Seven Steps Towards Identifying Your Purpose
In my last post I shared seven steps towards identifying your purpose. In this post I’ll break them down.
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
Uncover Your Buried Dreams
In this step you’ll search your past for the dreams that you’ve buried as a child. Who did you pretend to be? What did you do? What was it about that experience that made you happy? It’s likely that someone in your life discouraged you from pursuing that dream because it wasn’t practical or because they wanted to influence you to choose a different path. It’s time to bubble up that dream and write it down.
Articulate Your Passions
Understanding your passions helps you identify the things that you like to do that bring you joy. Think about the things you love to do at work, during your personal life, and when you volunteer. These are your passions. Write them down.
Discover Your Native Genius
In the book, Multipliers, Liz Wisman and Greg McKeown identify native genius as something that you do naturally and exceptionally well. It takes little effort on your part and you often find yourself doing it without reason, payment, or condition. When you are doing something related to your native genius, you get results that are head-and-shoulders above others and you do it without breaking a sweat.
What’s your native genius? Discover yours by answering these questions:
• What do I do better than anything else I do?
• What do I do better than the people around me?
• What do I do without effort?
• What do I do without being asked?
• What do I do readily without being paid?
Identify Your Unique Characteristics
Think about all of the things that you love or admire about yourself. Consider the positive statements or titles that the people in your life assign to you. Think about what people will say about you when you’re gone. These characteristics are part of your purpose.
Find Similarities and Commonalities
After you’ve spent some time journaling your responses, take some time to discover the similarities and commonalities. The activities that occur most frequently help you fulfill your purpose.
Define Your Story
Now that you have an idea of the activities that make up your purpose. It’s time to imagine your life as a journey with you as the hero or heroine. Think about the activities that you listed above. Who are you helping by performing those activities? Why do you need to help them? If you rescue them, what will happen? Define the story that you need to live; this story is your purpose.
Discovering your purpose takes time, self-reflection, and intention. Spending 30 minutes answering the questions posed in this article will help you identify it and take the first step towards personal mastery. What’s your purpose? Share it in the comments below and if you have a website or blog be sure to let me know about it too!