We’ve seen that knowing our purpose helps us to succeed in a time of change.
So how do we find out what our purpose is?
Some people just seem to know what their purpose is.
But for the rest of us, the best way I know to uncover our life’s purpose is to follow these four steps.
Start by answering just 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, keep what you like, ignore what you don’t. And then pick the two qualities that best describe you: qualities you love to express and which summarise the essence of who you are.
- How do you love expressing these qualities?
Next, describe how you most love putting these qualities into practice.
You might do this in terms of the way that you like applying your best qualities or the outcomes you love to create.
Describe this in whatever way works for you.
How do you most love expressing your two best qualities?
- Describe your ideal world
Finally, 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 to you?
If you want to find your life’s purpose stop now and answer these three questions before you go further.
Once you know your answers to these three questions, finding your life’s purpose becomes easy.
Because we believe that:
The purpose of your life is to express your best qualities, in the ways you most love doing, in a way that creates whatever an ideal world looks like to you.
Or you might like change the order and say:
“My purpose is to create [my ideal world], by using my [best qualities], [in the way I most love using them].”
So take your three answers to the questions and arrange them in a way that works for you.
The purpose of your life is to most fully express the unique person you are, in ways that are directed towards creating the kind of world you want to live in.
Play with the wording until you find a way to express this in a way that feels right to you.
Once you know what your purpose is you’ll discover that there might be a thousand ways that you can put it into practice. And as the world changes, this means that you can be flexible to adapt as you learn and grow.
The important thing is to start from the understanding you have now and begin. Then you can learn more and improve as you 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? Which do you enjoy more? What small changes could you easily make to change the balance — bringing extra focus, energy, and enthusiasm into your life (and changing your genes to make you healthier and live longer)?
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 into your purpose, but this post is a simple starting point.)
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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)