Coming up with your life purpose is not easy, but what if I told you that in order to do so, you only need to ask yourself 3 questions?
Today you will walk away with a vision of your desired future that will become part of your purpose. Before this, let’s summarize some important lessons from my other articles:
- Not knowing your purpose should not prevent you from living life intentionally on purpose.
- To be purposeful, you need to make passion and zeal part of your identity and not just part of the activities you enjoy.
- Minimize regret, make the decisions every day that move you towards your ideal self.
- To live with purpose, you need to know exactly how what you do for work contributes to your life purpose.
Remember that figuring out your purpose for your life has everything to do with trying your best to live your best life today, understanding that you can grow, and valuing your time. Do those first before trying to figure out your purpose.
Assuming that the impact that you create by your life purpose has to affect others in some way, the first question you should ask to figure out your purpose is:
Who do you want to help and how?
There are two ways to answer this question. You can relate it to your vocation, or not. If you relate it to your vocation, your answer will sound something like:
I want to help young adults become their best version of themselves by giving them access to the mindset, skills, and knowledge required to live a productive and rewarding life.
Notice that even though my purpose is related to my vocation, I don’t specifically mention what I do. My profession (I’m a teacher) is not my purpose. My profession is a means to achieving my purpose.
Remember to define a group of people you want to help in your vocation instead of one person.
Defining the group you want to help and the positive change you want to see in that group will give you clarity of action. Some of you will need new knowledge or skills to help the people you want to help.
How will you help?
If you have commitments in your life that prevent you from helping who you want to help, there are three solutions:
- Release yourself from the commitment
- Connect the commitment to your purpose by identifying transferable skills
- Adjust your purpose
What if you don’t know who you want to help? Then ask yourself who you can help now and build your skillset day by day to help who you want to help. Either way, you are helping others with what you do.
I suggest that when identifying what is purposeful and what is not, how you help is not as important as the fact that you are helping. Your purpose is a reason.
If someone you love had an accident, you might not enjoy what you have to do to take care of them, but you will do it and it will be purposeful because of the difference you will make.
If you have absolutely no idea, then I suggest you start here: Become someone that adds value to others in what you do. Help someone with their studies. Bring an extra cup of coffee for the office.
Because action always beats inaction. If you don’t know what you are good at, think about what you would like to be good at and take the first step.
How can you use what you do to add value to others? The world is full of people that share your interests. People pay for video game coaches, fund live streamers eat, and follow sleep bloggers. If you are resourceful, you will find a way.
Here’s the second question to purpose: What do you want to have?
The second question has to do with your material wants. This is a sensitive question for most, but something that needs to be addressed head-on when planning.
If you are a good steward of money, having more will enable you to make a bigger difference. Imagine two people that both donate 10% of their income. The person with higher income will be able to give more.
To answer this question, you will need to do research on your ideal lifestyle. How much money would you spend each year if you lived your ideal life? Be specific. Don’t just write ‘I want more money’. Otherwise finding a dollar on the ground will have you meeting your goal.
Think about the kind of life you want to live. Where will you live? What will you drive? How much will you give? Sit down, and calculate the cost of your lifestyle. Only when you have a concrete goal you can visualize can you begin taking the steps necessary to get there.
To meet the monetary goal you’ve set for yourself, all you have to do is provide value to people above your monetary goal. You can easily make $1 million dollars if you provide $10 million dollars of value. How big you set your goal will affect your mindset and how you value your time.
So take time, sit down, come up with a number, and take your first step towards getting there.
Here’s the third question to purpose: who do you want to become?
What characteristics do you want to grow in and what principles do you want to have? For example, the qualities I want to develop and maintain are resourcefulness, integrity, and focus.
One of my principles is to always surround myself with people that are better than me. By better, I mean people that have the qualities I desire or are living the life I want to live.
My own answer to the third question came from continuous learning and experience. As you gain experience, come up with qualities and principles you want to pursue and maintain, and connect with people that have those qualities.
Jim Rohn once said that ‘success leaves clues’. If you want to become successful, be around the people that are successful. So get out there, meet people, and treat everyone as a possible mentor. The journey for achieving your life purpose is not meant to be lonely.
Being able to answer these three questions will give you a vision of your desired future. Now all you have to do is next massive action to get there.
To sum up, figure out:
- Which group of people you want to help and how you can help them
- What you want in life to have an idea of how big an impact you have to make
- Who you want to be, and find the people that have your desired qualities
Next week, we will go over what you should do and how you should think when the going gets tough.
Take Action: Answer the three questions in detail, and then begin researching ways to turn your ideal future into reality.
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