“It is better to live your own Dharma imperfectly, than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” -Bhagavad Gita
What is Dharma?
Dharma is a Sanskrit word that loosely translates to righteous living, but the original word itself has a far deeper meaning than its direct translation. The ancient Hindu texts of The Vedas describe Dharma as an inner wisdom, or a cosmic guidance that governs not only the individual, but the universe itself.
For a person to follow her Dharma, all she needs to do is to follow that inner guidance. Easy, right? Not always.
The reason why you might find it difficult to listen to that inner voice is because there are so many other voices vying for your attention. There’s the voice of your own mind, the voices of the people around you, the voice of culture ingrained through generations, the voice of your conscience, the voices of beliefs and expectations and a whole cacophony of others.
So how do you discover your Dharma, despite all those other voices?
Here are the five paths you can take to find your true Dharma. You can adopt one or all of the following, to take your first steps on the path to your purpose. When you consciously take each step, the path itself will start to pull you forward in the right direction. Walking this path is not about success, but about harmony — with yourself, your thoughts, your words and in your actions.
1. The Path of Joy
This is the easiest path to your purpose. Think about what makes you feel excited, alive, awake. Books? Food? Travel? Wherever your joy is, that’s where your purpose lies. Your soul speaks in your emotions, so listen to them. When you are faced with a choice between fear and joy, always follow your joy. Find those things that fill you with joy and your purpose will find you!