Purpose, we hear it all the time – “I’m living a life of purpose,” “You can’t be fulfilled until you find and live your purpose,” “The Purpose Driven Life.” On and on! But what exactly is Purpose? I believe most people don’t know what purpose actually is, let alone know what theirs is. Is it a feeling? Or a thought? Something outside that’s pulling or pushing them along? Sometimes it’s what others say it should be, or it’s attached to a religious or spiritual belief, or maybe it’s just something that feels satisfying enough to get them by with a fairly clear conscience.
Your purpose is not some external thing just waiting for you to stumble on it. Or not! It’s not something that’s eluding you until you have an epiphany or dramatic vision of some kind. It’s not a test of some sort, challenging you to live out some ideal life. Your purpose is inside you, like a seed in a shell. The goal is to locate that shell, crack it open, and nurture the seed within, nurture it into Being. The shell is all those things that make us feel good, the thoughts, feelings, and actions that always produce feelings of self-worth and joy, our passions. The more we focus on those things that provide a strong sense of intrinsic well-being, the clearer will become our purpose.
Most people think their purpose exists independently of themselves and propels them along toward some reward. They would define their purpose based on where they are or what they’re doing, or getting, in their life. Their purpose is more like a rationalization for what they are doing, or justification for the results they are experiencing, rather than something that fires their passion and creates actions in their life. Your purpose is unique, it’s beautiful, and it’s created from your essence, only for you! The shell is your passions, the things that excite you, the way of living that you know is right for you.
I believe there are six simple steps anyone can take to discover their purpose. I’m reasonably certain there are more, but these are six I say will get you going.
Love yourself unconditionally. Drop blame, guilt, and shame from your life, recognize that you are the source of all the love you need, all there is! When you love yourself unconditionally, you’ll stop judging yourself so the real You can thrive.
Detach from outcomes and expectations. Have faith and trust that you are living a blessed life, no matter your present circumstances, and that nothing can diminish your value. Your results are a divinely ordered gift to help you flourish!
Discover your own passions. Many times we don’t know what our real passions are. We feel enthusiastic or energized when we participate in certain things, but we don’t really know why. What would you love to do if your only pursuit in life was happiness?
Make every day count and always do your best. Don’t rest on your laurels, there’s always room for growth. Make the conscious decision to be the best person you can be in every moment, starting in this one! You cannot be better than best.
Be impeccable with your word! Live your life to the highest standards of integrity possible. You will never live fully into your Purpose unless you are honest and authentic with everyone in your life, especially yourself.
Always refer, and defer, back to #1 if you begin to slip in any way.
Simple, eh? Easy? Maybe! I’ve found the most effective way to make changes in my life is by taking small steps, steps that I know I can take yet have sufficient challenge that they create an excitement that exhilarates me! It may feel like fear to some, and that’s ok too, face the fear, your life is not in danger. Actually, the danger is you could lose your life, the perfect life, the life lived with purpose.
David Wetmore is the founder and CSO (Chief Spiritual Officer) of Intentional Excellence in Columbus Ohio. His passion is teaching. As a transformative life coach, he is able to use his insights and creativity to assist people with finding their own unique passion and purpose. He counts some of the premier coaches in the world among his friends and colleagues. Contact David when you're ready to work on your thinking! firstname.lastname@example.org (513) 543-6596