A satisfactory life is a “full” life. To achieve a full life, you need to have the right sense of purpose. There’s no “one purpose fits all.” You have to first understand the true meaning of having a sense of purpose, its importance, and the way to find it.
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What Is a Sense of Purpose?
A sense of purpose is whatever you believe in. It is your driving force, your motivation, and your guiding light to work towards a life that you think will satisfy you.
Your life’s purpose is very closely linked to your sense of purpose. The only difference is that you only have one purpose in your life. But a sense of purpose is different for all aspects of life. Although, they are all aligned.
Your sense of purpose is what pushes you to achieve your goals. It is completely personal to your lifestyle and preferences. It is what keeps you on the right track in all aspects of life. So, a clear purpose will help you plan your career goals effectively. Similarly, a different sense of purpose for your relationships will encourage you to maintain your relationships accordingly.
While keeping things coherent, different purposes in different aspects of life also maintain a clear distinction among them. If you have completely different work ethics than how you plan to be with your family, your defined purposes will help you maintain the line.
Your beliefs and values play a huge role in determining your sense of purpose as well. If you have clear values in the early stages of your life, you might have a clear sense of purpose at a young age. There is no age limit to when you find a purpose. Some people only get to it after most of their life has passed.
How to Find a Sense of Purpose?
To get the most out of your life and increase your potential, you need to start by finding a sense of purpose. It’s a process that is worth every minute you spend looking for it.
You need to start with a general purpose at first. This is a broader sense of direction for your life in general. A life purpose is what you need to define foremost. This will allow you to keep everything else aligned with this broad purpose for coherence in your life.
For example, if your general life purpose is to be more at peace, you’ll work in each aspect of life to find a calm outcome. You’ll want to have good relations with your family. Career-wise, you’ll want something that promotes your mental health instead of deteriorating it. A steady source of wealth will also be a vital part of your goals and hence, it will translate to your purpose as well.
After that, you tackle all life aspects one by one. Here are the life aspects that you should go through:
- Physical Health
- Relationships, Family, and Social Life
- Work and Career
- Wealth and Money
- Spiritual Wellness
- Mental Strength
In each of these aspects, you need to look beyond what’s apparent. To find the true purpose in each regard, you have to look for the hidden opportunities so that you can identify your true driving force.
After that, you should invest your time and energy in this direction to reap good results. To do so, you can implement the following methods that will ease the whole journey for you.
1. Incorporate the 5 Whys
The 5 whys are a self-interrogatory technique. They play a very effective role when it comes to discovering your sense of purpose. The 5 whys ensure that whatever you end up finalizing is coherent with your intent.
With the help of the 5 whys, you can find all the answers that you’re looking for. The best part is that you’re the only one involved in the process so everything you end up finding out it 100% true to you. This is why it is a great method to use if you want to find a sense of purpose that will stick with you for life.
This technique will get you on track towards the direction where you’ll find your purpose. In fact, this is the step where you’ll do most of the work. The rest of the steps are just ways to strengthen what you’ve got in mind.
2. Listen to Yourself
Your mind is very likely to tell you your purpose on its own. All you’ve got to do is listen to yourself. One easy way to do so is to consciously shift your focus to what’s on your mind.
Every morning when you wake up, what are the things that you think of first? Similarly, what are the thoughts that go through your mind before you go to sleep? Or when you randomly drift into a thinking spree during work?
All these thoughts are your mind’s way to communicate with you. Find what’s common in them to give yourself a direction to work in.
Meditation is not only a great way to organize your thoughts, but it is also a source of encouragement for your mind to define a sense of purpose.
Even a 5-minute session squeezed in your morning or evening routine is enough. It gives your mind the space it needs to get your mental processes in order. Once that is done, you’ll find it way easier to understand them. Extracting meaning out of what seemed senseless previously will be a piece of cake with the help of meditation. However, you’ll have to be consistent.
4. Distinguish the Do’s From Don’ts
Sit down and make a list of what you want to do in life versus what you would never want to do. Be as broad or narrow as you want. Pinpoint all the details of everything you want to steer clear from. These are the things your purpose will be far in nature from. On the contrary, your sense of purpose will be closely related to the things that you are naturally inclined towards.
With a picture in mind of the dos and don’ts clarified, it will be easier for your mind to establish an idea that suits your life choices.
Case Study: A Mom Who Has Lost Her Meaning Of Life After Her Sons Have Gone To the College
Melanie is a mom of two. She loves her family. In fact she loves it so much that she actually quit her full time job and dedicated her whole life to her family. She has two lovely sons. Everything seemed to go well until her sons went to the college. She suddenly felt empty as if something was missing in life. Doubting her meaning of life, she started to feel very upset. Her husband couldn’t really understand why she became so emotional, so they argued more often and their relationship suffered. Melanie has thought about picking up her painting hobby and doing something about it. But she also felt that she was too old to do so.
Seeking for help to get unstuck, she took our Life Assessment and this was her result at that time:
After taking the Life Assessment, she realized that she had very low score for “Work & Career Prosperity.” It seemed that after her sons going to college, she experienced an Empty Nest Syndrome. To get unstuck from where she was, she had to rediscover her meaning for life.
She was really eager to change her life, so after taking the Life Assessment, she took a leap of faith and enrolled for Lifehack’s Full Life Framework Course to see what she could do to live a fulffiling life.
Through the first few sessions, Melanie realized that raising his sons was her only motivation for life over the past 20 years. This was why she doubted her meaning of life when her sons no longer needed her to take care of. She was encouraged to take up painting again to add back spark in her life. So she started to paint at home again. She even joined interest groups to meet more people who shared the same hobby as she did. Of course she still struggled when she just started to take up painting again — everything just didn’t look well on her paintaings. But with the new mindset she developed and the skillsets she learned throughout the Full Life Framework Course (and the support from her new friends), she got over the obstacles one by one.
I’ve learned that recently, Melanie has even started to teach the kids in her neighborhood to paint! With a more energetic life and a more positive attitude, her relationship with her husband has never been this good as well.
If you want to find out how well you’re doing with your life too, you can take our Life Assessment for free now!
How to Strengthen Your Sense of Purpose
If you follow these steps to find your sense of purpose, it will be strong enough to stay consistent for life. However, there is a chance that while your purpose was clear at first, you’ve been feeling lost now.
This isn’t something to fret over. The ups and downs in life can shake your circumstances and your purpose too. You can easily re-focus your perspective on your well-defined purpose. You can also find a new purpose that suits your new circumstances.
If it happens to be so, don’t feel like you’ve failed in life. It is alright if you lose your emphasis during challenging times.
Re-Evaluate Your Life
Start with reminding yourself of the sense of purpose you were following previously. Think about it. Think of how it affected your life and decisions. This isn’t an easy thought process. It will take you days or even weeks to come to a conclusion.
You’ll have to go through your desired achievements, short-term and long-term goals, and most importantly, your past. Evaluate all these facts of your life.
Then, question yourself to find out if the same purpose still aligns with your life choices or not.
If the answer to the question is yes, your sense of purpose is perfectly fine. All that you need is some motivation to put it into practical implementation. You need to remind yourself of all the benefits of having a clear sense of purpose.
Everything that you achieved because of your sense of purpose, everything that you wish to achieve will serve as your source of motivation. You can also try some other motivation boosting tips to refocus your perspective.
If you think your sense of purpose has done you no good or will no longer be of any use, you require a new sense of purpose. This is possible in case you went through major changes in life. Your sense of purpose can also get hazy if you failed to define a strong one initially.
Having a sense of purpose is a fool-proof way to a fully satisfactory life. It leads to ease in prioritization, strengthens morals and values, aligns all your life goals, and helps you stay focused. The clarity in life is only possible if you have your sense of purpose sorted.
So, get on with the process right away. You’ll have a sorted life in no time once you’re done with defining your purposes in all aspects of life!
More About Finding Your Sense of Purpose
- How To Find Meaning in Life: 9 Simple Ways
- 7 Ways to Create Your Life Purpose
- How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life
Featured photo credit: Ilya Shishikhin via unsplash.com