How do you find your purpose? What does it mean to have a purpose? What even is Purpose?
Everyone wants to live a full and complete life with meaning and purpose. This can help you to feel happier, healthier, more productive and energized, contributing your best to make a positive impact in the world.
That’s why getting clear on your purpose and living in alignment with your greatest sense of self is one of the most valuable things you can do.
When you live your purpose, you are clear on what you want and why, making decisions easier, as you can prioritize the things that move you closer to your ultimate life goals.
What is purpose?
Oxford Languages defines purposes as:
- “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
- A person’s sense of resolve or determination.
- Have as one’s intention or objective.”
Different perspectives on purpose.
Purpose is unique for each of us and there is no one single answer to the big life question: What’s my purpose?
Purpose can mean different things to different people. Yet the sense that we are connected to something greater than ourselves and that our life is meant for more is universal and spans different cultures, languages, and beliefs.
Here are some examples:
- Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means to find joy in life through purpose. It is what gets you up in the morning and keeps you motivated throughout the day. It is what is said to make life worthwhile.
- Your raison d’être is French meaning your reason for existence. It refers to your primary purpose and what matters most to you.
- Dharma is a Hindu, Buddhist, and yogic concept referring to the universal laws of nature, applicable to everyone, a cosmic order that governs the universe and all things.
In The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra states that “The law of Dharma or Purpose in Life, says that we are spiritual beings who have taken physical form to fulfill a purpose. Everyone has a purpose in life – a unique gift or special talent to give to others, and for every unique talent and expression of that talent, there are also unique needs. When we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our spirit. This is the goal of all goals.”
Take inspiration from real-life examples in nature.
Just as an acorn is destined to become a giant oak and a caterpillar a beautiful butterfly, you were born with everything you need within you to transform into your greatest sense of self.
However, in order to achieve true greatness, the acorn must crack open and break through its hard protective shell. It then has to find its way through the darkness and layers of dirt to shoot into life.
A caterpillar also goes through a complete transformation, where it literally breaks down on a cellular level as it goes through a metamorphosis, in order to reconstruct and re-emerge as a butterfly. It has to break its wings against the hard chrysalis to strengthen them enough to fly.
Therefore, even if things feel hard, difficult, dark, or broken—it is worth remembering that this could all be part of a bigger purpose.
When life gets in the way and we feel lost and stuck.
When we are not clear on our life’s purpose, it can feel like we are drifting aimlessly through life, struggling to survive, rather than thriving at our best.
It can feel like we are treading water, going round in circles, using up all our energy, time, and resources merely to navigate the waves, wind, and weather, without getting anywhere.
If you don’t know where you want to go, how can you get there?
When you find your purpose in life, you set the destination into your own inner compass, like a GPS sat-nav. Even if you are not sure of your ultimate destination, focus on a direction of travel of where you want to go and what you want to explore. The important thing is just to start with a purpose.
An airplane sets its destination and is constantly re-routing and adjusting its course, based on external factors, such as the weather or other aircraft. The journey will always be different, but it will reach its final destination all the same. If a destination is not programmed in, then would it just fly around aimlessly trying to avoid the storms and other aircraft, until it ran out of fuel? A lot of this is done on auto-pilot, just like our own minds as we operate from our subconscious 95% of the time, often with little conscious awareness.
This isn’t a manifestation “secret”—it’s science! This is how it works:
Your Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of neurons in your brain about the size of your little finger, which starts above your spinal cord. It acts as a gatekeeper of information between your conscious and subconscious mind, a bit like a flashlight in the dark. You are only aware of what you look at by shining the light on, everything else is still there but filtered out.
Our conscious awareness is like the narrow beam of light and only the tip of the iceberg of our almighty minds. We can typically only hold 5 – 9 bits of information in our short-term memory at a time and it is believed that our conscious capacity can process 134 bits per second.
Our subconscious, on the other hand, is like a giant library, believed to be able to process between two million and four billion bits of information every second. It takes in everything through our senses and filters it, only making us consciously aware of the things it thinks are relevant.
Therefore, by becoming clear on our purpose, we are clearly outlining what we want and where we want our focus to go. As the saying goes: where your attention goes, energy flows.
The benefits of pursuing your purpose:
When we know where we are heading, for what purpose, it makes it easier to see how experiences lead us forward and it can make the journey more enjoyable.
It makes it easier for us to clearly focus on what we want and not get overwhelmed by billions of decisions and competing possibilities.
Our lives are no longer controlled by external factors in our environment. Instead, we take control, claim back our personal power, and confidently sit in the driving seat of our own vehicle.
What does purpose mean to you?
Everyone and everything has a purpose. You have unlimited potential to make a big difference to the world just by being true to you.
Many people get lost in life trying to be or do something else – to live up to someone else’s expectations, or a second-hand experience they have been conditioned to believe is for them.
The truth is, no one else on the planet has your exact combination of skills, experience, and interests. There is no one else like you – you are unique. You are special. You are the one and only you!
What does being true to yourself look like and how can that lead you to your purpose in life? This is something we will explore more as we look at how to Live Your Purpose.
“How do I find my purpose?”
This is the question everyone asks and it may surprise you to discover that you cannot actually “find” your purpose by looking for it outside of yourself. It’s not lost down the back of the sofa or waiting for you at the top of the highest mountain. You cannot find your purpose by typing into Google ‘How do I find my purpose?’
Just as you cannot find your life, you create it. You are your purpose. It is the truth of who you are at your essence. It is who you are. Your purpose is what makes you uniquely you.
The good news is that you already have everything you need within you. You just need to go within so you don’t need to go without.
Where do you start?
Your purpose can be found in what you love to do, what you are good at, what value you can contribute to others, and what the world needs. These come to life through your mission, passion, vocation, and contribution.
How to find your purpose in life —start by answering these key questions:
It has been said that if you don’t know the answers to your big life questions, like how to find your life’s purpose, then you haven’t been asking the right questions.
Clarity on your purpose can be gained from working through these thought-provoking questions.
1. What do you love to do?
- What energizes you? Your body can tell you everything you need to know once you start listening to it. Notice what energizes you versus what depletes your energy and do more of the things you love that make you happy.
- What makes you feel like excited butterflies are dancing in your tummy? What makes your heart sing?
- What activities do you enjoy doing so much you get into a flow state and lose all track of time?
- What makes you want to get up in the morning? What do you look forward to? What makes your life worthwhile?
- If you could do, be and have anything in the world what would it be?
2. What are you good at?
- What skills and talents have you developed over the years?
- What do people come to you for advice on?
- What interests you enough to want to spend time deepening your knowledge and expertise in that area?
- What would you do with your time if money wasn’t an issue?
3. What offers value?
- What can you offer that is of value to others?
- What do you know, have, or can share that will be valuable and make a difference?
- What would others value so much they would pay for it?
- Money is an exchange of value. The more value you add the more value you can exchange.
4. What does the world need?
- How can you help improve people’s lives or make a difference in the world? (Remember, small things make a big difference).
- What change would you like to see in the world?
- What type of influence do you want to have or be in the world?
- What would you love to be a world-leading expert in?
- How can you use what you have been through to help others?
- How can you show up in ways that are meaningful to you and the people in your world?
If everything exists for a reason, even the worst of circumstances can teach us something and make us who we are. It can provide us with experience that we can share with others and be of service. The key is to look at it with the perspective of greater purpose.
You are here for a reason.
You are here, right now, for a reason. By reading this article and considering the questions you have already started the process of pursuing your purpose.
Congratulations on taking the first step to explore, enjoy, and experience everything on the journey of your best life.
Would you like to get even clearer on your life’s purpose? To know who you truly are and how to lead a life you love?
5 steps to finding your purpose.
Live Your Purpose is a five-step transformational program guiding you step-by-step through your own journey of discovery:
Step 1. What Who Why? What’s your purpose, who is your authentic self, and why do you do what you do? We establish the foundations of your values, key characteristics, and preferred life balance, exploring what matters most to you and how to powerfully program your mind for success.
Step 2. Past: Rediscover what you were born to do and let go of any subconscious limiting beliefs, which we probably learned as a child and are preventing us from living our full potential as an adult. Know where you came from in order to know where you are going.
Step 3. Present: Get crystal clear on your passions, preferences, and the people in your tribe. What’s your niche and how can you best serve others, through an empowering exploration of self.
Step 4. Future: This is where we bring your dreams to life, activated through your senses, to send a clear instruction to your subconscious mind. Use proven success strategies that work from scientific, spiritual, medical, and business leadership perspectives.
Step 5. Purpose Statement: Make your dreams a reality, set your intentions, activate your dreams, and create a life you love for lasting change. Interactive exercises, activities, and worksheets help you build a complete picture with a clear plan of action and outcomes.
Successfully complete the course with your very own Personal Purpose Statement and a declaration of intent. You can use this mini-manifesto in your marketing, branding, or just for personal reference, to guide you to living your best life.
What would it mean to you to fulfill your purpose?
You may not instantly accept this truth but you are remarkable. You are unique, your life experience is so valuable and YOU have something special to share with the world.
The world needs you and your gift.
If you don’t get clear on your purpose, will you just continue doing what you have always done to get what you have always got? Would you be happy if nothing changed? If you didn’t progress to where you want to be, where you know deep down you are meant to be?
In five to ten years’ time do you want to be in exactly the same place you are now, feeling the same, OR will you be living with passion, purpose, and prosperity— to your full potential?
What would it mean to you to live your purpose?
Find out here: Live Your Purpose.