Finding your real purpose or passion is like searching all over the house for your car keys, only to discover that they were in your own hands the whole time.

If you ask most people what their purpose is in life, they either don’t know or feel as if they have to give an impressive answer like finding the cure for cancer, writing the grea American novel, or ending world hunger.

A great way to pinpoint your purpose is to simply pay attention to yourself rather than to what you think others people want to hear. “Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive,” wrote William James, “along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that…follow it.”

There’s a TV commercial that shows a man building a birdhouse in his shop. The little houses are like works of art—all very colorful and intricate and beautiful. The music dies down, he looks at the camera and says, “I plan on making birdhouses the rest of my life.”

His honest passion for his calling make you wish that you loved something that way, too. Well, deep down in your heart, you do love something that way. That something is the real you, and it will call out to you. Listen closely.

“Listen to the clues,” wrote Steve Chandler. “The next time you feel real joy, stop and think. Pay attention. Because joy is the universes way of knocking on your mind’s door. Hello in there is anyone home? Can i leave a message? Yes? Good! The message is that you are happy, and that means that you are in touch with your purpose.”

Put your ear down to your soul and listen hard. -Anne Sexton

Fot the past 30 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. -Steve Jobs, Apple Chairman, from a commencement speech at Stanford University

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