What is Purpose?

The term “purpose” is thrown around alot these days. This makes it worth asking ourselves, “How do we view ‘purpose’ in the first place?”

  •  I believe every human is born with purpose—that we are born to make a difference in this world, our life, and the lives of others.
  • I believe we all have natural gifts and strengths and that our attention and our focus are the tools we can use to grow and expand these.
  • I believe that purpose is not something elusive, but that it is actually right in front of us—often missed because our inner critic or our judging mind confuses us, to the extent that we discredit anything which feels too simple, too personal, or too obvious.
  • I believe that purpose is unique to each person and that it does not have to look big. Many of us live with this idea that we have to be a Martin Luther King or a Ghandi to embody real purpose. NOT TRUE.

Your purpose could be many things: advocating for others; local leadership; mentoring; feeding people; creating a software program that changes lives; beautifying a space; or contributing to a work of art that inspires hope in even only a handful of people.

Your purpose is anything that uses your natural strengths and abilities and leaves you feeling inspired and in flow.

“What is flow?” you ask.

It is a state in which you lose track of time— where your work is so interesting and so inspiring that you transcend the confines of the clock. Flow is a state of Zen. It is a rhythm that aligns with your energy, a way of working that feels almost effortless, and a letting go of control that yields something worth holding on to.

Try this exercise to learn about what Purpose means to you…

Sit down with pen and paper and set the timer for 7 minutes. You are to write without stopping, allowing your stream of conscious to take over as you answer the following:

Purpose to me means…

Keep completing that sentence for 7 minutes. 

Purpose to me means….

Purpose to me means…

Purpose to me means…

 A reminder: your job is to stay rigorously curious here. This exercise is about giving your unconscious a chance to be heard and seen. The unconscious is more likely to emerge in the presence of an open mind, an open heart, and an inquisitive spirit.

I guarantee you that if you allow yourself the opportunity to be delightfully surprised, chances are, you will be!