Your purpose is the core piece of your life design. It is the part that drives all the other parts. Your purpose comes from a deep understanding of who you are.
Designing a life that doesn’t resonate with who you are, creates a life path that is unfulfilling and not inspirational.
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. – Pablo Picasso
Your purpose answers the deep question of why. Your “why” is the most important life design aspect to understand. The different parts of your life (life areas) are either going to align with your purpose or conflict with it.
When parts of your life conflict with your purpose you will have discord, tension, anxiety. When all parts of your life are aligned with your purpose, you will have peace, flow, purpose, passion, happiness, and fulfillment.
A life design that is created based on purpose puts you on a life path where you become the best version of yourself.
Your purpose is the reflection of what you are ideally suited to do in the world.
Your overall purpose in life is to discover the unique value you can create and pursue creating it in the world.
There are 8 keys to understanding your purpose.
- Be Your Unique Self
- Focus on Creating Value
- Do what you love
- Ask Yourself Better Questions
- Be Introspective
- Make Life Design a Lifelong Pursuit
- Create a Purpose Statement
- Create a Journaling Practice
Key 1: Be Your Unique Self
Each of us has a unique set of DNA and a unique set of circumstances we’ve lived through. Your value is tied to your uniqueness and your unique perspective. Your purpose is a reflection of your uniqueness.
Understanding your purpose will allow you to see meaning in life’s experiences. By understanding your purpose, you can see how everyday activities help fulfill and expand that purpose. Without knowing your purpose, these activities may seem boring or tedious.
Understanding your “Why” will make you an example for others. If you are living your purpose you will be living a more congruent, meaningful life. That life will inspire others to find and live their purpose.
Key #2: Focus on Creating Value
Your uniqueness gives you the ability to create value in the world in a way that no one else can.
I believe it is your overall purpose in life to discover the unique value you can create and pursue creating it in the world.
We are individuals with unique DNA and life experiences. We are also are part of society. Society has grown from hunters and gathers to the complex society that we know today. There are countless wonders that we as a society have created, from works of art to space crafts to the internet. We as individuals have an obligation, or a purpose, to add value to society to allow society to continue to grow.
We find our purpose through being a benefit to others.
Key 3: Do what you love
Creating a life of happiness and fulfillment and creating a life of purpose is the same thing. A fulfilling life is a reflection of the value you are creating for others. The more you benefit others the more fulfillment you will have. The happier you are, the more energy and focus you will have to work hard. Doing what you love will keep you pursuing it.
Your purpose is at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love. Find something you can pursue greatness in, that provides value to others, and brings you happiness.
You only have one life, do things that make you happy and give you fulfillment.
Key #4: Make Life Design a Lifelong Pursuit
Living a life of purpose is a lifelong process of discovery, creation, and execution.
It is a constant exploration of the essence of what you do. While your purpose may not change, there are many different visions for your life that would fulfill your purpose.
Understanding your “Why” is understanding your core. This will facilitate designing a vision that will allow you to fulfill your purpose. This produces a cycle. Moving towards your vision, will allow you to understand your purpose more, which will drive you more towards your vision.
No matter how well you are living your purpose, there is always another level. Even people who are masters of their art are always trying to reach the next level. You will always be discovering a bigger idea of what your purpose is.
Learning who you are and your uniqueness is a lifelong journey. This lifelong journey is iterative or cyclical in nature. The more you live your purpose, the deeper you will understand your purpose resulting in living your purpose more deeply.
Key #5: Ask Yourself Better Questions
Understanding any situation better requires you to ask yourself better questions. If you can ask yourself better questions in better ways that is even better.
5-Why’s is a questioning technique that allows you to get more from your questions. In short, the 5-why’s works by asking yourself a question and then adding why to the answer to form another question. Repeat this process 5 times to get to the root of the question.
Questions for starting the 5-why’s
- What am I willing to pursue regardless of the effort required?
- What would I do if I only had a year to live?
- What legacy do I want to leave after I am gone?
- What would I do if I didn’t have to worry about money?
- How would I save the world?
- When have you felt as if you were living who you were meant to be?
Find and accumulate questions. Even if the question doesn’t work for you today, the question could become invaluable sometime in the future.
Key #6: Be Introspective
Those experiences in your life when you have experienced a state of flow give you glimpses of what your purpose is. These glimpses can be as small as getting swept away in your favorite movie or book. These will give you a small insight into your purpose. The times when you get swept away in what you are doing will give you the greatest insight.
When you are doing something in accordance with your uniqueness, that satisfies your purpose you feel the state of flow: that feeling that you are doing what you are meant to be doing. Those are the things that get you to jump out of bed in the morning.
Continuously looking inward and evaluating your experience will help you get closer to your purpose.
Key #7: Create a Purpose Statement
A big question you’ll ask is “How do I know when I have discovered my purpose?”
The short answer is that you will continue to discover your purpose over your entire life. No matter how well you understand your purpose, there is always a deeper level you can go to.
Your purpose statement is a written statement, or set of pictures, that quickly connects you with your purpose. You will constantly refer to this statement to ensure your decisions help you to fulfill your purpose. This statement is a living thing, as you determine, live, and deepen your life’s purpose you will continually update your purpose statement. For some your purpose statement will be short and concise, for others, it will be longer and more verbose. The point is that your purpose statement needs to connect you with your purpose.
Your purpose statement should be motivational. If living your purpose puts you in a state of flow, your purpose statement should remind and motivate you to reach that state.
Your purpose statement will form the starting point of defining your life vision.
Create a statement that encapsulates your purpose. It is a statement you will use when evaluating life decisions. Those decisions that allow you to fulfill your purpose are good decisions.
Your purpose gives scope around your vision and thereby creates the focus for your mission.
Your purpose is the essence from which your vision is built. A vision that makes the most out of your purpose will be a strong compelling vision.
Key #8: Create a Journaling Practice
By creating a journaling practice I simply mean getting your thoughts written down in an organized way so you can continually review and refine them.
Journaling is a keystone habit to support you in living your purpose.Living your life on #purpose begins with #journaling #lifedesign #ldjs Click To Tweet
Journaling your experiences and reviewing them over time will reveal the themes and patterns of your life purpose.
There is nothing more complicated than the journey through life you are on. You take notes in school. Businesses document their vision and strategic plan. Your life design is your most important creation, therefore you should document it. Start taking notes on your life journey and you will accelerate your growth on that path.
Your purpose ties into everything you do. In order to understand your purpose, you need to understand everything you do. This is way too much to keep in your head. Journaling is the practice that keeps your awareness on the journey, that provides you with insight and answers to progress further along the path.