Finding your life purpose and knowing how to stick by it
Do you know your purpose in life? We’ve recently explored the importance of understanding your values but to live a truly fulfilled and meaningful life these need to work hand in hand with your purpose. The existential questions of ‘what’s it all for?’ or ‘why am I here?’ can feel very overwhelming but breaking it down to be able to live a life of purpose can help us feel happier and more fulfilled.
Alan Rozanski, Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explored the link between purpose and health, noting that as well as having physical needs to survive and thrive we also have psychological needs. He believes, ‘the need for meaning and purpose is number one, It's the deepest driver of well-being there is’. His 2016 paper even linked those with a higher sense of purpose and meaning with lower risk of cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks or strokes.
So how can we find our life purpose?
How to find your purpose
Like values, your purpose is unique to you. We all have different desires that drive our lives but we must also explore how you would like to impact the people around you, both personally and professionally.
You’ll find various methods online of how to find your purpose, for example things to think about or visualise to highlight what energises you. However, when defining your purpose it’s not only the ‘what’ but also the ‘why’, the ‘how’ and ‘who’ that needs clarifying in more detail.
This can be hard to do on your own and is where working with a coach can not only help you to discover your purpose but to stay aligned to it in an effective way.
As a coach helps you to discover your purpose, you can view this as just the first draft. It’s the start of your story that you will need to go back to and adapt as you grow. As your purpose in life will be constantly evolving, a coach will provide you the valuable space to reflect on it and how aligned you are to it, as well as ask you powerful questions to analyse it.
There are various methods a coach will use with you to find your purpose. One way is through visualisation. For example, imagine that you are given a big outdoor advertising space and you can project any message you want from it.
Knowing that millions of people will see it, what would you put on it? These visualisations spark further questions from the coach allowing you to go into further details about exactly why that message is important to you and the impact you want to make.
You may find visualisations don’t work that well for you but there are other methods a coach can use to help you if so. The role of a coach is to find a method that resonates with you. Eventually, you will clarify your own life purpose from which you can build a structure to keep it front of mind in your daily life.
Again, your purpose is similar to your values in that you need to do more than just define it. You need to live by it. A coach can help you to come up with a life purpose statement and a structure to help remember it and bring it into everyday life.
You may use post-its on your bathroom mirror or you may wear a piece of jewellery that symbolises your purpose, anything to keep it at the forefront of your mind. This will be individual to you and how you are best reminded of your purpose to stay aligned to it.
Why have a life purpose?
It’s easy to wander through life, taking life as it comes and reacting when necessary. And many people do. If you find decision making difficult, having a purpose and a way to align to it can be especially beneficial in the face of bigger decisions, such as changing jobs.
Your purpose gives you greater direction and guidance in life. In times of struggle or when we feel more challenged, this can often be because we are not living in a way aligned to our purpose.
It’s hard to move forward in a meaningful way if you don’t really know what you are striving for and what will lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfilment. As Rozanski argued, this could even be beneficial to your physical health as well your psychological wellbeing.
In a world where things are rapidly changing and we are pulled in all kinds of different directions, having clarity on where you want to be going and what is important to you is arguably more important than ever.
Finding your life purpose may sound grand but working with a coach will help to break it down into pieces and put these pieces together to complete the beautiful puzzle!
Get in touch today to start on the path to finding your purpose and put the pieces together for a happier and more fulfilled life.