Flourish Part 3: Purpose
A Progressive Person's Guide to Creating Joy, Fulfillment, & Success in Life
A 12 Minute Read or 14 minute Watch+ Journaling & Exercises
Why does Purpose matter?
How do I “find” purpose?
How do I get more purpose in my life and work?
To view the video version of this blog post, watch below or keep scrolling to continue reading.
It’s 2019. Are you still trying to “find” your purpose? That may be a part of the problem. Purpose isn’t something you find, it’s something you uncover. Purpose is not a destination, it’s a journey.
If you’re trying to “find” your purpose, you’re insinuating that it is lost. What you really want to do is UNCOVER YOUR PURPOSE. We all have one…or maybe a few. It’s right there within you.
If you’re not living on and in your purpose, it’s likely pulling at you beneath the surface, but you’re too busy or preoccupied to acknowledge it. Maybe you thought you knew your purpose, but your circumstances have changed and you’re wondering what more there is to life. As humans, we have an inherent desire to make meaning of our lives.
Are you ready to get clear about your purpose? You’ll have to dig deep and do some inner work, but I promise you it’s worth it! If you’ve been feeling lost and overwhelmed and lacking motivation, these are signs that you need to take some time to focus on Y-O-U! Your purpose can be uncovered by allowing the space for reflection, clarity, and authenticity.
Each of us has different assignments while we’re here on earth. Your purpose is yours. It’s not your mom’s, your boyfriend’s, or that super dope chick’s who you follow on the ‘gram. Let me be clear-there’s beauty in appreciation and inspiration, but when you want to know what makes life most worth living—it’s an authentic expression of you that is most powerfully defined by you.
I’ll keep this short and simple because I know attention spans are slim to none these days. If you want more on purpose, you’re welcomed to check out our upcoming events, consider our coaching packages and look for announcements of our upcoming online courses where we go into more depth with exercises and assessments designed to increase your self-awareness and understand of how to build on your strengths.
So what is purpose?!
Purpose has been defined in many ways as humans have evolved. One way to define purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. On a more personal level- its the reason why we were created and why we exist.
Happiness Guru and Positive Psychology expert, Carin Rockind says that:
We are all here for a reason and that reason is a mix of what we love, what we we’re good at, and what we can offer the world. You see, purpose is much bigger than us.
A common way to define purpose is in it’s noun form, as “a calling”. But, I like to refer to purpose as a verb, not a noun because purpose is best expressed in action. Being your purpose, or being on purpose, induces joy, interest and life satisfaction. Each of us looks for happiness and fulfillment in our own way-whether consciously or unconsciously. Your purpose evolves as you do. Purpose as a verb is the embodiment of intention; to set forth; to bring forward.
“Who are you becoming?”
Michelle Obama would ask, “who are you becoming?“ Who you have been is the past. Who you will be is the future. Who are you becoming in the now? What is your purpose in this very moment? What is the meaning behind the things you do? Sometimes meaning and purpose are used interchangeably, but actually they are quite different. Meaning is a subjective experience of feeling that life fits into a larger context and has significance. When you can identify meaning in your life, you feel that your life as a whole makes sense
The Benefits of Purpose
When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical doctor Oscar Serrallach answered without hesitation: having a sense of purpose. Purpose is positively correlated with overall life satisfaction. The more purpose we have, the more satisfied we are with our lives.
When we are on purpose, we are in the flow, deeply connected, being the kind of person we want to be, living the kind of life we want to live. When we are not on purpose, our foundation is weak, making us less resilient, focused and fulfilled and likely confused about meanings and motives.
Purpose connects us to something larger than ourselves. In addition to purpose, engaging with people that we care about is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s happiness and fulfillment. Purpose allows us to determine who we want in our lives and how we want to serve them.
When we “know our purpose” we live on purpose. We live with intention. Week-to-week, day-to-day, our lives are a reflection of the direction we’re heading in. Purpose is like an anchor that provides stability and keeps us from swaying too far off course.
The primary focus of purpose is to enlighten a person to their own internal resources and provide them with the tools to use their inner core.
Purpose guides our choices and decisions and provides us with big picture thinking. When times get hard, our purpose reminds us of why we have to do what it takes to make it through.
Having purpose enhances our overall well-being and has been scientifically proven to increase mental and physical health, enhance resiliency and optimism, improve self-esteem, expand longevity and even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Many people who struggle with purpose in life think of it as a noun. Let’s explore for a moment how powerful would it be to refer to purpose as a verb. Think about it. Purpose is best expressed in action. Being your purpose, or being on purpose, induces joy, interest and life satisfaction. Purpose as a verb is the embodiment of intention; to set forth; to bring forward.
One way of getting over purpose anxiety is to put the word to after it. “My purpose is to…” and follow it with a list of verbs that feel close to your heart. “My purpose is to build, to inspire, to support, to heal.” How you activate your purpose is the next step—that’s the noun version—as a coach, author, social worker, doctor, mom. Focus on the verb first. The noun will come later.
Where Does Purpose Come From?
Purpose can come from curiosity, intentional effort, spirituality, trauma, volunteering, overcoming, or experiencing peak moments in life.
Clues to our life’s purpose lie at the intersection of our passions, skills, strengths and experiences within the context of what you value. The Japanese refer to this as our Ikigai, our reason for being. The word roughly translates to the “thing that you live for” but it also has the nuance of “the reason for which we wake up in the morning.
Many psychologists believe that purpose is not inherently known, but it must be found, created or learned. Do you agree? I invite you to uncover your purpose through some good ole proactive uncovering.
The following steps will help you wrap your head around the questions, “Why am I here?” “How can make the most of my life?" “How can I be be more fulfilled and happy?”
How to Uncover Your Purpose!
Now let’s apply this to YOU. If you want to uncover your purpose, turn your focus inwards. You will get closer to your purpose by taking the time to be still and examine your passions, skills, strengths, and experiences within the context of what you value. The answer lives in asking the right questions and allowing the space to observe yourself without judgement, limitation or expectation. What gift is seeking to emerge from inside of you?
These 12 questions to help you open your heart and mind and uncover your purpose. I invite you to set aside time to journal on these questions. They can be downloaded along with a Life Purpose Quiz, Ikigai exercise and more at the bottom of this post.
Purpose is living from a deep place. Let’s dig…
What do you value? Why?
What are you doing that demonstrates your values?
Who are you inspired by?
Think of the times in your life when you were most proud of yourself. What were you doing and why?
Make a list of the times in your life when you knew you were on purpose. What about these experiences was richly satisfying?
Who do you want to be around and how do you want to be in your work and personal life?
What are you passionate about?
What would you do with your life if money nor fear of judgment were an issue?
What are your strengths?
What are your special skills?
What are your superpowers?
Looking back at your life 20-30 years from now, what do you want to say that you’ve accomplished and contributed?
It’s time to play big!
Purpose in Action
How Purpose-Fully do you spend your time?
I invite you to consider the purpose in your work
If you’re like most adults, you spend most of your time at work.
If you have a job mindset, you work for money. You contain your time at work and may not like what you do, but it pays the bills. How fulfilled are you?
If you have a careerist mindset, you work for advancement, pay and prestige. You’re happy if you think you’re winning. Maybe you’re concerned that you’re not advancing at the pace you want. Your happiness and satisfaction can vary.
If you have a calling mindset, you feel good about what you’re doing for work. The more you give, the more you get. You're likely happy, fulfilled, successful and likely or eventually prosperous from what you do. This is the way to go!
I invite you to consider the purpose in your relationships.
Do you surround yourself with people who want the best for you, encourage you and share their value with you?
Spend time with people who deserve your time.
Volunteer your time to help people in need. Your purpose is bigger than you. The world needs your superpowers.
Do the Work
I invite you to Download the Purpose Uncovering Exercises I have gathered to help you write a LIFE PURPOSE STATEMENT and discover how to put your PURPOSE IN ACTION.
As my teacher, Emiliya would say, “Purpose is never done. If you feel like you’ve achieved your purpose—it was a goal. Start over and go back to the drawing board.”
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