How to Find Your Purpose

mindset and goals personal development Jun 14, 2023

What is your purpose? In a quest to live a life of meaning and significance, I asked this question for many years, without any definitive answer until about 15 years ago. Since then, having gone through numerous personal development programs, read hundreds of pages of books on personal development, and listened to many videos on motivation and living a purposeful life, having gotten my personal coach who has helped me design my future, I finally got it! With clarity, I can now say that my purpose is to help others find theirs, reach their highest potential and live their best life possible. Is it your desire to find your purpose so that you may live a more meaningful and purposeful life? Here are three simple steps on how to find your purpose.

Define Your Core Values

We are the embodiment of the values we espoused. Take Martin Luther King Jr., for example. In his short but inspiring life, he has made an incredible impact on the landscape of American society and the world at large. Dr. King believed in justice, equality, and freedom for all. These were some of his core values. These values enabled him to align himself with his purpose, that of leading the cause of the civil rights movement.

Like Dr. King, once you can define your core values, you will be closer to finding your purpose. So what do you stand for? What centers you? What principles guide your decisions and behavior? If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, you have laid the foundation for identifying your purpose and are on the path to living life to the fullest. Here is what I want you to do right now! Take a sheet of paper and list your top ten core values. Go over your top-ten list and identify and define your top-five core values. Once you have defined those five core values, start exploring activities, causes, and careers that align with your values. 

Discover Your Passion

Passion is the genesis of greatness! It is the force that awakens the giant in you. Like identifying your core values, discovering your passion will help you find your purpose in life. So what are you passionate about? What gets you excited? What wakes you up in the morning and keeps you up at night with excitement? That particular thing may indicate the purpose for which you were born. 

However, I must admit that passion alone is not a safe guide in determining your purpose. As my mentor Dr. John Maxwell puts it, passion is not 100 percent foolproof, but it will get you within the location and the neighborhood where you will find your purpose. Hence, it is possible to be passionate about something you are not good at. It's like some aspiring singers who auditioned with exuberance on the American Idol show. They are passionate about singing, but the truth is, they can't sing and would be better off pursuing another dream. Suffice it to say, passion is a critical factor in finding your purpose, but understand that it's about 80 percent accurate and must be associated with your skill set if you are to find and live your purpose.

Identify Your Skills 

Intricately linked to what you are passionate about is what you are good at. In the book "Now, Discover Your Strengths," Marcus Buckingham calls it your strengths' zone. It is that area of competence. So one of the most important questions to ask as you try to find your purpose is this, "What are my strengths?" In other words, try and identify what you do well. Identify your giftedness and your unique skill set. 

Once you identify your strengths Zone - your skill set and that thing that you are good at, you need to nurture it and work hard at it, and it will enable you to rise to higher heights. Consequently, knowing your purpose in life can be life-changing and makes a big difference between success and failure. Like highly successful people who have found their purpose and are living a fulfilled and successful life, you can too.