“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne, author
Some people seem to know instinctively who they are and what they want, and they appear to be on a fast track to get there. But some of us find ourselves flailing in numerous directions – we struggle to work out who we are or what our true calling might be; we may be stuck in a dead-end job or an unhappy relationship; or we simply ‘go through the motions’ in our professional or personal lives, with little joy or fulfilment.
The good news is that there is a way to live a happier, more fulfilled life – and the key lies in finding our purpose.
What exactly is life purpose?
‘Life purpose’ is defined as having a sense that life has meaning and intentionality. It is our ‘reason for being’ – the motivating force that gets us up in the morning. And, according to experts, it is connected to our innate talents and true values.
For some of us, our purpose lies in the work that we do; it can be linked to our family or societal responsibilities; or it can be tied to our religious beliefs.
Purpose can shape our goals, give us direction and, ultimately, create meaning. It can also shift as we move through life, as our priorities change or in response to specific life experiences.
Why is it important to have a life purpose?
Living our life with purpose puts a spring in our step – it brings vitality and fulfilment, and promotes happiness.
There’s growing evidence to suggest it also leads to better physical and mental health. Studies show that having a strong sense of purpose helps us manage stress more effectively, reduces anxiety, improves sleep quality, reduces our risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and may even lower our risk of heart disease or stroke.
7 benefits of living your life with purpose:
Helps you find meaning
Keeps you motivated
Brings joy and greater life satisfaction
Builds your resilience
Keeps you healthy
Helps you build stronger relationships
Leads to greater prosperity
How to find your life purpose
It seems that for some people, discovering their life purpose is easy. For the rest of us, our purpose is not always obvious. Modern life is busy, and we feel under constant pressure dealing with conflicting demands. It’s easy to become distracted and to disconnect from our true selves.
Luckily, our purpose is not something we need to invent; instead, we can find it through a process of self-discovery.
Start finding your life purpose by following these steps:
1. Recognise your talents.
Your talents are your strengths and unique abilities. Consider what comes easy to you. What do your friends, family or colleagues tell you you’re really good at? What were you doing at a time or in a job when you felt completely at ease?
2. Identify your passions.
These are the things that naturally bring you joy. As a child, what were your favourite games? What activities always make you feel happy? What makes you come alive?
3. Clarify your core values.
These are the underlying beliefs and principles that help define your priorities, and guide the way you live and work. Ask yourself what’s important to you. Which achievement are you most proud of? What causes do you care about? How would you like to be remembered?
4. Create your vision.
Your vision tells you who you’d like to be. Be bold and be honest as you write your dream story. What does your ideal life look like? Who is in it? Where do you live? Ask yourself what your dream job would be if money didn’t matter, or if your success was guaranteed.
5. Define your purpose.
Through understanding your values, passions and talents, you’ll be able to set goals that are aligned with who you truly are, and start living your life with intention.
How coaching can help you live with intention
Of course, just because we’ve found our purpose doesn’t mean life will be sunshine and roses. We’ll still face difficulties and disappointments. Working with a coach can help us deal with these unexpected challenges more effectively.
In addition, coaching can guide us through deep and honest self-reflection, help us to silence our inner critic, and equip us with the strategies and tools we need to take action towards living with purpose.
If you’d love to find and/or live your purpose, coaching can help you:
Reconnect with your inner child
Identify your talents, strengths and passions
Recognise self-limiting beliefs and behaviours
Overcome blocks and fears
Explore your purpose with curiosity and excitement
Set achievable goals that align with your purpose
Keep you accountable
Today’s action steps
Write down 10 things you absolutely love doing. Don’t overthink it – jot down the first 10 activities, hobbies or tasks that come to mind. Next, write down one reason why you enjoy doing each item on your list. Now look at your reasons to see if there are any patterns or recurring answers.
Pick a goal you’re currently working towards. For example, you might be trying to lose weight.Now ask a series of five Why? questions and write down each consecutive answer. For example, I’m trying to lose weight. Why? I’m trying to lose weight to lower my blood pressure. Why? I’m trying to lose weight to lower my blood pressure to be healthier. Why? … to live longer. Why?… to be there for my kids. Why?… because I love my kids.
Your ‘why’ exercise might be more detailed and require more answers. The point is to keep going until you discover your ultimate reason for wanting to achieve this particular goal. Take your time and dig deep!
Ready to find your life purpose but still not sure where to start?
Interested in Hello Coach for your team?