In a Part 1 of this blog series, I talked about the concept of Purpose. How we all have a unique Purpose, and how it’s to do what makes us feel truly fulfilled and satisfied in life. Today, I want to delve a little deeper into Purpose—what it is and why it could be critical for you to discover yours if you don’t already know it.
At the most basic level, you’re living on Purpose when you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing. Yeah, OK, that’s great, but how do you know if you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing?
You just know. In fact, your body knows when you’re on Purpose.
Do what makes you feel truly fulfilled and satisfied
Think of times when you’ve been engrossed in some activity to the point that you lost track of time. When you were expending energy doing what you were doing, but it took a really long time for you to get tired or to lose focus. Whatever you were doing somehow fueled you. You were on Purpose then.
Think of times when you seemed to be “in flow”, or “firing on all cylinders”. Whatever you were doing came easily, seemed relatively effortless. Didn’t it seem like you were doing what you’re meant to do, in a way? Well, you were on Purpose then as well.
Your body knows when you’re on Purpose
So OK, now you know what it feels like to be on Purpose, but why do you need to know what your Purpose? It’s a good question.
You don’t necessarily have to know it to live on Purpose. You may be someone who instinctively puts herself in situations where she does what makes her feel truly fulfilled and satisfied. And that’s great! Many of us, though, can lose sight of what we instinctively “know”. We can sometimes disregard what our body tries to tell us about situations in our lives and work.
For those of us in that bucket, it’s helpful to be clear about what our Purpose is so we can remind ourselves of it every now and then, make sure we’re not doing things that go against that Purpose, do things that make us feel less fulfilled and satisfied than we could otherwise feel.
Your Purpose is like the road on which you’re meant to be
Metaphorically speaking, your Purpose is like the path you’re meant to be on. And not in any authoritative or restrictive way as in “Thou shalt not veer from The Path.” More in a way of simply living harmoniously and efficiently by being on t the “right” path, if you will.
Consider the image of traveling in car on a road. Think of the the deep ridges that you find on the edges of a highway. The ones that make your car vibrate wildly when you inadvertently veer off the lane, like when you’re zoning out. They’re meant to jolt you into getting back on your path. You could keep riding over those ridges if you wanted to, and wear yourself (and your car) out, but why would you want to? Wouldn’t you enjoy your ride so much more if you rode on the part of the road you were meant to go on? The part that doesn’t drain all your energy? The part that makes it easier to enjoy everyting: the view, the company, the road?
Staying on Purpose is about knowing what makes you tick
The fun thing is that it’s your road. Your path. Not anyone else’s. It’s not about conforming or following some arbitrary set of rules. It’s about knowing what makes you tick. What fires up your engine. What flips your switch. What floats your boat… (I’m throwing out all the imagery here, maybe one of them works better than the others for you.)
So, if you believe that a life lived on Purpose, one where you intentionally seek to feel fulfilled and satisfied, is worthwhile, wouldn’t it be helpful to be very clear on what that Purpose is? I think so.
Once you’re clear on your Purpose, everything flows from there
When you know your Purpose, you can check to see that your current activities, and life are aligned with it. You can also make decisions about the future based on it. You can choose goals that keep you on Purpose, rather than goals that take you off Purpose.
So, how do you get clear on your Purpose? You craft a Purpose Statement.
In the next part of the “Purpose” series, I’ll go into the technique I use to help people discover their Purpose. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not mystical. And it can be extemely useful. Stay tuned!
Click here for Part 3 of this “Purpose” series.