Some people live on purpose and some just respond to what the world delivers. A “life purpose” is not something you do, or something you have. Rather, what you “do” is an expression of your life purpose. Having a life purpose guides all your choices and shapes the direction of your life. It is your unique GPS. It is the compelling reason to be who you authentically are. Everyone has purpose in life. Let’s look at how you can define yours. Below are some examples of what a life purpose is, what it is not and the benefits of consciously living your true and distinctive purpose:
What is a “Life Purpose”?
- A focus, an intent
- A powerful shaping force for your life
- It includes your vision, core values, passions and the essence of who you are
- An expression of who you are when you are reaching your full potential
- It is the container in which you pour your life
- It encompasses all of your life
- It is lived throughout your life journe (it’s not the destination_
- It is the role you play in making the world a better place
What a “Life Purpose” is not:
- Something you should be doing, or based on any “should’s”
- Limited by a role you have (parent, employee)
- Something that just lives inside of you–it includes others
- Coming from fear, lack, need or struggle to survive
- Something you achieve, complete or arrive at
- Your education or experience
- What other people expect of you
- A to-do list
Benefits of discovering and living your life purpose:
- It serves as a measuring stick for life decisions
- It is the cornerstone for any goal
- It helps you find meaningful work and other groups to be involved in
- It is like a compass keeping you on track, always guiding you in the right direction
- It acts like a big neon sign to redirect you when lost or stuck
- Your life becomes more satisfying, fulfilling and fun
- It maximizes your talents, strengths and gifts
- You see your efforts produce results
- Things happen more easily, and with less obstacles
- Your values, beliefs and daily decisions come into alignment
- It frees the unnecessary clutter from your life, thus reducing stress
- It gives you plenty of room to express yourself
- You are proactive, not reactive; you live by choosing, not wishing
- It is long-lasting, and endures challenge and change
- It is designed to nurture yourself and those around you
Questions to consider in knowing and intentionally living your “life purpose”:
- Where are you going? Do you really want to go there? What can you do about it?
- If you really knew who you genuinely are and had the guts to be that person, who would you be?
- How, where and with whom would you enjoy contributing to others?
- What could there be more of – that’s intangible – to make the world a better place?
- As of now, what things have you left untried, undone or unsaid?
- How do you want to share, to serve, to grow?
- As you travel through life – as a ship travels free from rocks and other hazards toward the lighthouse on the coastline – what would represent your “lighthouse”? Your life purpose statement is your own personal lighthouse.
- What emotional blocks, old patterns and unhealed wounds need to be addressed to help you become whole and begin to live with purpose?
- If your life were a movie, what would the current “theme” be? What constant and consistent theme do you desire it to be?
- If your life is always being shaped by something and you are not clear about your life purpose, then what is shaping your life?
- What would be possible if you knew your divinely inspired life purpose?
- What would be possible for yourself and for those around you if your thoughts, decisions, choices and actions were shaped by this unmistakable purpose? What is it costing you if they were not?
Developing a life purpose statement can take some time. Consider words that describe you most at peace, yet joyful and whole, (Ex: simplicity, spirituality, compassion). Your intuition will guide you.
Pay attention to what makes your heart sing, to what fills you with bliss. Notice when you are the most happy and fulfilled. Notice what you gravitate towards. You are most excited and motivated to live a great life of what, exactly? This is your opportunity to define “success” – not goals but ways of being. Beginning now, how will you bring about the purposeful possibilities in your life?
“It can certainly be difficult to tune out all of life’s distractions in order to focus your energy on what truly matters. Yet it is much easier than living with the emptiness of a life without direction.”
– Ralph Marston
“What is it that you want to do with the one, wild, precious thing called your life?”
– Mary Oliver
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”
“If you don’t know what you stand for, you will fall for anything.”