3 Myths About Life Purpose
In the ’90s, I heard the question for the first time. A career consultant asked, “What’s your life’s purpose?” The question struck fear in my heart. I felt my palms getting sweaty.
Thoughts raced through my mind…
I don't know my purpose.
What if I never figure it out?
What if I get it wrong?
It’s natural to question why we’re here—and to want our lives to count. But why does the idea of purpose strike fear in so many of us? In my case, I had bought into three myths that were getting in the way.
Myth #1: My purpose has to be monumental to be worthwhile.
Myth #2: My purpose and our career are one and the same.
Myth #3: Finding my purpose is really hard.
Truth #1: Your purpose is to make a positive impact – no matter how (seemingly) small.
When we affect one person, they go on to affect another. There's a wonderful ripple effect.
Truth #2: Your purpose is something you can do regardless of your job (whether inside or outside the home).
In fact, your purpose is more about who you are than what you do. It's like a theme that runs through your life. It usually starts with character strengths. These are natural strengths, things that are part of who you are (versus skills that you have to learn.) Things like creativity, leadership, compassion, friendliness, attention to detail, persuasiveness...
Truth #3: You're already living your purpose.
Since your purpose is woven into the fabric of who you are, you naturally live it to some degree. The key is to uncover exactly what it is so we can live it more intentionally.
So, how do you uncover your purpose? The first step is to pay attention to what makes you light up, come alive, lose track of time. When you're passionate about something, it gives you clues about your purpose. Ask yourself, 'What is it about this that I love so much?'
For inspiration, here are a few purpose statements...
My purpose is to provide hospitality to others, to make them feel welcome wherever I am.
I was born to encourage children to live up to their potential.
My life's purpose is to express my creativity to bring beauty to the world.
My purpose is to bring out the best in others.
What are your initial hunches about your purpose?