As a coach I get to work a lot with people on defining their life purpose. People may feel stuck or demotivated or just not sure where to go in life. Finding their life purpose can help them navigate their life in a more fulfilling way. Knowing what you’re supposed to do in life can help you become more centered, more focused and more content.
But what is your life purpose?
The definition varies slightly from one person to another. To me your life purpose is a summary of the most important values that you believe in. It is based on the most important values that drive your behavior and which can be linked to your gifts or talents. For example, you can be a very good listener (talent) and an important value to you is serving others (value). These two combined can be the basis for your purpose in life.
So how do you find your life purpose?
It begins by going through a journey of self-identification and self-discovery so that you can understand what’s important to you. By asking yourself questions like who am I and what matters the most in my life, you can start the journey. But that’s just the beginning. Knowing your life purpose needs more exploration. You need more knowledge of what you want in your life and also what you don’t want. By listing what you don’t want to have in your life e.g. financial stress, loneliness or conflict, you can begin to know more about what matters to you. This is where your values will begin to emerge. Take note of those values that keep coming up during your search. These are the most important ones. Also take note of things you’re good at, your gifts, and your talents. List them down and match them to your values. You will then begin to have more sense of what’s your purpose.
What do you do with your life purpose?
Once you have an idea of what your purpose in life is then you can begin aligning your life with it. That does not necessarily mean you quit your fixed income job to become a photographer straight away for example (although no one will stop you if that’s what you want). It means that you can begin to plan your life so that everything in it is aligned with your values and ultimately your life purpose. It means that you need to take stock of everything in your life (career, relationships, spirituality etc.) and assess whether it is serving you or not. Are you living the life you should be living? If any of the aspects in your life does not fully match your life purpose, consider what needs to be done. Consider how you can incorporate your important values and your life purpose in your existing life.
To sum up, finding the purpose of your life has been tagged as the most important day in your life right after the day you are born. Make that day count.