What’s your purpose in life?
Why are you here? What drives you? What keeps you going?
Have you ever thought about it?
Do you even know the direction you wish to head in?
As humans, we need some sort of purpose in order to be truly happy and have a deep sense of fulfillment in life.
Without a clear purpose, we find ourselves floundering, paralyzed by indecisiveness, drowning in existential dread and living out other people’s dreams instead of our own.
Life is a journey and purpose gives us a direction to travel in. It provides a central theme to our journey.
The journey of life is filled with mystery, unpredictability and spontaneous changes. So while it’s crucial to have purpose, it’s also important to surrender to the process.
Your purpose isn’t fixed. It can change and evolve as you change and evolve. The only constant is change, so it’s a good idea to periodically reevaluate your purpose, especially when starting new chapters in life.
Your purpose can be very simple as well. It doesn’t have to be something grandiose like being president or being a billionaire (those things don’t necessarily make life fulfilling anyway), it can be as simple as cultivating a beautiful garden or as familiar as being the best parent you can be.
Here’s a hint regarding purpose: Your purpose is most likely going to involve helping others in some way. We’re social beings and giving just feels good. If you get really honest with yourself, you’ll realize that the things that give you the most fulfillment have something to do with giving, sharing and connection.
For a clearer idea of your purpose (or purposes) in life, I highly recommend reading the following article and truthfully answering all of the questions: Reveal Your Life’s Purpose by Asking These 15 Questions.
The Power of Purpose
Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
– Viktor Frankl
It’s incredibly important to find meaning in life, as a sense of purpose is an undercurrent to genuine happiness and fulfillment. Research in positive psychology shows that people who feel a sense of purpose (or meaningfulness) have less physical pain, less anxiety, less stress, less depression and have reduced tendencies toward substance abuse. It’s no coincidence that one of the major commonalities of centenarians (people who live over 100 years) is a sense of purpose. With centenarians, purpose is often tied to religious faith, but it doesn’t have to be. Anyone can find purpose no matter what their beliefs are.
Purpose is like a magic wand. If you feel stuck in any area of life, wave your magic wand of purpose. If you feel depressed, reevaluate and reestablish your purpose with conviction. If you feel anxious, shift your thinking towards your purpose. And really feel it too. Feel that sense of purpose in the depths of your nervous system, igniting your body, mind and spirit. By focusing on your purpose, you naturally shed everything that’s not in alignment with it.
Find a real purpose that’s going to give you the strength to keep it going, no matter what the fuck you go through; no matter what obstacle presents itself.
– Crooked I
When in doubt, focus on your purpose. It works.
The Purpose Formula
I came up with this technique, which I call “The Purpose Formula.” It is designed to give you a clear sense of purpose and how to move in that direction on a daily basis. Here’s what to do…
1. Write down your personal mission statement for your life (in one sentence). This is your big picture purpose to always keep in mind.
2. Choose 6-10 major categories in life (see my example below).
3. Write your purpose for each category (there can be more than one per category).
4. Next to each purpose, write down a habit, routine or tangible things you can do every day (or every week) to move in that direction.
5. Do it! Implement the habits you’ve outlined, focusing on your most important one first.
My Purpose Formula
(Note: I wrote this first, which actually led me to develop The Purpose Formula, so I’m sharing the prelude which created the catharsis for me as well)
Now, since I’m beginning a new chapter of my book, I want to set clear intentions. I want to set a clear direction to head in, to use the metaphor of a road trip.
I need a big picture purpose, but also something that translates into tangible daily actions.
Personal Mission Statement:
Continuously expand my perspective and inspire the hearts of others.
- Eat natural, local food – Go to Farmer’s markets at least once per week.
- Balance alcohol consumption – Limit 2 drinks (good craft beers of course) per night out then switch to water or club soda.
- Get even leaner and stronger – HIIT every morning, walk a lot, bodyweight workouts 5x per week (improving each workout).
- Become more flexible – Stretch every morning, yoga at least 2x per week.
- Meditate more – Meditate every morning upon waking and afternoon/night as well.
- Continuously improve and express myself through writing – One blog post per week, work towards the completion of a book every day.
- Writing – Continuous improvement, expressing potent truths, inspiring and entertaining (daily practices outlined in Writing section).
- Inspire more people – Through writing, making videos (every day), creating more courses and just living my truth in daily life.
- Expand my healing abilities – Meditate more, promote my online coaching and Reiki practice. Spark that brilliance within people in a one on one setting
- Other – Getting involved in other projects that resonate with me to earn more money, learn new skills and broaden my life experience (ex/ freelance writing opportunities).
- Attract a beautiful partner to learn and grow with – Embody the qualities of a person I wish to attract, do things I love and don’t hesitate to say hi or reach out to people.
- Attract or find a tribe and deep relationships – See above.
- Deepen my connection with friends and family – Speak my inner truth. Embrace human connection. Reach out to people. Genuinely be interested in them. Be there to help. Show gratitude. Never hold back genuine compliments.
- See more of the world – Visit places that are calling me. Plan an interesting trip within the next 6 months.
- Hike more – Hike a mountain or trail at least once per week.
- Connect with nature – Visit a cool natural place at least twice per week (park, body of water, hiking, ocean…etc.).
- Read more books – PhotoRead at least one book per week. Read every night too.
A Note on Habits
Attempting to establish multiple new habits at once will just overwhelm you. So if you outline your Purpose Formula and see that you have several new habits which you want to implement, focus on one habit at a time.
Also, make sure that the habits you outline are as simple and easy as possible. If habits are not simple and easy (especially at first), they can become intimidating and you probably won’t stick to it.
Set one habit in one area of life as your priority and focus on creating that habit first. Once it becomes embedded and is second nature to you, then move on to implementing a new habit. Habits take 66 days to become automatic, so implement a habit for at least 66 days before starting a new habit. Remember, your purpose is the epitome of a long-term endeavor, so there’s no need to rush.
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
– Bill Gates
Know where you’re headed and embrace the journey.
Now I’ll leave you with the obvious question: What’s your purpose?
– Stevie P!
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