the particular skill set that might be needed.
Or apparently needed.
Have you watched a marathon recently?
I love watching long distance running. Couldn't run those distances to save my life, but I admire the resilience, the determination and these days, the different skills that the runners need.
Not just stamina over the long haul though if you're running over twenty miles that's a paramount need. These days runners also need to be able to inject a burst of speed over a couple of miles in order to drop their competitors off the pace as they say.
And at the end they might need to speed up again. I've seen long distance races won and lost over the last 100 yards.
That cross training pays off.
So it is with us writers. We need to be able:
To write a story in 100 or 50 or 1,000 words.
Be given a subject we think we know nothing about and come up with a piece.
Create a verse or a haiku or a profile
That's our cross training for moving towards our soul purpose. It may be that yours is to create world selling novels that give comfort and enjoyment to many.
But on the way you may have other purposes that your soul needs you to accept to ready yourself for that fixed idea you have about your underlying purpose.
What do you think?
If you have trouble working out what even your first purpose is then I can recommend Jackee Holder's book Soul Purpose - republished after 15 years.