How to establish your purpose in life
Find out who you are and do it on purpose. Dolly Parton
Two weeks ago we said farewell to Charlotte Dawson, a model, television presenter and passionate anti-bullying campaigner. I must say, Alex Perry’s speech at her memorial was absolutely beautiful – what a great friend! If you didn’t catch it, you can see it here. I am so happy to know that Charlotte’s campaigning against cyber bullies and trolls will continue despite her departure from the world. Where ever you are, Charlotte, you certainly left your footprint.
Unfortunately when something tragic or unsettling happens to us it’s hard to remember our purpose in life and easy to retreat to the couch in a darkened room with a bucket of ice cream. Yes, I know how it feels. What we need during these times is our own mission to keep us going and that mission will act as a bright light through the darker days. We are talking about the real reason for why you are here, the reason you actually exist. This week Happiness Weekly looks at how you can find your purpose in life which will be strong enough to keep you going through whatever painful or tragic events life throws your way.
1. See everything as an opportunity
Imagine if one day you stopped looking at challenges as problems and started looking at them as possibilities. Opportunities would present themselves, and start to unlock and open as you walk towards them, like an automatic door. Half the time, the reason we’re held back from living a life of purpose is that we don’t know what we want or what we’re looking for.
2. Clear your mind and focus
Clear your mind completely so you can really focus on this exercise. Make sure you won’t be interrupted. Scribble out any final thoughts. Practise some meditation to capture your focus if it helps you. Listen to music. Go for a walk. Everyone has their own unique way of clearing their mind. Whatever yours is, do it and then come back to this. The idea is to get rid of any pre-conceived judgements you have about what you can achieve or your self-worth or anything else which may block you from achieving everything you need to in this exercise.
3. Visualise your perfect life
Write down what your life looks and feels like once all your dreams have come true. Really be in the moment. Touch things, smell things – use all your senses. The more vivid you can be, the better. Consider where you live, how you feel, your hobbies and interests, how you make your money, the people who are you in your life etc. Take one action from this list and start today, to firmly plant your feet in the direction to head where you want to go.
4. Identify your purpose
OK, it’s time for some soul searching – get set to ask yourself a lot of questions:
What do you enjoy doing so much that you would do it without earning money for it?
What makes you feel happy? What makes you feel good about yourself?
What are your favourite leisure activities? What can make you lose track of time?
So you have no regrets, what is the one thing you want to do or accomplish before you die?
Who inspires you the most? And what is it about this person that inspires you?
What are you naturally good at doing? What do other people say you’re good at or come to you for?
If you had to teach something, what would it be?
What would you regret not doing, being or having in your life?
Visualise yourself as a 90+ year old – who matters to you most at the moment?
What challenges, difficulties and hardships have you overcome or are in the process of overcoming and how did you do it?
What causes do you identify with the most and want to make a difference to?
If you could get a message across to a large group of people – who would the people be and what would your message be?
5. Write a list of your current resources
Consider your current resources and abilities and write a list of all the tools that could help you to live a life of purpose. Once you have this list, consider how you could use your current resources to serve, help and contribute. Make some notes next to each tool, ability or resource that you listed and make notes about how each one could be used to do in order to live your life of purpose.
6. Write your personal mission statement
Consider what you want to do, what you want to change or help and what result you want. Put it into a sentence. Too hard? Need more inspiration for this one? Go here.
7. Start today!
Don’t leave it up to chance or wait for the perfect moment to start living your life of purpose – once you figure out what your purpose in life is (by completing the above exercises), start living your life of purpose today! Be intentional with the decisions you make. If you start taking action now you’ll slowly build more confidence in working towards your purpose and soon you’ll be achieving things and be living a strong, purposeful life.
Highly recommended reading:
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