Have you ever had that moment, maybe at the end of a bad day or just in a few minutes of silence, when you wonder what your purpose is? Maybe your question is filled with frustration, perhaps defeat, or even excitement at discovering what it is. But in that moment, you stop to question your purpose and whether or not you are making much of a difference in the world.
In business, your purpose is just as important as it is in your personal life, perhaps even more so. After all, the majority of us spend more time pursuing a career than we do just living life, so understanding your purpose in your business is even more essential. It is really the starting point in everything you do to make the right decisions and to move down the right path every day. But finding your purpose is not necessarily an easy task. Most people in fact don’t know what their purpose is.
In chapter four of The Results Map for Women in Biz we dive deep into exercises to help us understand and identify our purpose in life. As Pamela Zimmer, CEO of Love & Mommy Hugs could tell you, the purpose you find is not always what you think it would be. She shares with us how her purpose and joy was born out of some of the most depression-saturated days of her life. Whatever your purpose may be, the first step is to identify it so you can integrate it into the work you do everyday, making it not feel like work at all! The following questions are a few stepping stones to get you thinking about what your purpose might be and move you closer to identifying it.
- What do you love to do?
The first, and perhaps the easiest thought journey to go on is to identify what you love to do. What energizes you, fills you with joy, or just brings you a calmness because of it? Do you like to try out new recipes? Go on adventures? Travel the world? Start making a list of all the things that you love, and don’t leave anything out. Sometimes the smaller, less obvious options are what ultimately give you the spark to identify your purpose.
- Are you guiding or coaching people to things that currently are not in your field?
If two people were talking and your name were to come up, what would they say about you? What are you known for among your friends, family members and peers? Perhaps you have unusual knowledge or just a great mind for understanding how things work. Think about the last time someone came to you with a question, were you able to answer it and was there a reason why they came to you instead of going to someone else?
- Is there something that you dream of and can’t stop thinking about?
There are many events in our lives that pull us away from doing what we truly love to do, even though the passion for them never really goes away. Life events such as becoming a parent, getting married, climbing the corporate ladder, or even moving to a new location can change our focus and pull us away from the things we love to do. It may sound cliche, but take a few minutes to think about what you wanted to be “when you grew up”. Do you still want to do those things? What have you left behind in the busyness of life that you wish was still a part of you?
- Did you live through an experience that has forever changed you?
Quite often, our purpose comes from some emotionally or physically taxing time in our lives. During moments like these, especially in the hard times, we get the opportunity to see things through a different lense, making certain aspects of life just a little more clear. Think about the events you have experienced in life and how they have shaped the person you are today. You have unique experiences that no one else has had, or maybe many people have had but are afraid to talk about. Let the experiences in your life guide your thoughts about the kind of impact your story can have on others.
- Is there a message deep inside of you that should make its mark in the world?
Finally, do you have a pervasive, nagging feeling at the back of your mind? A message that you feel needs to be shared? Maybe you keep waiting for someone else to share it or do something about it, but the best person to share that message just might be you. Allow yourself the opportunity to think about the ideas, thoughts and ideals that you hold dear. Then ask yourself if anyone is spreading the message the way it should be spread. If your answer is “no” then dig a little deeper to ask yourself “why not” and “why not me?”
Each of us has a purpose and a reason for being, and I believe the impact of just one person can go well beyond what we even imagine. Consider this, if this was your last day on Earth, would you feel that you’ve lived your life fully? Would you feel that you’ve fulfilled everything you wanted to accomplish? Identifying your purpose and using it to help guide your life and business direction is the first step to being able to answer “yes, I have fulfilled my purpose in life.”
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