Do you feel stuck in your life right now?
Do you have that unsettling feeling that you know that you can do more with yourself but you are not sure where to turn?
Do you long to be successful (however you define that success) but you do not know where to begin?
If you are someone who seeks deep fulfillment in life and longs for true success, you may need a Life Purpose Statement. This is one of the keys to success in life since discovering your purpose will give you a sense of clarity around what you want to achieve, a sense of direction in where to start and the motivation to make it happen. Learn the four-step process that will lead you to discover your life purpose and supercharge your search for fulfillment.
How to Discover Your Life Purpose
Your life purpose is a function of knowing what gives you joy, what your gifts are and how you want to impact other people. You can discover your life purpose by following this 4-step process:
1. Stories of Joy
Think about the times in your life when you felt truly joyful and in the flow. These can be experiences from your professional life, your education, your relationships, your personal development work, your community service and your leadership activities.
Be sure to look beyond the workplace, especially if you are feeling unfulfilled in your career. Go back to your childhood and remember what you loved to play at. Look at your hobbies and the things that you wish you could spend all your time doing. Choose 3-5 experiences that represent you at your best.
2. Talents, Passions and Impact
Look for patterns among your stories. Identify the top 2 talents that you were using in those moments of joy. Think about how these experiences reflected your passions. Consider how you were impacting other people in those moments. Maybe your stories reveal a pattern of creativity or a talent for leadership or a desire to change the world in a way that is meaningful to you. That is you at your best!
3. The World as an Ideal Place
Once you know your talents, your passions and how you want to make an impact on other people, the next step is to imagine that the world is ideal. This is a wonderful way to get out of your box and think BIG. What is your role in making the world an ideal place? Why does that feel important to you?
Perhaps when you do this exercise, you hear voice of your internal censor who may be telling you that you cannot possibly make a living making the world a better place. Recognize that voice and tell your inner critic to take a hike! Listening to that voice is one of the top reasons that people remain in careers and relationships that do not fulfill them. If you are committed to creating the life that you want, that voice needs to go!
4. Your Life Purpose Statement
Combine these elements in the following sentence:
“My purpose in life is to use my (top 2 talents) to (how I impact others) in order to (how I want to make the world an ideal place) because (why that is important to me).”
Let’s say that you are a business professional with a talent for using your creative thinking to inspire other people to be their best. You also love being seen as an expert. Your two biggest passions are the arts and your relationships with close friends. Your ideal world is filled with people who make and appreciate art and music. Your life purpose statement might look like this:
“My purpose is to use my creativity and expertise to inspire and empower others to fill the world with art and music because the world is a better place with the arts.”
How to Use Your Life Purpose Statement
Congratulations! You now have your life purpose statement that reflects how you want to use your talents in service of a mission that impacts people in the way that feels most important to you.
Knowing your life purpose might inspire you to seek out new career opportunities so that you could use your creative talents, as well as your expertise and leadership abilities in the service of your mission. Your options might include teaching, leading workshops, consulting, coaching or heading up an organization with a mission to promote the arts. Armed with this clear mission, you are much more likely to be motivated to seek out new opportunities and thereby achieve the fulfillment that is currently lacking in your life.
If you are not ready to make an immediate career move, you could seek out volunteer opportunities with organizations whose mission advances your vision of a world filled with art and music. It might also lead you to take an art or a music class. Or, perhaps you can teach a weekend or a night class as an adjunct professor at a local college, especially since you like being seen as an expert. These activities could also further your passion for relationships since it would expand your network to include people who share your passion for the arts.
Enjoy the clarity that comes with knowing your purpose and be fearless as you seek out the opportunities that will enable you to live your best self!
(C) Astrid Baumgardner 2010
I would be delighted if you should wish to reprint (for free) any part of this article in your newsletters, blogs, websites, and message boards. Please include the following attribution:
Astrid Baumgardner, JD, PCC is a professional life coach and lawyer, Coordinator of Career Strategies and Lecturer at the Yale School of Music and the founder and President of Astrid Baumgardner Coaching + Training, which is dedicated to helping musicians, lawyers and creative professionals take charge of their lives and experience authentic success. In addition to her work at YSM and her individual coaching practice, Astrid presents workshops at leading conservatories and law firms on topics including Career Planning, Goal-Setting, Time Management, Dynamic Communication, Conflict Management and Personal Branding and Networking. She is the author of numerous articles on the various aspects of how to achieve and live authentic success.