Knowing our purpose helps us to succeed in times of change.
How can we know what our purpose is?
Some people ‘just know’ that they’ve always wanted to be a zoo keeper or a train driver. But for those of us who lack that clarity, the best way I know to uncover our life’s purpose is to follow these four steps.
To begin, first answer these three questions:
- What are your two best qualities?
What are the two best qualities you bring to the world? Not skills or knowledge but qualities.
If you find it difficult to pick just two, ask some trusted friends. Listen to their answers, ignore what you don’t like, and keep what you do. Then pick the two qualities that best describe you: qualities you love to express and which summarise the essence of who you are.
- Say how you love expressing these qualities
Ask yourself how you most love putting these qualities into practice. How you most enjoy expressing them. The outcomes are you creating when you do this.
- Describe your ideal world
What would the world be like if it were perfect, according to you? What would you see, hear, feel, taste, or smell? What kind of a world is that? What is a perfect, ideal world for you?
Stop now and answer these questions before you read further.
Once you know your answers, defining your purpose becomes easy:
The purpose of your life is to express your best qualities, in the ways you most love, to create your ideal world.
So, you might rearrange these words and say:
“My purpose is to create [my ideal world], by using my [best qualities], to [create the outcomes you love creating].”
Feel free to play around with the wording until you find what works best for you.
Your life purpose is to most fully express the unique person you are, in a way that creates the kind of world you want to live in. That is your purpose.
There is no one right answer for how to go about doing that — there could be a thousand ways and they might change over time as you learn and grow. The thing to do is to start from the best understanding you have today, act on it, and move forward.
Which parts of your life are you living most in line with your purpose today? Which parts of your life are you living least in line with your purpose today? What small changes could you make, easily, to live more in line with your purpose and so bring yourself more energy and enthusiasm?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
(The book contains more tools that will bring you deeper insights purpose, but this post is a simple starting point.)
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