The reading level for this article is All Levels
Your Purpose is who you are, what gets you excited; I might even say that your Purpose is remembering why you’re here. If you’re like a lot of readers, you might say, “I want to make my dreams come true, but, between you and me, I don’t think I have a Purpose.” Your Purpose is not a big, burdensome, heavy weight that you “must” accomplish in your life; rather, it’s a joyous expression of who you are. One of my clients, who didn’t think finding his Purpose was the way to double his business, didn’t increase sales until he defined who he was; then it was easy.
Your Purpose could be anything that gets your juices flowing; it comes from what turns you on in life. Your Purpose is anything that touches your heart and makes a difference to you. If you’re working at a job just for the money, and what you’re doing doesn’t make you feel proud, perhaps you’ve lost your sense of Purpose. The test is how you feel: are you turned on, or do you rationalize by saying that if you don’t “sell this product, somebody else will.”
Most people are so busy reacting to the needs of daily life that they’re happy just to be getting through the day. It’s hard to live on purpose when life revolves around daily crises and you’re always feeling overwhelmed. By taking the time to define your Purpose, you’ll open up more time and space, have more energy, and be more focused.
You may be wondering how to determine your Purpose. Here is a simple exercise that will help you get in touch with your Life’s Purpose by looking at your past accomplishments. On a sheet of paper, list three times in your life, from the day you were born to this moment, when you accomplished something about which you are proud and passionate. Look for three successes about which you can say, “I did that; it felt good.” Write them down simply and quickly; as you write the first one, the other two will come.
If you can’t find at least three accomplishments–and I promise you’ve had at least thirty-three, maybe three hundred and thirty-three–perhaps you’re being too hard on yourself and setting your sights too high. Now look for the pattern, the common component that made you feel good about those achievements. What was present for you in all three examples?
If you think at first that there’s nothing consistent about the listed deeds, get in touch with what you were feeling then, about the events and about yourself. Avoid narrowing things down; try to stay with broad, generic statements. Perhaps all the items listed were fun or you were learning something new.
Don’t be concerned if passion seems to elude you at first. Some people feel passion about their Purpose as soon as they define it. Others may not be sure if the stated Purpose is something that truly excites them. You may not experience passion until you’re in action on a project; someone else may be turned on by the planning process. If you’re having difficulty finding the common thread in all three accomplishments, but you were excited by two of them, you’re probably on the right track.
It doesn’t matter whether your Purpose is single-focused or multidimensional. Imagine using the zoom lens of a camera to capture your Life’s Purpose in the most general way. Then play with the picture until the form, sound and “feel” of it is right for you. If your Purpose comes from what you feel passionate about, you are well on your way to making your dreams come true.