If you’d like to uncover and clearly define your purpose but don’t know how to get started, you can begin by reflecting on the ten thought-provoking questions that follow. Don’t rush through them. Give yourself time to think about them. Writing your answers down in a journal will help you process them, and your purpose will begin to emerge.
Examples of purposes:
- Maya Angelou “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
- To be a coach known as a catalyst for helping people make meaningful change in their lives.
- To find a way to make a positive impact on someone every day.
Whether you need to define your purpose or simply refocus on a purpose that already guides you, a clear purpose is an essential piece of a successful transition.
Questions to define your purpose
- What did I love to do as a child?
Our passions are often rooted in childhood. They can be forgotten as we move through life conforming to others’ expectations and focusing on what we “should” do rather than what we want to do. Think of the things you did as a child that brought you the most joy. How did you spend your free time?
- What activities make you lose track of time?
Flow is what psychologists call the high-energy, highly productive state when people are so immersed in a task or activity that they lose track of time. When activities put you in the state of flow?
- If I could wave a magic wand, what growth/change would I want to see in myself, my community, or the world?
A magic wand allows yourself to think without restrictions. Don’t let perceived limits or the fear of failure get in the way of defining your purpose.
- What causes you to bubble with energy and excitement?
A true purpose energizes you because it taps into your true passion. It is the emotion that ultimately drives action. Don’t think about what you should do, focus on what excites you.
- What would I do with my time if there were no limits?
Don’t focus on an ideal job, focus on how you would choose to spend your time if there was nothing holding you back.
- If you knew you were going to die one year from today, how would you spend that year?
There is nothing like a sense of urgency to help prioritize what is truly important.
- What are the greatest challenges you’ve overcome in life that you are most proud of?
It may be that your purpose is connected to helping others overcome similar challenges.
- What do you want your legacy to be?
Considering how you’d like others to remember you can uncover what is most important to you.
- If you had unlimited resources (time, money, people to help) how would you use them?
Remove all barriers and focus on what you really want.
- What goals are you most determined to achieve?
We become tenacious when focusing on a meaningful purpose.
Giving yourself time to think about answers to these questions and reading over your answers will help you begin to see your authentic self and clear purpose. Read through the rest of the posts in our series on Transitioning with Purpose for additional insight on how you can successfully navigate the transitions in your personal and professional life.
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Dr. Heather Johnson is an internationally recognized speaker with extensive experience developing leaders. With a doctorate in Psychology and over 20 years of business experience, she works with leaders to quickly identify individual and team performance obstacles and develops customized solutions that lead to rapid change and lasting results. Heather facilitates public and in-house workshops that deliver personalized, practical, and immediate results. Some of her most requested topics are: Influence, Emotional Intelligence, Team Building, Communication, and Strategic Planning. For more information call contact us here or call 651-210-6021.