It’s difficult to set goals when you are not even sure what you want out of life. There are plenty of people who flounder around and wing it. For some of those people, that could work. They love the spontaneity and are usually categorized as free-spirited. For the others, however, they would like a bigger purpose in their lives but aren’t quite sure what it may be.
To determine what you want, dig deep within yourself. What is it that you dream about all the time? What kinds of successful people do you read about? Do you want similar success to those people, or would you like to model different characteristics of multiple people? You can also ask your friends and family how they see you, i.e., what type of person they think you are. Then you can determine whether you like that person or if you would like to try and change.
After you find some kind of defining purpose, you are not locked in. You are free to change anytime you believe it wasn’t what you thought it would be. There is nothing to stop you from having multiple purposes either. If you are a doctor, perhaps you want to become a professional golfer as well.
It’s not just about what kind of career you have. You may define a purpose that includes helping others out in a way that is not at all related to your job. You could find organizations that need volunteers and sign up to help. This often leads people to branch out into areas of their lives they never imagined they would experience. It also sets you up to meet people you otherwise would not. You will see different experiences and viewpoints that can help you with your purpose.
It’s not easy for people to determine their purpose and it’s not something that will happen after an afternoon of soul-searching. It can take a lot of time and it often requires going outside of your comfort zone to have a better realization of purpose. Sometimes it can be within our reach but we don’t come to realization until a life-changing event occurs. It is something that evolves which is what makes it scary and exciting at the same time. Once we have a good feeling for what we want our purpose to be we can then proceed to map out goals as to how to achieve it.