You may notice that you carry so many things in your mind (including feelings) that you may tend to forget who you truly are. When you become more mindful of your daily purpose and your larger life purpose you can become more present in each moment as it unfolds. Being aware and present may not be a cure-all, but it clearly allows you to expand your being in the world.
As a Life Coach I am often asked by clients “How do I find my real purpose for life?” Larry (not his real name) arrived in my office 2 months ago feeling as if he had missed out on the most important parts of his life. He said “My life lacks meaning! I have a high-paying job; I am fulfilled in my roles as a husband, father, son, brother and friend. I even have some long-term goals that really motivate me, but I still feel as though I have not found the real reason I’m alive, the reason why I exist?”
So how do you find out what your real purpose in life is? A simple way to become clearer on your purpose is to:
- Get a blank sheet of paper and a pen or any electronic device of your choice where you can type.
- At the top, write the heading “What is my purpose in life?”
- Now write or type whatever answers come to you. It is important that you don’t analyze, but instead just write down what comes up for you.
- Write for about 15 minutes without stopping (you may want to set a timer)
- At the end of 15 minutes, circle 3 words or phases that stand out for you. These 3 words may make you feel a bit emotional or you may feel a deep resonance with them.
The process of finding 3 words or phrases is very sacred and life-altering for many Life-Coaching clients. It can help you find clarity and a deep sense of purpose and meaning.
Larry sat quietly in my office for about 20 minutes while he wrote on his piece of paper. He mentioned afterwards “I felt like it took about 5 minutes of writing before I could move past the “shoulds” and all the cultural and social conditioning I have been subjected to. I felt tense and wondered if this process would help at all. But as I continued writing something shifted inside me and I began to notice a bit of a pattern emerging in my words and sentences on the paper.”
Larry then circled his 3 words/phrases that he felt a strong resonance with. He said “This is what stands out for me, AWAKENING TO LOVE, ABUNDANCE, and LIVING FEARLESSLY AND MINDFULLY”.
After some time Larry noticed how he was already living on purpose. Larry noted that the career path he had chosen involved helping others live more abundantly, but it also involved some risk-taking and the desire to live fearlessly and with courage. Larry also exclaimed that the workshops he offered to help his clients make wise investments were centered on mindful and conscious-based decisions.
Larry also become aware that the qualities he brought to his relationships with family and friends were also based on his 3 phrases. This was an A-HA moment. He saw the bigger picture of his life and his grander life purpose. When Larry gained clarity and was able to connect with his unique and very personal answer to his question of why he existed, his life took on a whole new meaning. Two months have passed now since Larry first did the exercise that helped him uncover his real purpose and he said “I am very grateful I was able to define my purpose clearly. Now I am leaning into doing more and becoming more of my purpose. The last 2 months have brought about some much needed changes. I’ve become more aware of what made me feel uncomfortable and I've noticed that some things need to shift. I noticed what made me feel good and peaceful and I decided to be and do more of that!”
Some other examples from clients are:
- To accept my own uniqueness and help others do the same, Fun, Live with courage!
- Ease, Inspiration, Abundance
- Adventures, Creating a balanced life, Making conscious-based decisions
- Simplicity, Trust, Healing
- To live with Freedom, to live consciously, To live lightly on planet earth
- Independence, Peace, Enjoyment
- Courage, Humor, Spontaneity
When you define your purpose in 3 words or phrases, it makes it easier to stay on track and to make balanced choices that are in harmony with your highest vision and purpose. Write your 3 words on sticky notes and place them in areas around your house so that you are reminded as you go through your day of what is truly important to you. When you feel drained, tired, or unsettled, or unclear, then meditate on these words and feel inspired to take action that is in alignment with your greater purpose and life purpose blueprint.
There are trade offs for most decisions you make. The question again comes, what are you willing to give up or sacrifice to follow your purpose and to make your dreams come true?
This is where you may find yourself getting stuck because it can feel overwhelming, and most people prefer to stay in their comfort zone. To truly live a life that is filled with purpose and passion you need to keep on expanding, to never settle for something just because it is convenient or comfortable and to not let fear hold you back from owning your true magnificence.
It takes courage. It takes stamina. It is worth it!