Why am I here? What am I supposed to do with my life?
Best-selling author Eckhart Tolle’s advice on how to find your life’s purpose is quite simple: start by knowing who you are.
Backstage at a recording of Oprah Winfrey’s second installment of her popular speaker series, Super Soul Sessions last week, Tolle said that people must first understand what makes them special.
“The light of God that shines through every human being is their innermost essential identity,” Tolle says. “In that sense, you are special.”
Though humans have a tendency to define themselves comparatively, based on the people around them, Tolle suggests understanding specialness in a way that’s solely between you and God.
“It’s a specialness that honors the uniqueness of you and the way in which you can contribute in your own unique way to this universe.”
Your contribution to the world, he says, is simply a manifestation of your understanding of your connection to God.
“It’s not everyone’s destiny to create something huge,” Tolle says. The key is not the number of people you impact but the way in which you impact them. “There are people who are happy doing little things, who don’t have huge ambitions, but they love what they do. They enjoy every moment of it. That’s a way of being special because everyone who comes into contact with you feels better after coming into contact with you.”
Life coach and author Marie Forleo, another Super Soul Sessions speaker, emphasized this more fluid approach to finding your purpose when she shared her own unique journey from corporate America to coaching millions of people.
“I love what I do but I’m open to things transforming and moving on and having new passions in the future,” she says.
For those still looking for their next step in life, Forleo says:
“I think if you pay attention to that little voice within, it’s always talking and if you can be still enough to hear it and pay attention to your curiosities and what brings you joy and explore what’s really interesting to you, then your whole life will begin to unfold.”
For Tolle, joy is not necessarily something that you find when you’re confident you’re on whatever you deem to be the “right track.” Instead, he says joy is something that can be experienced right now, in every moment and in every stage of life.
“If you haven’t found [your purpose] yet just see if you can transform the little things that you do every day into a joyful task,” he says.
“Even if it seems not terribly meaningful, enjoy the present moment. Don’t treat your present moment as your enemy and also don’t treat it always as a means to an end, just a stepping stone that enables you to arrive at a mentally projected future point that you think is more important than this one. Be open to [enjoying the present] and the way in which you can fulfill your special function in this world will arise.”
Watch part 2 of Super Soul Sessions with Eckhart Tolle and Marie Forleo on OWN or online at SuperSoul.TV.