Revealing Your Life Purpose
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coaching
It's impossible to know your life purpose without self-reflection. To help reveal your life purpose, asking the right questions will help you find the answers that you are seeking. Listen to what comes up when you ask yourself these questions. The response might be very subtle and quiet. That's why it's essential to keep an open mind as well as an open heart.
Consider these 10 questions:
1. If you had one year to live, what would you do? If you got a diagnosis today that gave you one year to live, what changes would you make without hesitation? It's stunning how we go through life acting as though we have all the time in the world. We keep telling ourselves we can have what we want "later." But what if "later" never comes? None of us are guaranteed anything beyond today. So, pretend for a moment that you just learned you had one year to live. How might that change what you are doing now? If you wouldn't change anything, congratulations. But if you can think of things you would want to change, go ahead and do them.
2. What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want your children, other family, friends, and co-workers to remember you? What do you want them to remember about you? What do you want them to be able to say about you? I know it may feel uncomfortable, but take a moment and consider what you want people to say at your funeral. Are you living the life now that will contribute to them saying things about you that you can be proud of? Take charge of your life. Keep in mind that someday, you will no longer live on this plane.
How do you want to be remembered?
3. When you were a child, what did you love doing? What did you spend hours doing in your spare time? As young children, we aren't concerned about what others think, and we're very clear on what we like and don't like.
Usually, we do things because we like them until we become teenagers. Then, social pressure with the need to impress others and the desire to fit in often steers us away from what we otherwise love to do. Later, adulthood finds us more concerned with the practicality of our choices.
So, go back in your mind to when you were eight, nine, ten years old. What did you do every chance you got? Were you an avid reader? Did you love putting models together? Did you play school? Did you pretend to be a doctor to your dolls?
The things we were drawn to as kids often point to our natural talents and aptitudes. Consider what your childhood activities might reveal about what you're really good at doing and how that might inform the kind of work you should engage in now.
4. How much discomfort can you handle? Everything has an uncomfortable, boring, rough, or awful side occasionally. Finding your life purpose may be no different. Consider that people who are in the creative fields--writers, painters, musicians, dancers--experience rejection much of the time. That isn't fun.
But what if they are writing the next great novel or creating the next great masterpiece? What if their music becomes an icon or they are able to dance so beautifully that they inspire all who see them?
Just because something is uncomfortable isn't a good reason to give up on your dream.
Stick with it if you really have a passion for it. It may well be your purpose in life.
5. What are you usually engaged in when you lose all track of time? What activity or conversations make you miss meals or forget the time? Make a list of the times you've been so focused you forgot about everything else. Imagine this as your career or your purpose in life. How does that feel?
6. What have you always dreamed of doing but fear kept you from doing it? Is it something you've fantasized about for a long time? Have you wanted to write a screenplay or novel? Did you want to become a veterinarian but settle for something else? Have you wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail but never gotten around to it? Why haven't you? Is it because you're afraid to try something new?
Are you afraid to fail?
7. How can you help solve life's challenges or best serve the world? What can you contribute outside yourself? Make a list of skills, interests, and talents you have that can benefit the world in a meaningful way. Could you volunteer for a charitable cause? Would you like to work in a non-profit where the benefit went to children, those in poverty, the climate?
There are so many endeavors that would benefit from your time and talent, and you would be serving someone or some group in the process.
8. What do you regret most in life? The opportunities you miss are those that you regret the most. Perhaps your regret can reveal your purpose. Is there a skill you wish you had learned or started learning years ago? What decisions would you change if you had the chance to have a do-over?
9. What career choice would you choose if you could return to your 18-year-old self? Is it too late now? It may be, but what if it isn't? Maybe you wanted to play professional baseball or football. It's probably too late for that. But it may not be too late for you to work as a coach or even a concessions stand vendor for a ballpark or stadium. You could be near the game even if you can't play it.
Consider that there may be other options available to you.
10. Who inspires you now? Think about the people that you respect and admire most. What about them inspires you? Could you incorporate them into your own life in some way?
Searching for your purpose means digging deeper into your talents, skills, wants, and desires. It's challenging to find your purpose if you don't see how you can use what you have. But the answers are there somewhere.
Some Online Resources To Find Your Purpose
If you need help finding your purpose, there are many resources available online to help you dig deeper. Here is a list of a few of them.
*Note that some of them charge for premium reports, so take care using these, so you don't wind up paying for something you wanted for free.
16 Personalities – This online test is based on the Myers-Briggs personality types. It provides insights related to your personality type to help you see who you are. There are a lot of free resources, but it also offers resources for a price if you wish to sign up for them.
Career Fitter - Discover which careers fit your personality strengths at work and which jobs fit you best. There is a free report, but you can upgrade to a more robust, premium report.
Life Purpose Test – this test helps to clarify your soul purpose. Gain insights about your heart's desire and who you are meant to be.
How to Find Your Passion – a short quiz to help you uncover your purpose in life. It's related to the Law of Attraction.
Who Are You Meant To Be – this self-assessment quiz helps you discover what drives you and find ideas to guide your life in the direction it was meant to go. This quiz is on a page sponsored by Oprah and the OWN network.
Until next time.
Are you struggling with finding your own passion and purpose in life? Do you feel stuck?
If so, join me for a free workshop on "How to Find Your Passion and Purpose" Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 7:00 PM EST.
I hope to see you there!