• Follow Us:

It’s no surprise that many people are different after recovering from alcohol or drug use disorder. To not only face an addiction problem but also who or what might be contributing to it requires a major life pivot. Once this happens, you have the opportunity to fully assess what’s most important to you and consider new possibilities. 

Reevaluating your life demonstrates how you continue to change and grow. Change is often prompted by an internal or external shift, a decision, or a one-time event. Growth happens from within, slowly, over time. For example, you made a decision to seek treatment—that was the impact of change. Who you were then compared to who you are now is due to the growth you’ve experienced through therapy, behavioral changes, and continued self-development. So while you need both change and growth to succeed, growth is what fuels transformation. 

Professionals in personal development often use the term “growth mindset”. Basically, if you believe you can develop abilities through dedicated effort, you have a growth mindset. If someone thinks they have a certain threshold of ability that can’t be changed, this is a fixed mindset. So you’ve already proven through a continuation of recovery that you have a growth mindset. 

Now what? 

What Is Purpose and How Do I Get It?
The most simplistic definition of purpose is whatever adds to your motivation each day—the reason you exist. To know your “why” is to have purpose

The University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing adds to this: “Some people feel hesitant about pursuing their life purpose because they worry that it sounds like a self-serving or selfish quest. However, true purpose is about recognizing your own gifts and using them to contribute to the world—whether those gifts are playing beautiful music for others to enjoy, helping friends solve problems, or simply bringing more joy into the lives of those around you.”  

In the Center’s research, having purpose is also an essential part of a full model of wellness, which includes nature, health, community, relationships, and security.

Now that your life is different, does that mean your purpose is as well? Probably. So in order to move forward, you might have to answer some questions about your new self. The Center recommends these:

  • Who am I?
  • Where do I belong?
  • When do I feel fulfilled?

The first two have puzzled humanity for centuries! So it’s okay if they’re not crystal clear in your mind just yet. But the third can be discovered through a series of other steps:

  • First, discover your calling. Like the Center’s definition above, this is usually something that stems from your natural abilities, helps to serve others, and creates what psychologists refer to as “flow”: when you are fully engaged in and enjoying your effort or activity–what some people call being “in the zone.” 
  • Next, determine your values. What are your personal beliefs and how do they contribute to your purpose in life? The Center recommends writing down your top 10 values, such as loyalty, faith connection, stability, independence, friendship, and so on. Then, narrow the list to your top five. If you’d like to give this a try, the Good Project has a value sort online tool to help you get started. 
  • Finally, set goals that are authentic to satisfy your needs. We all want to be millionaires and please our parents. But are these types of goals really the root of your actual purpose? The Center recommends establishing goals that are harmonious with one another, approach-oriented, and centered around an activity. Creating a vision plan might help. 

If you’d like more helpful tips about discovering your purpose, Jack Canfield, creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul media empire, offers additional suggestions

What New Purpose Might Be Like Now
During treatment, how many people did you meet who were counselors, advisors, group therapy leaders, and other mentors who overcame addiction? At one point, they might have decided part of their new purpose in sobriety was to help others into recovery. 

As you go through the exercises above, your purpose may look similar to that, or it could be something totally different. That’s okay—remember, intent is defined by your personal passion, values, and goals. For example:

Revealing your new direction in life will add to your happiness, make you healthier, help create a center of gratitude and acceptance, and enhance the world. 

Everyone Has Worth

The fundamental philosophy at Twin Lakes Recovery Center is that all people have equal worth, and by using the power of change and growth, they can achieve deeper relationships, greater joy, and continuous improvement.