Life purpose is what gives us fulfillment and deep meaning in life. It guides us through life and is what wakes us and propels us out of bed early with excitement each day. It fuels each day with interest, intrigue and meaning. But what is it? Let’s look at exactly what it means, what it is and if you have one.
The very definition tells all.
The word purpose when used as a noun is defined as: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. As a verb: have as one's intention or objective. The definition of life: the existence of an individual human being or animal.
We see clearly here that life purpose is the reason for which the existence of an individual human is created.
According to definition it is the reason for which you or I were born. And, your purpose is uniquely yours; mine uniquely mine. It is within us, a part of us from conception (and some would say even before as intention).
The fact that your purpose is already in you, a part of you like your DNA, means it is not something you create. It is already there. You simply have to slow down, to inquire and be aware of yourself to realize or notice what is uniquely yours.
Your purpose shows itself in the form of your innate skills and joys in life.
How to know it when you see it.
The key to your life purpose is it has always been there. If it has always been a part of you then why do you not know it? That is simply because we are trained at an early age to follow the purviews of society. Our innate interests or skills are often times quelled in an attempt to mold us into what someone else thinks we should do or become.
This misguided attempt at guidance sometimes covers over our natural inclinations, strengths and skills. They do not, however, completely disappear. They may just lie dormant waiting on us to coax them to the surface.
In some cases, we are full aware of our natural likes, excitements, skills, and motivators. And, some people are even living this out without knowing it. While others remark, “I liked that as a kid, but who has time for it now.” Or, perhaps, “yes, I’m good at that, but it doesn’t pay the bills.” Or, “I’m good at that, but what does it have to do with real life?” Again, here we see a conditioning of society and often times our own parents (and no offense there, they did the best they knew how to do) that hides or dismissed these traits and skills.
If you want to understand your purpose and return it the position it deserves and requires in your life, start to ask the questions of yourself and you will see the patterns. What are you good at? What do others say you are good at? What did you enjoy as a child? What do you enjoy now? What breaks your heart? Where do all of these intersect? These are a few of the questions you can ask yourself to help uncover your true purpose in this life.
You will know when you see it because it will make complete sense. You will see the pattern from an early age. It has shown itself in subtle ways through out your entire life.
Does it Evolve?
Your purpose is always your purpose. We do not choose purpose or change it, it already is chosen. It makes itself known to us if we only listen and pay attention. We then follow that purpose through different phases of life. Your purpose may look different as your life progresses, but will always have the same basic foundation. It is who you are.
The fundamentals will remain the same. The how is what may change through your life. If your life purpose, for example, is to organize and simplify information to help people live a better life, that could play itself out in many different ways at different points through your life.
The evolution of the how of your purpose typically occurs as your life experiences evolve. The example above may see this manifest in creating systems for someone who is sick to help them heal faster. Maybe it then translates to helping people with their eating programs to prevent sickness. Or, to their entire health life or home life.
It could take on many subtle forms and will always be tied back to the innate qualities that make your purpose yours—that tie the ability together with the desire. A common ground with your purpose will always be rooted in giving to or helping others in some way. A musician, could have a purpose of developing beautiful music to bring enjoyment to others, for example.
Does everyone have a life purpose?
Yes, we all have a purpose in this life. It is with us from the beginning and is what gives meaning to life. To truly live life to the fullest extent you must be aware of your purpose and live it out every day.
Everyone has one, but not everyone is aware of theirs. And, not everyone lives theirs out. This is wasted opportunity for them and the world. Your unique purpose will benefit not only the quality of your own life, but also those around you or even the world.
The question is not whether or not you have one (you do). The better question is how do you uncover yours and live it out?
Start today by asking yourself the questions included earlier in this article. Allow yourself some quiet time to sit and really ponder these. Use a journal to write down your thoughts. Do not try to force or dismiss anything that comes to the surface—no matter how small or trivial it may seem. This is the beginning.
By the way, when I first began my discovery process (in my forties) it was a memory from around age 6 or 7 when my cousin and I snuck into my mom’s kitchen and organized the kitchen drawers and surprised her with it the next morning (we then repeated at aunt’s house) that would spark the uncovering of my purpose. How on earth could this have anything to do with my life purpose? Trust me, it had everything to do with it. No, I am not a home organizer, but the very tendencies of that event played out and pointed my way.