You don’t find your purpose, you build it (HBR)

A newly-hatched turtle sets off towards the sea

Mark Twain famously said:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Harvard Business Review recently published an article about that ‘why’. It argued that the purpose of your life isn’t something you find but rather something you build: it might not be only one thing and it might change during your lifetime.

Inner Leadership partly agrees. We think the way we put our life purpose into practice can change over time, just like our understanding of what that purpose is. But the purpose itself is probably fixed and could have been the same if you’d been born a hundred years ago or a thousand years ago. It’s how we put our purpose into practice that changes.

This means that the best way to find your purpose is to start somewhere, now. Then learn and improve as you move forward.

Inner Leadership gives you the tools to find your best understanding of your purpose today and start putting that into practice. This will bring you more energy and enthusiasm. And as your understanding changes and deepens, so you can repeat the process to refine and refocus your purpose, and find new ways of putting it into practice.

Scientists have discovered that living a purposeful life changes our genes. Viktor Frankl called our search for purpose and meaning our “highest calling.” Knowing our purpose is also another step towards becoming antifragile.

Are you building your life purpose? Would you like to begin — starting from where you are now?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Jolene Bertoldi via

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