For anyone who is seeking to improve themselves, achieve better results in life or engage in meaningful personal development, there is one fundamental question to ask yourself: what is my life purpose? The answer is, in fact, of incredible importance, as it becomes the foundation for all other activities you will undertake in your life. The answer will become your compass. It will guide your activities, provide meaning to your life and cure boredom and dissatisfaction.
Successful business leaders know that to achieve incredible results in that business, they had better understand the purpose of that business. If you’re looking to realize incredible results from your life, shouldn’t you have a purpose, too?
Where does my life purpose come from?
No one is waiting to hand you your life purpose. You choose it. This is hugely empowering and an awesome revelation. Your life purpose will serve as the basis for how you lead your life. Your goals and actions will all be aligned with your life purpose. Your behaviors, values, choices and joy will all also work in concert with your life purpose. So choose wisely.
Despite the incredible impact of having a tremendous life purpose, there is not a sure-fire way to develop the best possible life purpose statement for everyone. As well, life purposes can and should change over time. Therefore, this is an individual exercise, allowing you to be creative and choose one that works for you. The method that works for you now may not be best for your friends. It may also not be best for a future version of you. For this reason, this article offers 7 ways to create your life purpose.
Get ready to make some lists. Target each list to have somewhere between 50 and 101 entries.
1. Make a list of activities that make you happy
“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller
The more you live your life working toward larger meaning and purpose, the happier you will be. Accordingly, what makes you happy is therefore a clue to what your particular purpose in life is. Write out a list of what makes you truly happy and blissful. By partaking in this exercise and regularly reviewing the list, your life purpose may jump out at you.
Success follows happiness.
“Thanks to this cutting-edge science, we now know that happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result.” – Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage
2. Make a list of what has made you feel excited to get out of bed
“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Here’s another list to make. Think back through your life, back to when you were a child. Find those times in your life when you stayed up late passionately involved with something, only to wake up bright-eyed and excited to start again. Write down as long of a list as possible and review it regularly. As with number 1, expect to find commonality and get closer to your life’s purpose.
3. Ask why you’re unique
If your life purpose is chosen by you, specifically for you, and can and should be different than everyone else’s, you had better play to your strengths. What are you very good at relative to other people? Don’t worry if they’re silly items or less valuable in the eyes of others. This is you.
4. Define your perfect existence
Assuming no limitations, what would your perfect life look like? Write out your dream story. If everything was perfect, what would your life look like in 10 years? Who is in your life? Where are you living? How do you contribute to society?
5. Plug into the rest of the world
True happiness does not come from being self-centered. Your life purpose needs to include meaningful contribution to those around you. Who do you want to help? How do you want to help them? Teaching? Charity of time? Charity of money? How can your unique strengths benefit others?
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” - Stephen R. Covey
6. Watch Yale Alumn and Entertainment Media Partners CEO Adam Leipzig tell you how to bring this all together and determine your life purpose in 5 minutes
7. Narrow down the lists
”Success demands singleness of purpose.” – Vince Lombardi
If you’ve followed these steps, you’ve built an impressive list of clues that will help you find your life purpose. Now, assign a task to your subconscious. Ask it to sift through all of this date and pull out the common thread. Don’t rush this. Allow your brain to do its work and return a tremendous answer to you.
This article has provided you with a set of tools to help you as you embark on the journey of learning your life’s purpose. With your life purpose in hand, you’ll re-invigorate your life. You’ll have focus, excitement, and happiness. I believe you can expect physical benefits as well.
“The physical gains of reaching this deeper self are real. They are lower blood pressure, a decrease in heart rate, a lower rate of respiration, reduced levels of cortisol and a boost to the immune system.” – Robert Lomas, PhD
Enjoy your journey!
Featured photo credit: Andrew Becraft via flickr.com
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