How To Find Your Life Purpose
The best way to experience true happiness and fulfillment is to live a life of purpose.
By that, I mean, doing work that allows you to use your unique gifts and talents to do work that truly makes you happy while making a positive impact on the world around you. This is what allows you to create meaning in your daily life and feel fulfilled in everything you do.
But finding your purpose can be easier said than done.
Here’s what you need to know to create a life-purpose mission statement that will keep you focused on what’s important and moving in the direction of your dreams even when life gets chaotic.
What is “Life Purpose”?
I believe that we are put on this earth for a specific reason. We all have our unique skills and experiences and when we use them to make a positive impact and create the reality we want to see, that’s when we are living our purpose. This is the secret to creating a meaningful life for yourself.
Importance of Finding Your Purpose
Finding your purpose in life is the ultimate antidote to feeling lost and alone. When you are living your purpose, you have a greater sense of doing satisfying work that makes a difference and is valued by others and gives you a stronger sense of being connected to the world around you.
And because it’s work you love, you’ll be more willing to invest the time and energy required to go above and beyond and become really great at what you do. Which means you’ll be more successful at it!
Not only that – living your purpose requires you to set meaningful goals, achieve self-efficacy, and keep learning and growing throughout your life.
You’ll also be more likely to look out for your own well-being and lead a healthy life – because you know that you have to take care of yourself if you want to take care of others (including friends and family).
Life Purpose Statement Examples
Here are just a few life purpose examples that people have shared with me over the years:
- To empower small business owners to systematize for easier revenue generation and more freedom in their lives. (Small-business consultant and author)
- To inspire children to have faith in themselves and believe in their natural genius. (Educator)
- To create a world in which people are living ecologically sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just lives. (Environmentalist and social activist)
- To help women entrepreneurs find their voice and use it to grow successful businesses that give them happiness, meaning and abundance (Speaking coach)
Without a clear sense of purpose, it’s easy to get sidetracked on your journey through life. Some people spend their whole lives aimlessly going off in all directions because they have no guiding principle pointing them toward a life that will truly make them happy.
Once you know what your purpose in life is, you can use it as a compass to lead you in the right direction.
Find Your Passion
What are you passionate about? What brings you joy in life?
Finding the answers to these questions is a journey, not a destination. It’s an evolving process of self-discovery that brings your actions and ideas increasingly into alignment with who you want to be and the kind of impact you want to make in the world.
And the process starts with turning inwards and looking inside you. We are all born with an inner compass that tells us whether or not we’re on the path to finding our true purpose. That compass is our JOY.
If what you’re doing fulfills you and makes you happy, you’re on the right track. If not, it’s time to take a deep breath and readjust your course.
Understand the Meaning of Life
Psychologists have determined through extensive research that the key factors to finding meaning in life are:
Living your life’s purpose requires you to live with full integrity with your values and principles. Otherwise, you won’t feel like your actions are helping make a positive impact in the world.
Living your purpose also forces you to move beyond your comfort zone, take risks, and achieve meaningful goals that grow your confidence and help you discover what you’re truly capable of achieving.
Finally, finding purpose in life helps you realize that the most satisfying lives are those spent in the service of others. It teaches you to be humble and helps you sense that we are all connected at the deepest possible level.
Break Through to Find Your Life Purpose
As you continue on your journey of finding purpose and meaning in life, challenges or obstacles will inevitably appear. You may find yourself:
- Being forced by outside influences to go down a life path you don’t enjoy and spending all your time and energy on things that don’t make you happy.
- Prioritizing money and prestige above doing work that fulfills you and increases your sense of community and belonging.
- Worrying that it’s too late to find your true purpose. But it’s never too late to start doing what makes you happy! I know people who found their life purpose in their 70s or even older and it has completely transformed their lives and made them happier than they have ever been.
Just remember that your efforts are absolutely worth it! If you keep digging into the questions of what are you good at, what matters most to you, and how can you use your skills to create the world you want to live in, your path forward to a happy life will become crystal clear.
Two Things that Keep You From Your Purpose
Here are two big obstacles to watch out for:
The desire for stability and predictability is one of our deepest human needs. Routines help us conserve mental energy, and staying in our comfort zones can keep us from feeling anxious and getting hurt – emotionally and physically.
But it also prevents growth. It keeps us in unfulfilling jobs and unhealthy relationships with toxic friends and family. It can contribute to our inability to find purpose.
The stories we tell ourselves about who we are will make a difference. They can either hold us back or help us discover fulfillment.
Limiting beliefs – that we’re not good enough, that we don’t deserve to be happy – contribute to limiting behaviors like fear of failure and self-sabotage
9 Benefits of Knowing Your Purpose in Life
If you’re still wondering if the effort spent to find purpose in life is worth it, consider this.
1. Keeps you focused
When you have a clear vision you’re working towards, it becomes easier to remember the important things and make decisions that move you closer to your goals.
2. Feel passionate about your goals
Knowing that achieving your goals will help you live your purpose more fully in your life is what will keep you moving forward even when things get tough.
3. Gives you clarity
Life is complicated! There are a million things you could be thinking about all the time. Knowing your purpose allows you to tune out distractions and keep moving in the right direction.
4. Makes you feel gratified
There’s nothing like the happiness and fulfillment you feel when you know your work is making a positive impact and allowing you to live the life you’ve always to live.
5. Enables you to live a value-based life
Living your purpose means doing work that’s important to you and that is helping to create the kind of reality you want to live in.
6. Encourages trust
People can tell when you are living your purpose and when your job is so much more than a “job” – it’s a calling. That’s what inspires people to help you bring your vision to life!
7. Live with integrity
Being true to your values is what inspires other people to trust you and support you on your journey. Plus, it boosts your self-esteem and confidence to see yourself as a “good” person!
8. Helps you find a flow in life
When you’re living your life on purpose, it’s easier to prioritize your commitments and ensure that you’re spending your time and energy on the things that matter most.
9. Makes life even more fun
When you spend more time on the things that give your life joy and meaning, you have more fun! It just makes sense.
How to Find Your Purpose
For some of us, discovering the purpose of life is easy. We’re born with a set of obvious talents and through persistent practice, we develop our talents into skills.
For others, it’s not so obvious. Most people spend years trying to find answers to questions such as,
“What should I do with my life?”
“What is my passion?”
“What is my purpose in life?”
So, here are 10 steps to get a strong sense of what’s most important to you and find purpose in your own life:
1. Explore the Things You Love To Do
You can start discovering your passion or your purpose by exploring two things:
- What do you love to do?
- What comes easily to you?
Just because you love something and it’s easy doesn’t mean that you won’t have to work to develop your skills – even the most gifted musician still has to practice – but it should feel natural, like rowing downstream rather than upstream. Work is required, but suffering is not.
2. Ask Yourself What Qualities You Enjoy Expressing the Most
First, ask yourself, What are the two qualities I most enjoy expressing in the world?
Mine is love and joy.
Second, ask yourself, What are two ways I most enjoy expressing these qualities?
Mine is to inspire and empower people.
I inspire people with the stories I share in my seminars and books, and I empower them by teaching them powerful success strategies that they can apply in their own lives.
So, what qualities do you enjoy expressing most?
3. Create a Life Purpose Statement
Take a moment to imagine your vision of a better future. Then combine your two qualities and how you enjoy expressing them with your vision of the reality you want to create.
For example, in my perfect world, everybody lives their highest vision and has everything they need to be happy.
That’s why my life purpose statement is, “Inspiring and empowering people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy.”
So, how can you use your best qualities to create the future you want to live in?
4. Decide Where You Want to Go
To further clarify your purpose in life, use powerful mindset tools such as meditation, affirmations, and visualization to illuminate the best path forward.
These tools help you focus and make it easier for you to listen to your “inner GPS” and use joy as your compass to confirm whether you are heading in the right direction.
5. Be Clear About Your Life Purpose
Take some time to think honestly about where you are in your life and where you want to be.
What is your financial status? How are your relationships going? How is your health? (And so on…)
Next, think about where you would like to be. If your life was perfect right now, what would it look like? What kind of job would you have and where would you be living?
By continually doing this exercise, you’ll send powerful triggers to your subconscious mind to help you get there. When you present your goals to the universe you will be surprised by what it delivers!
6. Conduct a Passion Test
What are you most passionate about?
Your purpose is based on the things you care most about. So, if you’re still finding it difficult to get a clear idea of your purpose in life, you may want to complete The Passion Test.
It starts by asking you to complete the following statement in 15 different ways: “When my life is ideal, I am ____________.”
The word(s) you choose to fill in the blank must be an action statement.
For example, here are a few of my statements.
My life is ideal when I’m:
- Being of service to massive numbers of people.
- My life is ideal when I’m helping people with their vision.
- Speaking to large groups.
The test walks you through honing your 15 statements down to your top five passions in life. Then, explore your top five passions in greater detail and determine how well you are currently pursuing them in your life.
Once you complete your Passion Test, it will be easier for you to clarify your purpose in life and create action plans to turn your dreams into reality.
7. Conduct a Joy Review
When have you experienced your greatest moments of happiness in life?
For me, it was when I was a patrol leader in the Boy Scouts, an officer in my military high school, a summer camp counselor at a camp in Maine, a leader in my college fraternity, and a high school teacher.
I also experienced my greatest moments when I was conducting workshops and training, telling jokes or stories, and when I was traveling.
By analyzing the things I loved most about these experiences and other activities, I was able to realize what I needed most in my life to experience true fulfillment.
I wanted to teach, educate, inspire and lead people (and make them laugh!) in workshops and training events that would allow me to travel around the globe.
So that’s the life I created for myself!
You can do the same by creating a life goals list that will allow you to focus on bringing joy and fulfillment into your life.
8. Take Time for Yourself
A successful cardiologist I was working with had no idea what his purpose in life was. I asked him to look back over his life and answer the question, When have you felt most fulfilled?
He shared three periods when he felt the happiest and most fulfilled:
- Spending time with his grandfather
- Playing with his own grandchildren
- Vacationing on a sailboat
When I asked him what was common to these experiences, he told me that it was the sense of freedom that he felt – which is clearly something he wasn’t feeling in his professional life!
So I asked him what he would do in the following situation: “A patient comes to you for an operation. If you operate on this patient, you will die. If you don’t operate on him, he will die. It’s him or you. What would you do?”
He reflected quietly on this scenario for a long time, then finally said, “I would choose to live, rather than die myself. It doesn’t make sense to kill myself to save others.”
And he realized that’s exactly what he had been doing! He had denied his own happiness and fulfillment in order to save others – and the stress and unhappiness were leading him to an early grave.
This was a huge turning point in his life. These days he still focuses on serving people, but now he knows he has the right to take care of his needs first.
9. Align Your Goals With Your Life Purpose
The best way to live your purpose is to pursue goals that are entirely in alignment with that purpose.
This means personal as well as professional goals. You want to make sure that your words and actions – right down to your personal branding – are an expression of your purpose and are fully aligned with your values and the kind of world you want to create.
10. Lean Into Your True Life Purpose
The good news is, when it comes to discovering the purpose of life and living your life fully in alignment with it, you don’t need to overhaul your life all at once.
Instead, just lean into it.
Start living your purpose a little more each day, and pay attention to the feedback you’re receiving from others, the results you’re producing, and how you’re feeling.
You may be surprised at the results you get – and how good it feels to be showing up in a way that resonates with your values and passion!
Additional Reasons to Have a Purpose
Living your purpose makes it possible for you to:
- Connect with others on a deeper, more meaningful level—which boosts your health, happiness, and longevity
- Accomplish goals that boost your confidence and expand your understanding of what you’re capable of achieving
- Express your emotions, opinions, and ideas with greater clarity and passion
- Find more excitement, fun, and delight in what you do
- Expand your skills and knowledge in areas of study that are most important to you
- Receive acknowledgment for your achievements
- Make a positive impact on society
In short, living your purpose is what fills your existence with happiness, connection, and fulfillment!
So, What is Your Life Purpose?
Close your eyes and imagine what a “perfect world” looks like to you. What does this vision look like? How is everyone interacting with each other? What does it feel like?
Once the vision is clear in your mind, open your eyes and write down your answer as a statement in the present tense.
Then write down how you are going to use your best qualities (and how you love to express them) to make that perfect existence a reality – and then you will have your life purpose statement!
Once you have written it, be sure to put it somewhere you can read and visualize it every day. And if you need inspiration on creating your vision, download my Vision Board Checklist so you can create an actionable vision board for your life.
And, watch for opportunities to live your purpose and create that reality wherever you are.