Have you been plagued with the question, “What is my life purpose”? Get your answers here in six easy steps! And bonus, find out what differentiates you from others who have the same purpose.
MM558- Uncover Your Life Purpose
Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!
It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.
Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.
Today’s focus is: Uncover Your Life Purpose
I am really excited to talk to you about today’s topic, Life Purpose. Life purpose is kind of a controversial topic. People have their own ideas about what exactly life purpose means, if it’s a real thing, or not; if it matters if you “achieve” it over your lifetime, or not.
To me, the best part about the idea of a life purpose is that a) You get to a place in your own life and mind where your thinking is heightened enough to start questioning the idea “Why am I here?” And b) You go on your own journey of discovery, seeking knowledge about it. And that journey is a long one. It’s not about getting one person’s opinion and believing it, it’s about getting tid bits of information over time and piecing them together in a way that makes sense for you. Because similar to your life purpose, your discoveries and ideas about it are personal to you. Understanding what life purpose is and discovering your own is an intimate process.
I don’t know in which stage of this process you’re in currently, but if you’re like me, you hit a place or will hit a place in your search for purpose where you feel like all you’ve done is random and purposeless. That either you’ve bounced around and done many things and none seem connected and you don’t feel like you’ve arrived anywhere, or you feel like you’ve arrived somewhere, but it’s not the right where.
I want to share an activity with you that I created to help me figure out my direction and my purpose. I had completed a coaching program and was starting my podcast – but I needed to figure out what my podcast would be about? How could I help the most people with the amazing information and tools I had learned? Who did I want to help? What mattered most to me? What am I about?
So here are the six steps I took to figure all of this out. (I suggest pausing this episode as we move along and doing these steps with me, but feel free to revisit and revise your answers over the next few weeks. It took me three weeks of revisiting this process to find the answer I was looking for. And before doing this, I just could not see any of what I found here.)
Step One: I’d like you to make a list of all the jobs you’ve had in your life. For me, that included: working at a pizzeria, at a MacDonald’s, at a Macy’s, at a nuclear power plant, for an accountant, teaching high school English, running a karaoke business, being a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and more. So, Step 1, just list all the jobs you’ve had. (Feel free to pause here.)
Step Two: Look at your list of all the jobs you’ve had and circle the ones you enjoyed most. The ones that made you feel a certain kind of way. (When I was doing this, I remember looking at my list and feeling almost a sense of shame in how disconnected all my jobs seemed. I had gone to school to be a nail technician; I had gotten my real estate license… I look back now and see that I didn’t even put those on my list!) So, circle the jobs you enjoyed most.
Step Three: Of the jobs you circled, write a WHY sentence for each. Why did you circle them? Why are they important to you? What about them made you feel a certain kind of way?
Here are the three jobs I enjoyed most from my long list, and here are my WHYs:
- Karaoke Host – I enjoyed my job as a karaoke host because I could help people make friends and find belonging, I could create the kind of fun that pushed people’s boundaries, and I could provide a medium where people could showcase their talents.
- Girl Scout Leader -I enjoyed my job/role as Girl Scout Leader because I could expose my troop to new experiences that made them feel powerful and important, where they could be creative team players, and where they could formulate ideas and have a space to communicate them without judgment.
- Teacher – I enjoyed my job as a teacher because I could provide students with opportunities to achieve success where they could be in control, take creative risks, build relationships, and see their potential.
(So take the time to write a detailed sentence for each of the jobs you’ve had that really spoke to you in your life.)
Step Four: Identify similarities between your WHYs. What are the common denominators? (It is here that I started to find the connections I was searching for because I could see that while the jobs seemed very different, what moved me about them was very similar. So I paired this information down further.)
Here are my responses:
- I like helping others find a sense of belonging and belief in self
- It is important to me that others feel important
- I enjoy creating risk-taking environments that inspires personal growth
Step Five: Sum up your common denominators in one phrase (If it’s easier for you to put it in sentence form, that works too.)
- Phrase: belief in self, risk-taking, sense of belonging
Step 6: Distill this phrase down into one word – what does this phrase make you feel? This is your purpose. (You have to do some magic here, look at your common denominators and take a step back to see the BIGGER picture. What is the feeling behind it?)
- For me, the word is empowerment
- My purpose is to empower others
One of the biggest things I would like you to take away from this is experience is that life purpose is not a role that we play, it is a feeling we get. This feeling is what we need to be chasing.
Now, we know there are many other people who share our same purpose, so what makes us unique? It is these three final components that I’d like to share with you today that cause us to live our purpose out differently from others who share our same word.
The first component is the characteristics of our core self. Listen, when you leave this body behind, your soul will still be that energetic, giggly self, or it will still be that chill, methodical self, or it will still be that sensitive, gentle self. Our soul self or true self or our core self remains with us – this is your personality!
The second component is our personal passions. Our personal interests must come into play when considering one’s purpose. Maybe activism is your word, but is your focus on marine life, rain forests, feminism, politics, race, gender, sexuality? Your interests are important; they determine your direction.
And the final and third component is our personal talents. While you may be a great public speaker, someone else may fear public speaking but be an excellent writer. You may be an amazing performer and get your energy from playing on stage with a band, but someone else may be a skilled teacher or producer in the same industry.
Know this: Our purpose is seen in everything we do. Big and small. If empowerment is my word, then I am going to bring it to every experience of my life, whether I am playing with my two-year-old neighbor, I am helping a friend pack her home, I am supporting my husband with his career, or I am writing a book about traveling the fifty states in ninety days to inspire people to live a life that is more exciting or more meaningful.
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I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: No experiences are wasted experiences. They are all meant for us. We are meant to take away knowledge, skills, and lessons from all of the roles we play in life. There are stepping stones that may look like diversions and there are pauses that may make us feel like we’re stagnant, they have each brought us to where we are now and each leading us to where we go next.
Find the common denominators that will prove to you who you are. It’s who you’ve always been. Then use your interests and talents to get that feeling you love so much back into your life.
Remember, you Motivate Me!