“Purpose is the conscious choice of What, Where, and How to make a positive contribution to our world. It is the theme, quality, or passion we choose to center our lives around.”
Richard Lieder, The Power of Purpose
What does Life Purpose mean? In a broad sense, we all have a shared overall purpose, in that we are here to discover as much of our true self as we can and express it through our life to the greatest extent possible. We do this through all the experiences we have, the people we relate to, the jobs we choose, and the teachers, coaches, and mentors whose message rings true for us.
Each of us also has a specific Life Purpose. It is a calling, a mission, or an overall theme for our life that transcends our daily activities. It is the quality we are here on earth to develop, the type of service we are here to render, the way we can enhance or improve some segment of the planet. It is much broader than one job or career; it permeates our entire life.
Most of us will have at least ten different careers in our life. Our purpose does not lie in a career area or a job description. Instead, we use our profession (as well as other aspects of our life) to accomplish our overall purpose. For example, one man’s Life Purpose was to promote peace. He did so by working as a mediator and by consciously pursuing peaceful relationships. Another woman discovered her Life Purpose was to nurture the earth. She learned all she could about conservation, worked for the park bureau, and soon was in demand as a teacher for other nature guides and conservationists.
If you do not feel you have experienced the level of success you know you are capable of, or feet that something is missing from your life, think about this important principle: people will tend to experience success and fulfillment in their life to the extent that they are clear about their Life Purpose, and expressing it in each aspect of their life.
When we are carrying out our Life Purpose, we find that the time goes by unnoticed. Hours pass by in pure bliss, complete happiness. As a central theme for our life, our Life Purpose also helps us decide whether to accept a particular job, whether to volunteer for a specific cause and which kinds of relationships, professional and personal, will best contribute to fulfilling our purpose.
When your Life Purpose is discovered and expressed, it provides a reason for being, a sense of “coming home,” a quality one brings to everyday life and the motivation for one’s activities. Not only is life incomplete without it, but there is also something missing in the world if each of us does not contribute the gifts we have.
Consider these questions as you look at your life and career. Have you discovered your Life Purpose?
2. What do you love to do, whether in your spare time or at work?
3. What parts of your present job or life activitie3s do you thoroughly enjoy?
4. What do you naturally do well?
5. What are your ten greatest successes to date (in your eyes)?
6. Is there a cause about which you feel passionate?
7. What are the ten most important lessons you have learned in your life?
8. Are there some issues or perceived problems that have occurred over and over again?
9. What do you daydream about doing?
10. Imagine you are writing your epitaph. What things do you want to be remembered for at the end of your life?
11. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Decide that you matter and that you can have clarity about your purpose.
“A sense of purpose is rarely handed to us. We get it by deciding to have it. We get it by deciding that, yes, I matter. A sense of purpose comes from within, and only we know if we have it.”
Richard Lieder, The Power of Purpose