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For anyone who is seeking to improve themselves and achieve better results in life, the single best place to start is to determine and discover your life purpose. Just like great businesses have mission statements, you need your own mission statement. Your reason for living. Your life purpose.
The answer will guide your activities, generate motivation, give you determination, and provide meaning to your life.
“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller
For me, living on purpose has cured boredom and dissatisfaction. Knowing that I’m working toward something big and specific ensures I’m excited to wake up and tackle the day.
Having a life purpose gives you a reason for all of your actions. It is a compass for your life, helps you feel fulfilled, and provides you with meaning. Can you say you have a clear purpose in life? If not, find out how to get one here.
Successful businesses define their purpose; you should too
Successful business leaders know that to achieve incredible results in that business, they had better understand the purpose of that business. If you’re looking to realize incredible results from your life, shouldn’t you have a purpose, too? Businesses that thrive, improve, and grow use tools such as mission statements, visions, and goals. All of these principle also apply to improve your own life. Business start with purpose and so should you.
Discovering and defining your life purpose is the first step in self improvement
My book, Leave the Grind Behind, dives into designing the life you want, then going after it. The book goes deep into the upfront personal discovery and purpose building. If you want more, be sure to check it out or grab this free PDF:
» Get My FREE Course – Start a Business and Profit This Year [ Start Now Free! ] «
How to discover your life purpose in 8 steps
No one is waiting to hand you your life purpose. You choose it. This is hugely empowering and an awesome revelation. Your life purpose will serve as the basis for how you lead your life. Your goals and actions will all be aligned with your life purpose. Your behaviors, values, choices and joy will all also work in concert with your life purpose. Life purposes can and should change over time. Therefore, this is an individual exercise, allowing you to be creative and choose one that works for you. The method that works for you now may not be best for your friends. It may also not be best for a future version of you. For this reason, this article offers 7 ways to create your life purpose.
1. Make a list of activities that make you happy
The more you live your life working toward larger meaning and purpose, the happier you will be. Accordingly, what makes you happy is therefore a clue to what your particular purpose in life is. Write out a list of what makes you truly happy and blissful. By partaking in this exercise and regularly reviewing the list, your life purpose may jump out at you. Success follows happiness.
“Thanks to this cutting-edge science, we now know that happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result.” – Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage
2. Make a list of what has made you feel excited to get out of bed
“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Here’s another list to make. Think back through your life, back to when you were a child. Find those times in your life when you stayed up late passionately involved with something, only to wake up bright-eyed and excited to start again. Write down as long of a list as possible and review it regularly. As with number 1, expect to find commonality and get closer to your life’s purpose.
3. Ask why you’re unique
If your life purpose is chosen by you, specifically for you, and can and should be different than everyone else’s, you had better play to your strengths. What are you very good at relative to other people? Don’t worry if they’re silly items or less valuable in the eyes of others. This is you. Make a list of what makes you unique.
4. Define your perfect existence
Assuming no limitations, what would your perfect life look like? Write out your dream story. If everything was perfect, what would your life look like in 10 years? Who is in your life? Where are you living? How do you contribute to society? For this exercise, a 2 to 3 page story is ideal.
5. Plug into the rest of the world
True happiness does not come from being self-centered. Your life purpose needs to include meaningful contribution to those around you. Who do you want to help? How do you want to help them? Teaching? Charity of time? Charity of money? How can your unique strengths benefit others?
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” – Stephen R. Covey
Weave this into your dream story.
6. Watch Yale alum tell you how to determine your life purpose in 5 minutes
According to this TEDx Talk, happiness in life is tied to having a life purpose. Find out how to define yours in 5 mintues.
7. Narrow down the lists
”Success demands singleness of purpose.” – Vince Lombardi
If you’ve followed these steps, you’ve built an impressive list of clues that will help you find your life purpose. Now, assign a task to your subconscious. Ask it to sift through all of this date and pull out the common thread. Don’t rush this. Allow your brain to do its work and return a tremendous answer to you. Learn how in my post How to Use Your Subconscious for Success.
Give it a night or two for reflection.
8. Write your life purpose
Now that you’ve allowed your mind to sift through the great information you have pulled together, it’s time to pull your life purpose statement together into a single paragraph in the following format:
- I use my unique (include your top unique skills and traits) in order to…
- Create a (list the best parts of your perfect world vision, and ensure you include your impact on others)…
- By (list the activities that make you happy and excited).
This statement will focus your your energy and drive on creatively using your talents, doing what you love, in order to help yourself and others. That is exciting!
This article has provided you with a set of tools to help you as you embark on the journey of learning your life’s purpose. With your life purpose in hand, you’ll re-invigorate your life. You’ll have focus, excitement, and happiness. I believe you can expect physical benefits as well.
“The physical gains of reaching this deeper self are real. They are lower blood pressure, a decrease in heart rate, a lower rate of respiration, reduced levels of cortisol and a boost to the immune system.” – Robert Lomas, PhD