Finding Purpose in life might sound like a big overwhelming hard thing to find when, in reality, it is not that hard to discover. A good point to start from is to identify the things that you are interested in, your values and find how you can develop them, live in alignment with them, and make a living from them.
So if you feel like you are just running on the hamster wheel without any sense of direction, this is the right time to work on that, find what is that you are supposed to do or at least find a few leads on what it can be.
What is Purpose?
Purpose can be many things. It doesn’t have to be the “Big Life Purpose.” You can have a purpose for 2020; you can have a career purpose, a relationship purpose, and a “life” purpose. But Purpose is not a goal or an intention. Purpose is something we like doing that has a positive impact on us as well as in the people around us. Living with a sense of Purpose has been found to improve health, increase lifespan, and make you more likely to succeed.
Finding Purpose Through Your Values
Knowing what you value and what’s important to you can give you a significant motivation boost to pursue your dreams, face your fears, and overcome challenges.
In life, whatever goals we are after, whatever things we are pursuing, and whenever we want something, it is ultimately driven by an underlying set of values.
Athletes and successful business professionals know their Purpose, and this is how they remain on top of their game.
Surfing champion Layne Beachley who became the world’s only surfer to claim six consecutive world titles is well aware of what she values in being a Surfer, and this is where here determination and strength come from.
In a Time Magazine article on motivation, J.D. Meier, bestselling author of Getting Results the Agile Way, says, “if you can connect what you do to your values even in small ways, you can change your game.” This is the secret to sustained motivation. One of the author’s values is learning and growth. To connect these values, he finds ways to nurture his skills in any situation. In the same way, values can be connected to helping you gain clarity and pursue a more fulfilling career.
What separates high achievers from the rest, is that they live in accordance with their values. They are aware of what motivates them and how much they are willing to do to sustain that motivation when facing step-backs and challenges.
How Our Values Serve Us?
Values drive all our behavior. You won’t do or want something unless it is important to you. We use values to determine what is good or bad, right and wrong, etc. Values drive our motivation and goals.
Values are states of mind and principals that are usually expressed in a nominalization. They are abstract like Excitement, Freedom,
Performance, Exploration, Respect, Fun, Health, and Joy.
5 Steps to Articulating Your Purpose
Before we diving in, it’s important to dispel a few common misconceptions about finding your Purpose:
- You don’t need to be religious or spiritual to have a Purpose.
- Purpose isn’t a mystical endeavor.
- It’s OK to have multiple purposes.
- It’s OK to have one Purpose for everything, and not only for one thing.
- If you already know your Purpose, consider this opportunity to fine-tune it.
Knowing your Purpose will enhance your motivation, especially when you link it to your goal, and it will only take 15 to 20min for the initial draft.
1. Identify what is important to you:
So let’s get into it, Pick a topic and ask yourself the following questions.
For this exercise, I picked “work” as an example:
- What’s important to you about work?
- What do you value in a job?
- What would you gain from having all your needs met?
- How will you feel when pursuing the right career?
Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
2. List your most important values
So once you have responded to the previous questions, identify five core values that are attached to your answers, and that are your priorities right now.
Example: Leadership, Happiness, Meaningful Work, Growth, Security.
3. Define your core values
Come up with your own personalized definition of each value and what it means to you in a simple, clear, and concise sentence.
- Leadership is being able to inspire and lead by example.
- Meaningful work is something that has a positive impact on the world.
4. Organize your values
Draw a triangle and rank your core values and organize them in order of importance. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs Pyramid.
Put the core value on the top (example happiness) and put the base value in the bottom (example: Security), and organize everything else in between.
5. Create your Purpose Statement
Your Purpose statement should reflect your personalized core values.
It can be around two to three sentences.
You can also create your Purpose statement by creating a list of all your top five (5) core values and linking all of them in a meaningful way.
Example: My Purpose is to do meaningful work where I lead by example and impact the world positively while growing sustainably, and securing a happy and prosperous life.
That’s it! Not that hard, isn’t it?
Find your Purpose can help you find meaning, build resilience, and enjoy life more.
- Findout what’s important to you
- Identify the values that are attached to it
- Organize them in order of importance
- Define them
- Create your purpose statement from your core values