One way to truly know yourself and experience fulfilment is to get in touch with your Life Purpose. With the frenetic pace of life, business and career pressures, it can be easy to be distracted and start living a life that isn’t aligned with your purpose in life. Have you ever felt miserable and as if your life is going nowhere, or not in the direction you thought it would?
Your Life Purpose works hand-in-hand with your values and, the two combined, give you the unwavering belief in what you stand for and ensures you live your life by design, not someone else’s making – you are happier and fulfilled when doing what’s most important to you AND expressing it in every part of your life.
Richard Lieder, who wrote ‘The Power of Purpose’ said it best:
“Purpose is the conscious choice of what, where, and how to make a positive contribution to our world. It is the theme, quality or passion we choose to center our lives around.”
Here are 3 steps to defining your Life Purpose:
1) No-one can define your life purpose for you. Your life purpose is something within you which firstly begins in deciding that YOU matter – YOU are unique and different from everyone else and YOU are special. For 15 minutes each morning, take some time out to sit in a room free of distractions. Look upon this time as an opportunity to sit quietly and concentrate on just being in the moment. Observe your breath and let your mind empty itself of trying to sort out the day’s problems. Instead, focus on you and experience a comfort within yourself. This may not come naturally at first and you may find your mind filling with your ‘to do list’. When you do, stop, concentrate on an object in the room or the nice scenery outside and clear your mind.
2) To find out what matters to you and define your life purpose, it requires delving into your life from various angles to discover any matching themes. Block out an hour in your diary, then find a nice quiet spot to answer these questions. In doing so, listen to your inner intuition – the little voice inside you. What does it immediately say to you? Write it down and forget about making the words or sentences perfect. Just jot down what comes to your mind.
* What do you love doing in your spare time or when working?
* What activities are you currently doing that you enjoy?
* What do you naturally do well?
* What are your 10 greatest successes throughout your life so far? (Note: this isn’t what someone else thinks, this is what YOU think)
* What causes do you feel passionate about?
* What are the 10 most important lessons you have learned in life?
* What things do people normally ask your help for?
* If money was not an issue, what daydream would you be fulfilling right now?
* Imagine you are writing your own eulogy. What things do you want to be remembered for at the end of your life?
* Picture yourself at 80 or 90 years old. You are happy, content with life, and feeling very blessed at everything life has gifted to you. Your mind wanders to your family, your friends and other relationships and you give a happy sigh… your heart skips a beat remembering everything you have achieved in your life. Reflecting on everything your life has been made up of over the last 80/90 years, what matters to you most?
* How would your life be different today if you knew it was impossible to fail?
3) Once you have answered your questions it is time to look for the common themes that have emerged. What patterns do you see? What seems to matter the most to you? If you are unsure of what the patterns are or what they mean, then consider asking a family member, friend or coach to help you in defining the themes.
Once you have defined your life purpose, don’t let it sit in your head. Next step is to write your Mission Statement. By writing down your own personal mission statement that is your life purpose, you are giving yourself permission to live by your life purpose and providing a tangible reminder each day of who you are and how you are living your life by your own design.
A Mission Statement is made of three parts.
1) Your talents and values – this is the essence of who you are
2) What you wish to accomplish and what contributions you believe you bring to the world – yourself and others
3) Quantifying your life purpose – the measurable results you wish to achieve by living out your life purpose – i.e. how will you know when you are truly living your life purpose?
When writing your life purpose use positive words and eliminate such things as “I should”. There are no ‘shoulds’ in a life purpose… your purpose is made of ‘I will”. Express yourself in the present tense, even if you may not necessarily be living all aspects of your life purpose in the present tense, at this point in time.
For brainstorming purposes, this is a great site to view what other folks have come up with for their personal mission statement:
Once you have written your Mission Statement that clearly expresses your Life Purpose, don’t hide it in a draw. Display it proudly on your wall where you can see it everyday. If you wanted to take it one step further – and why not? 🙂 – then consider getting your Mission Statement designed and printed, then framed. The design could encapsulate in a visual way how you live your life purpose.
I just love what George Bernard Shaw has to say about a purpose:
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
Are you waiting for the world to make you happy, or are you going to design your own purpose and mission in life to make yourself happy?
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