How do you discover your purpose? Each of us seeks the answer to this question at one point in our lives. We strive for a deeper understanding of why we’re here on this earth. We seek the one answer that explains our existence and seems to beckon a life that’s more meaningful than without it. We read self-help books and look within ourselves, to God, to our friends, family and co-workers to shed light on what seems like a complicated mission statement just outside our reach. We seek that one thing that makes sense and leads us on the path to greatness.
If you’re looking for the one thing that you can define as your purpose, you might as well forget it. Your purpose is more than just one thing, action, task or goal. To believe that you are here on earth to fulfill one purpose simplifies the entire journey of life into a moment of achievement that when accomplished leaves you asking…”now what?” The truth is that you have many reasons for being on this earth. Discovering your purpose is about articulating them.
More than One Purpose
Historical figures, leaders, influencers, and Jesus had more than one life purpose. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s purpose was to lead India to independence, and inspire worldwide movements to reduce poverty, inspire civil rights movements, expand on women’s rights, and allow for religious freedom. Mother Teresa’s purpose was to teach children, care for the poor, help heal the sick, and advocate for the disadvantaged. Jesus had at least many reasons for coming to this earth, one of which was to bridge the path to God through his sacrifice for our sins, but there are at least 20 reasons listed in the bible by my count.
How to Discover Your Purpose
Your purpose in life isn’t just a statement. It’s the set of actions that you take that leave the world better than when you came into it. There are seven steps that you can take to identify your purpose.
1. Uncover buried dreams
2. Articulate your passions
3. Discover your native genius
4. Identify your unique characteristics
5. Review the activities above for similarities and commonalities
6. Choose the activities that are key to driving your purpose
7. Define your story based on these activities
In my next post I’ll unpack each of these steps. Have you taken any time to discover your purpose? What tools, processes, or methods did you use?