“If you can tune into your purpose and really align with it, setting goals so that your vision is an expression of that purpose, then life flows much more easily.” ―Jack Canfield
Unlocking your purpose is a powerful way to set aligned goals, ramp up motivation, and feel more fulfilled in life.
With your purpose to guide you, it’s easier to make decisions. It’s easier to distinguish between the opportunities which are right for you - and those that aren’t too.
Finding your purpose can take time. It requires soul-searching and deep thought. What’s more, your purpose can change with time as you collect more experiences and discover new things that you love.
But whatever it takes to get clarity over your purpose is more than worth it. With purpose as your compass, life can flow that little bit easier.
What’s your life’s purpose?
Here are three techniques that can help you unlock yours.
Journal your passions
“There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” - Napoleon Hill
Your journal is one of the best places to unlock your purpose. In the privacy of your journal, you get to explore ideas, riff with your heart, and make discoveries that aren’t possible any other way.
Journaling is one of the most effective ways to pull on the threads of your thoughts to see where the tangle leads. As you write without censorship or judgement, you can dive into your truth and that can be liberating.
Best of all, you don’t have to be an A-grade writer to get value from writing. There are no gold stars for the best journal entry! Instead, the purpose of journaling is to get your truth out of your head [and heart] and onto the blank page so you can see it and therefore use it to be your best self.
Questions are a brilliant way to pierce open a portal so the words can pour out.
In The Master Key System, Charles F. Haanel describes questions as “spiritual searchlights”. It’s an idea rooted in science thanks to the instinctive elaboration mental reflex where your brain is compelled to find answers to the questions you ask.
So open your notebook, grab a pen and get to writing your best self!
Here are some prompts to help you unlock your purpose and your passions.
If your day was free, what would you do?
• What do you love to give advice on? What do people ask you about?
• When do you lose track of time?
• What do you want to be remembered for?
For more tips and techniques to help sharpen your journaling practice, check out the Writing Your Best Self podcast.
Understand your impact
It’s not unusual for your purpose to be wrapped up in something you’re naturally good at. This makes sense when you think about it…
When you’re living your life with purpose, it’s easy to lose track of time because purposeful activities take you into deep flow. You find that you’re so engrossed in what you do that you’re no longer clock-watching or procrastinating. Instead, things happen effortlessly and creatively and it feels really good.
Sometimes, we’re too close to ourselves to understand the breadth of our skills and impact. So don’t be surprised if the thing that others value in you isn’t something you instinctively see in yourself! It’s easy to overlook the true value of something that comes easily to you.
Time to get curious...
Ask other people what they love about you. Chances are you’ll get some really valuable insights that will help you understand the true impact you make. Ask your boss, work colleagues, clients, friends, partner and family etc. Most importantly, be ready for some surprises.
Knowing what others value in you is a powerful way to take full ownership of the impact you make. When you’re aware of how you empower others, you can own this aspect of you in a more purposeful way.
It can have a huge impact on the way you approach what you do and help you be your best self.
Find your WHY
Simon Sinek, author of Find Your WHY says, “If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.”
Our WHY is the reason we get out of bed in the morning. It’s the essence that injects and infuses passion into your work and the things that you do.
Sinek says that most of us know what we do and how we do it. But fewer people know the underlying reason behind their efforts. Get clarity over your WHY and you’ll connect with a bigger picture. Instead of doing alone, the things you do will take on more meaning and purpose - and that feeling inspires and motivated us to show up more fully.
But that’s not all...
When you know your WHY you’ll be able to make aligned choices. You’ll instinctively know what things light you up and what things will drain your energy. You’ll know which goals to set and which opportunities to turn down. You’ll feel more focused and resilient too because you’re anchored by a deeper meaning that underpins the work you do.
You’ll feel better too… because a life lived with purpose just feels more fulfilling.
So how do you find your WHY?
One way is to dig below the layers…
Start by asking yourself WHY you do what you do. Write down the first answer that comes to you. For example, I might say that that I write because I enjoy it.
^ that’s the top-level superficial answer! Now it’s time to go deeper by asking WHY again.
In reply, I might say that I enjoy writing because it’s creative and self-expressive.
^ Now we’re getting closer to the truth - but we can go deeper still by once again asking WHY?
In reply, I might say that creative self-expression leads to self-awareness and the opportunity to be seen and heard for who I really am - which is ultimately a form of self-love.
[And I believe cultivating self-love is one of the most impactful intentions we can set for ourselves.]
In other words, I write because it fuels self-love, which helps me be my best self.
What about you?
What is your WHY?
Try this exercise for yourself and keep asking WHY until you get to the core. You’ll know it when you do because it will sing true.
Living a purposeful life
In the words of Robert Bryne, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
It never feels good to be going through the motions - living on autopilot.
But find your purpose, and you can infuse everything you do with more meaning and therefore fulfilment.
What’s your purpose?
With the help of the techniques in this article, it’s time to find out!