Do you feel you’re made for something bigger? Do you dream about living a life full of meaning and purpose? Do you want to feel energized and motivated because you know you’re making a difference? And yet, you’re desperate because you have no clue how to answer the question “What’s your life’s purpose?”
That’s certainly how I felt until a couple of years ago. After quitting my full-time job, I was obsessed with the answer to that question. I’ve spent hours, days, weeks, months trying to find out what my purpose is. After buckets of tears, tons of self-doubt and painful unclarity, I finally understood that I was having some serious misbeliefs around that topic.
If you ever felt stuck trying to find your life’s purpose, here is the needed truth to the biggest myths around finding your big P.
BIG MYTH #1: YOU CAN FIND YOUR PURPOSE
OMG – don’t even get me started! By far the biggest misconception about finding your purpose is exactly that: you can find your purpose. As if, one day you wake up and – tadaaa – there it is. Beautifully wrapped, sitting there, just waiting for you to pick it up and start living a purposeful life.
Sounds pleasant. Mainly because it doesn’t involve any work or effort from our side – which is exactly why it’s complete BS. Nothing in life that’s worth pursuing comes with zero effort (besides all the great promises we hear on social media every day aka “The 5 Hidden Secrets to Loose Weight without Dieting” or “The 10 Growth Hacking Tipps that will Grow Your Business 10x TODAY”).
The truth lies in a simple change of words: You cannot find your purpose, but you can create it!
ACTIONABLE TRUTH#1: YOU DON’T FIND YOUR PURPOSE, YOU CREATE IT!
True fulfillment comes from designing your own life. Too often we’re reacting to our environment instead of actively deciding what we want in our life’s – the same holds true when it comes to living our purpose.
So how can you create your purpose? By going inside yourself and listening to that inner voice that’s already telling you what you know to be true for you (not for your parents, or your friends, or your partner). At the beginning of our journey of designing a life we love, this voice is usually very very small. That’s why we can help bringing it out, by asking some thought-provoking time-boxed questions.
The most applicable concept I came across so far comes from Ryan Allis, a hugely successful purpose-driven entrepreneur. He defines as the meeting point of your passion, your mission, your vocation and your profession.
Now would you like to gain clarity on your purpose? Then start with this 15-minute exercise.
EXERCISE: CREATE YOUR PURPOSE
Step 1: Take a two sheets of paper, a pen, and a timer
Step 2: Write down the following questions, one per page
- What do you love doing?
- What does the world need?
- What are you good at?
- What can you be paid for?
Step 3: Set your timer to 3 minutes, ask question #1. Repeat with all questions.
Step 4: Go through your answers and identify the answers that are repeated in all four questions.
Step 5: Create your 2-3 sentence purpose based on that overlap.
Don’t worry if it’s not perfect yet – it doesn’t have to be. That’s version 1, you can always adapt and change it. But write down your version 1, and then let your mind ponder about it for the next days. You can repeat the exercise the next week to specify your purpose.
INVITATION TO AN AWESOME IN-PERSON WORKSHOP:
Now, I’d love to hear from you: Have you ever struggled with finding your purpose? Did the exercise help you?
And do you have some other advice or exercises that helped you identify your purpose?
I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Love and light,