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 our life isn’t something we find but rather something we build: it might not be only one thing and it might change during our lives.

Inner Leadership partly agrees. We think the way we put our life purpose into practice changes over time, and so does our understanding of what it is. But that life purpose is probably fixed and it could have been the same if we had been born a hundred or a thousand years ago. The important thing is to start somewhere, learn, and improve.

Inner Leadership gives you tools for doing this: to find your best understanding of your purpose today and put that into practice, starting from where you are now. This will bring you more energy and enthusiasm. And as you move forward your understanding will deepen and change. Then you can repeat the process: refine, refocus, and find new way(s) to put that into practice.

Scientists have found that living a life of purpose changes our genes, reducing our risk of heart attacks and cancer. Viktor Frankl called our search for purpose and meaning our “highest calling.”

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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