Every wonder why you’re here? Why you do the things you do every day? What your future life might consist of or look like? How some seem to have everything figured out and others just go through the motions every day, doing what seems like they should be doing or what society has told them they should do? How some seem to create a path for themselves while others follow paths already been taken by most of the crowd? Well… even if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve started to after reading those questions.
How to find a purpose in your life is a huge component that will determine your mark on the world, how fulfilled you will be, etc. It’s something that really has to be dived deep into and is not the easiest thing in the world to figure out overnight. With the world continuously changing around us, and our needs and our environment changing almost more than we can keep up with, it’s sometimes hard to stick to a certain “purpose” in our lives.
How to find a purpose in your life is not a linear road. It’s more like going off-road and getting lost many times, getting stuck in ditches, almost crashing or falling down hills but somehow figuring out to how to get to your destination in one piece and with more wisdom and knowledge from the journey that led your there, not so obvious as you were experiencing it.
How to find a purpose in your life is obviously going to be unique to your experiences, desires, etc. and is not a one size fits all process. However, after researching over the last year and delving into mine, and reading from top self-help experts, psychologists, philosophers, and the top public figures in their niches, I’ve found there are 5 steps you can follow and reiterate to get closer to finding your ever-changing purpose. So with further ado, let’s get right into it.
List of ingredients you will need:
- Your happy place
- A journal and your favorite writing utensil
- Your lovely mind and positive energy
- Anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours of your time
- A refreshing glass of water and/or your favorite healthy beverage/snack (if possible)
Pre-5 Step Prep (recommended)
Before delving into this 5 step process to find a purpose in your life, one thing I would strongly recommend doing beforehand is making sure you are in the most optimal state of yourself. If you are not (this could mean you are hungry, tired, emotionally distressed, etc.) this will have a negative impact on the 5 step process. Please make sure you are in a positive, healthy, high-vibe state before following through with these steps. This could mean doing any of the following:
- Stretching or your favorite quick exercise
- Eating a healthy, nourishing meal
- Talking to someone you love
- Meditating, journaling, reflecting
- A favorite hobby of yours
- Getting outside
- ANYTHING really that will put you in a high-vibe state
Step 1 | Brainstorm & think bigger
The first step to take is to find somewhere you can think creatively without being bothered by outside influence. This could be somewhere in nature, your favorite coffee shop, your room, the couch, ANYWHERE you want. Really the goal is somewhere you can get deep within your thoughts and motives. Somewhere you are happy and feel at peace. Somewhere that sparks creativity.
With your notebook and writing utensil, first – if need be – just start monkey-mind writing anything you might need to get off your mind (This could’ve been done in the Pre-5 Step Prep as well). Anything you may need to unpack that could be effecting your subconscious motives or funny feeling/current mood you may be feeling. Get that shit outta you and on the paper.
NEXT – and we’re getting to the fun part (although I quite enjoy all of this as it is all an incredible growth experience) – start writing about what makes you happy, your strengths, and things that spark interest in you. Some ideas:
- Make a list of 10 things that make you feel good
- What 5 things happened to you recently that brightened up your mood, gave you energy, and put a smile on your face
- What 5 things are you grateful for in your life
- What do you enjoy doing?
- If you had all the time and money in the world – OR if time and money were non-existent – would you be doing on a day-to-day basis? What would you want to be doing?
- Who motivates you? Who do you look up to? (this could be people in your life such as family members, teachers, friends, etc. or outside influences such as public figures, authors, artists or anyone you aspire to be like)
- What are 5 strengths of yours? What are you good at? This can be a difficult one at times. It really can be anything big or small or both. After doing your best to come up with a short list, it may be helpful to reach out to 5 of your closest people and ask them “What would you say are my 3 best qualities?” “What 5 words would you use to describe me?”
It’s okay if this part of the process feels incredibly all over the place or like a bunch of “inconsequential babble” as Einstein would refer to his own letters. That’s what the brainstorm process is all about. It’s really about unpacking, dusting the corners and cracks we often forget about, so we can create the best, most ideal versions of ourselves. Thus leading to your Life Purpose.
This step – and the following 4 steps for that matter – are meant to be reiterated, reflected upon and practiced continually until you get to a final Life Purpose that lights you up inside – which you WILL.
This step is about planting the seed. The following are all about nurturing it and growing it. To bear the fruit on a fruit tree, you must take the time to create, grow, and water it if you want to get the best fruit.
Step 2 | Create Your Personal Mission Statement
Alrighty. Now we are getting more into the organizational aspects of where all of your passions, desires, personal strengths, etc. you uncovered in the first step has taken you. Creating a personal mission statement is all about creating your ideal concrete values you hold close to your heart, and will continually look over to remind you why you do what you do every day, and how that ties into your values.
IMPORTANT: Personalizing this to your needs and desires and NOT the desires others in your life have for you is SO important. This needs to be able to emotionally charge and inspire you when you are reading it. The left image depicts this point succinctly and thoughtfully.
Here are several important elements your mission statement can include:
- How you would like to be perceived and thought about by others
- How you perceive yourself, the world, others
- What contributions you would like to make to the world
- What you value (health, love, relationships, etc.)
- Your daily actions/motives
- How you work to better yourself, the world around you
- Written as “I am” statements
A template & brief example:
A reminder that this is completely personalized to you and how you would like your life mission statement to look. It can be however short or long you would like it to be. It will be something that you will be continually reflecting upon – adding to, editing, adapting – so whatever you are comfortable with and feel good about.
Give yourself 20-30 minutes to really craft up something that feels good to you. Again, this can be revised, and will most likely never be fully perfected as our wants, values and desires continuously grow and change as we do, so once you have written a strong, personalized mission statement you feel good about and motivates you, let’s get to the next step. 🙂
Step 3 | Visualize & Set goals
“Before you start out, know where you want to go.”
Delving into the third step, we’re going to tap into the power of setting goals and visualization. This whole 5 step process is similar to a funnel – the beginning being more flexible with a much more abundant amount of ideas, brainstorming, soul-searching, etc. with the end of the process really putting the pieces together, and compressing the jumble of ambitions and intentions into a more, concrete, actionable mission statement and implementable plan.
Taking what you’ve created so far within the first couple steps, you will now be creating a windy list of goals you would ideally like to achieve within your lifetime. In this step, we’ll pay little attention to when and how you would achieve them, as we will get deeper into that in the next step. This one is really about using your mission statement and passions, etc. to carve out anywhere from 20 to 50 goals you would like to achieve. It’s helpful to not have all ginormous, huge long term goals however. A mixture of short, midterm, and long term is ideal. But hey – to each her own. Let’s get to it.
- On a brand-new page, create a numbered list 1 – 50.
- Set a timer for 10 – 20 minutes, and fill out all of your desired life goals.
- Once complete – go back and read through them, and highlight 5 you would like to complete within the next year.
- Read through this list weekly – if not daily – and visualize completing these goals and what your life will look like once you’ve completed them. The 5 goals you’ve highlighted – visualize deeper, and really feel them.
Not too hard right?! This last bullet point is crucial for the next step where we will be nearing the bottom half of the funnel, allowing the manifestation process of these 5 goals to get going.
Step 4 | Actionable steps, SMART goals
First off, I want to say how amazing you are for getting through the first 3 steps and taking control of your life. This kind of deep introspection is how many highly successful, highly satisfied doers find their purposes and take charge of their lives. So shouts out to you for deciding to be one of them, and taking the path so rarely traveled. Shouts out to you for taking a solid chunk out of your day to create a life of meaning, happiness, and personal success.
In this step, we will be taking the 5 steps you highlighted and break them down into more actionable, implementable goals so you are able to reach them within the one-year time frame using the SMART goals concept. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. These elements are what will allow you to break these goals down into bite size bits to make them more comprehensible.
Let’s start with Specific. This is easy as you already have the specific five goals you will be focusing on. This is the time to make sure that the five you chose are ones you will be dedicating the next year of countless little progressional actions to bring these into fruition. I’ll throw out an example of a goal to use in this step so you can see how this whole things goes. Let’s say one of your goals is “have a six-pack”. Depending on where you are right now, this can fall into a SMART goal, or not. Is it achievable for where you currently are? If not, this is where you adapt the desired goal to make it attainable. Maybe you change it to “lose X amount of weight” or “work out X amount of time / get a personal trainer”. Again – tailor to your personal wants and needs.
After you set in stone your five specific goals, let’s make sure they are measurable. Are you able to accurately measure your process of reaching this goal? Use a system that allows you to measure your progress in a quantifiable way. An example with the six-pack goal would be “Go to the gym 30 min – 1 hour at 8 am 4 days a week” and/or “meal prep healthy, nutritious meals every Sunday”, “Pack a to-go lunch”, “Eat fast food no more than 3 times a month”, etc. These are measurable as you can measure your progress, how it affects your body, how it’s getting you closer to your end goal, and holds yourself accountable.
Next, you want to make sure that this goal is achievable for where you are. There is no point in measuring out a specific goal in measurable steps if you are not able to achieve what you’ve laid out for yourself. This takes some self-evaluation of where you are and where you want to go. Everyone is on their own journeys so it’s important to not compare your own to anyone else’s as we all are able to achieve our goals at our own pace.
This ties into the previous, of course, but making sure your goal is relevant towards you, your needs, your life, your job, etc. It should be able to fit in with what you are already doing on a day to day basis, or you should be able to maneuver it around your lifestyle so it can effectively be reached.
Lastly, making sure your actionable steps toward achieving your desired goal is time-bound is crucial. Setting specific, measurable actions on when you will get it done, how, where, etc. This is where time blocking and scheduling weeks and months in advance is very beneficial, and allows you to prepare ahead of time for how you will successfully complete said goal.
A friendly reminder that this SMART goal process works well with attaining anything your are set on achieving, and are easier once you have gone through the previous steps and found a life purpose that lights you up.
Step 5 | Start now.
There is no better time to start something than right now.
Anything you start that is different from what you are used to will feel weird. It will feel scary at times. You may feel discouraged at times, or questioning why again you are starting this in the first place. This is when you circle back and reflect on why you are doing it. How it will benefit you, your future, your life, your purpose.
Start today, continue on every day, give yourself a break here and there if needed, but continue with relentless rigor.
Be kind to yourself. Push yourself. And you will slowly watch your life purpose unfold before your eyes.
Good luck, and remember to enjoy the process. ♡
Putting it all together
I can’t stress enough that this process is not a set-in-stone, unchanging, do-once-and-never-look-back-again type of exercise. It’s OKAY to change your mind, and switch up your path in life. Life is not a linear path. It’s a constant fluctuating, roller coaster ride that takes you on twists and turns you will never be fully prepared for no matter how much you try.
This is simply to guide you in the right direction. And it will if you allow it to. It’s about getting decisive with your core desires. The more you tap into this exercise, the more you will get into your deep, mostly-concrete desires which enables you to find a purpose in your life to pursue and that fulfills you. A purpose you can incorporate in all aspects of life – career, family, spiritual, etc.
Please let me know below if or how this helped you in any way, or your thoughts on it. What purpose/goals will you be working toward?