Finding purpose in our lives can be as difficult or as easy as we want. Typically, we hear people talking about finding their purpose, as if it exists somewhere out there, just waiting for us to come across it. It can seem mysterious, elusive and challenging to define.
Others believe we have no purpose; it’s just life. We live and then we die.
The beauty of life for me is that we can each choose what we want our purpose to be and what gives our lives meaning at any given time. We can decide that there is no purpose or that our purpose is to reach our potential or to love. It could be thrive and grow. For some, it could be to serve.
The point is, you will not find your purpose externally, but it is up to each and every one of us to decide what we want our purpose to be. Furthermore, this purpose can evolve and change over time, if it is no longer serving us or if we simply change our minds.
Essentially, there is no right or wrong answer. You can’t get it wrong. You can’t make a mistake.
My purpose comes from growth and expansion. I find joy through continued learning and doing something useful for others. Ideally, I would like to leave places I have been a little better than how I found them. It means travelling to as many countries as possible and experiencing the beauty of the wonderful planet we live on. I want to connect with others and to keep moving towards my potential and helping others reach theirs.
In the past, I would define myself relative to the type of work I was doing. My purpose was my job. Perhaps this made sense for a time. Perhaps I hadn’t thought too much about it. Maybe it was just easy, convenient, lazy. I’m not sure.
The problem is that it became confining and limited. Most likely, I think the shift in my thinking came when I heard my own coach and mentor describe her purpose as ‘being an example of what is possible’.
Her vision for her life helped me to broaden my own thinking about how I wanted to live and how I wanted to show up – not just in my career, but in every area of my life. I began to think bigger. I realised that I didn’t need to stay tied to my career but that even if I did, my life’s purpose could be something much broader and ambitious.
It’s not uncommon for us at different stages of our lives to feel frustrated or unsure of where we want to go next.
Sometimes we just want to re-examine and choose again how we live our lives.
Sometimes we experience major events in our lives or in the world, that shift our perspective about how we want to live.
When this happens, it is important to remember that nothing has gone wrong. We are exactly where we need to be and everything is figure-outable.
Although it can seem overwhelming and challenging at times, seeing these times as opportunities and perfectly normal can help relieve some of the pressure we put on ourselves “to find the right answer”.
In reality, there is no right answer. You can’t do it wrong. And you may change your mind again and again about what your purpose is, and that’s OK too.
When you want to create a sense of purpose, it is important to consider the following:
Where and how often am I connecting with others?
What are my values?
What do I want to believe about my life?
Creating connections with others is a great way to enhance your sense of purpose. Sometimes we become stuck in our own heads and focused on ourselves, that it’s helpful to take a step back and see where we can serve and make a contribution to others.
Sometimes, it’s just more fun to be a part of a group to learn something new or support a cause. Reaching out to have coffee chats with women you might find interesting.
Remember, even if sometimes it is virtually, instead of in person, building these relationships and enjoying that interaction, can be very powerful.
Understanding what motivates you and creates purpose and passion in yourself, stems from an understanding of your core values. These you can choose, as long as they feel aligned with what is important and true for you.
In order to choose these, you can look at:
If you Google ‘Core Values List’ you will find several websites offering different lists. From there you can start narrowing down your values to a key 5 or 6.
From this list, you can start to think of activities and actions that you are a) interested in; b) passionate about; and c) committed to doing.
Remember to not worry about what anyone else might think. You only need to decide what is important to you and like your reasons. While some people may judge or comment, stay true to yourself. When you are truly aligned and like your purpose, the opinion of others will matter less and less to you.
Always make it fun. You want a purpose that lights you up and makes you playful and free. Although we may have to work at jobs we don’t love or undertake activities that aren’t always great, view these as a means to end. Don’t let these define you or make them mean anything about yourself. You are so much more than that.
Sometimes it’s helpful to have someone to talk this through and to give you some objective feedback. Working with a coach is a great way to have someone in your corner, to listen to you without judgement and to ask the right questions in order to untangle your thoughts and emotions around the issue.
If you want to take some of this work deeper, I can help.
I offer free 45 minute coaching sessions so you can try coaching for yourself and even have a small transformation you might not have thought possible. Let’s talk about creating your purpose and get you some clarity about where you want go next in your life. Finding purpose with a coach is a great next step to get you going in the direction you want.
Schedule your free appointment here.
Start living by design, not default.
Leave a note