If you don’t know your purpose in life, look back on the obstacles you faced. Some obstacles you have no choice but to work through. For instance, if you don’t pay your taxes, the tax man will eventually find you. It’s rare that people get away with this. These are not the obstacles that define you. They are just annoyances that you must sort out.

You can choose to handle or ignore other obstacles you face. Your choices help define your purpose. For instance, if you come across a problem at work that requires a skill you don’t have, you can either let someone else handle it or learn how to do it. This experience will carry you through and possibly get you a promotion. On the other hand, if you let others handle the problem because you weren’t qualified, you weren’t meant to find a solution. It is not part of your purpose.

You may believe that you can learn any skill, and to some degree that is true. However, if it is something you aren’t passionate about or isn’t something you desire to learn, it’s going to be difficult. You won’t have a passion for everything that comes your way. In fact, you may feel the opposite about several of them.

When you are willing to do what it takes to overcome certain obstacles, you should look at the process on how you did it. Having the determination to overcome a barrier helps define your purpose, but the steps that led to the solution can also be telling. Don’t underestimate this as there may be hidden clues to understanding yourself better. In fact, the obstacle itself may not have defined much, but something within the process told you a lot more.

Obviously, the bigger the obstacle, the more defining it will be for you. Small obstacles and everyday problems are not going to make much of a difference about your purpose. Although, how you go about overcoming them can be.

If there are obstacles that are too overwhelming, try to figure out why. When you break this down, you may find the reasons are no longer valid. You may have had a stigma about something and made assumptions that you can’t handle it. However, new experiences and the wisdom of age may help you see it’s not as difficult as you once believed. That too is part of what defines your purpose.