Are you living on purpose? I mean this in both ways:
1. Living on purpose — are you living your life deliberately, intentionally, purposely, by design, etc.?
2. Living on purpose — do you feel like you’re living the purpose of your life?
I know there are many people who are conscious of finding their life purpose. This is why I’m sharing how it happened for me in case it’s of benefit to anyone else, as well as other bits and pieces I believe about life purpose.
We have more than one purpose
Whilst I do believe we come to this life with life purposes, I also believe that our purpose can be what we choose it to be.
It’s my understanding that we have more than one purpose. For example, we have purposes about life lessons we came here to learn. There are other purposes about what we’re here to do in terms of being of assistance and of service. Sometimes that includes how we earn a living, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Also, as we go through different stages of life, different purposes will come to the fore and others recede into the background.
We come with everything we require
I believe we came to this life experience with everything that we individually require to live it, according to the different purposes of our lives.
If we came to do something in particular, then we came with the ability to do that thing. So logic then follows, that in order to get clearer on what our life purpose is, a good place to start is by getting to know what our abilities are.
When we’re born, our brain comes wired with pre-existing capacities for us to be exceptionally good at particular things. In the context of positive psychology, these are known as our strengths. They’re the qualities we’re born with in order to be able to live the life purposes that we came here to live.
By getting to know our different strengths, and by actually using them, we get more and more aligned with the purpose of why we have that ability in the first place. We get more and more aligned with our life purpose.
Acknowledge your qualities, be prepared to share them and you will find your purpose.
From ‘Spirit Night’ with Roz Lawler
We have many different qualities. It can be tricky figuring it out.
First, I went through the process of recognising different qualities individually. It felt like different pieces of a jig saw puzzle. When I started putting the pieces together a part of the picture emerged. It wasn’t the entire picture, just part of it. It was enough to be a moment of clarity, where I made sense to myself in a way I’d never experienced before.
This entire process began for me with a question, “What makes me uniquely me?”
I’d been learning about spirituality for many years. A teacher I was learning from spoke about how each of us is unique; how each human being is an individual cell in the body of humanity; how each of us have our unique gifts to offer the world, and that as we do, we benefit ourselves as well as strengthen the body of humanity; that our being here on this planet is no mistake — we’re all here on purpose.
So, I wanted to know, “What is it that I particularly have to offer?”
I was about 38 years of age. Not once before had I ever really thought about this with the same intensity as I was doing at that point. Looking back on it now, I can see how this is the point when I was ready to know and receive the clarity in taking a step closer to being more aligned with that life purpose.
Try as I might, I was unable to figure it out on my own. I almost resigned myself to not figuring it out, when the answers came in a most unexpected way.
It’s how I discovered positive psychology and the concept of strengths.
Seeing myself in a more positive light
The process of discovering my strengths changed the way I saw myself.
Because I’d previously been focused on what was wrong and fixing it, I’d been seeing myself from a perspective of lack.
Turning this on it’s head — seeing the things that are my strengths and then consciously building on these — is a completely different perspective. It’s a positive perspective. I started to see myself in a more positive light.
I began to connect the dots of who I am and how I be in the world. I started to make sense to myself, and saw that there is indeed a reason that I am made the way that I am.
I began to accept myself for who I am, as I am.
Seeing myself this way has enabled me to stop comparing myself to others. By appreciating my own unique combination of qualities, I can also appreciate that everyone else has their own unique combination as well. Understanding this truly made comparison irrelevant and pointless.
Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be, and embrace who you really are.
Finding life purpose
This quote, that comes from a spiritual teacher I highly respect and have been learning from for the last 15 years, sums up how the journey has been for me so far:
“Acknowledge your qualities, be prepared to share them and you will find your purpose.” (From ‘Spirit Night’ with Roz Lawler)
Going through the process of identifying my strengths is how I first recognised, and then acknowledged my qualities.
This seems obvious now, however, I realised that the way that I naturally am, and the conversations that I love to have with anyone that’s willing to be open enough to have them with me — this is what makes up who I am, are my strengths, and is part of my purpose. I was already being who I am meant to be, and already living my purpose. I just hadn’t recognised it yet.
Once I did actually recognise it, it made all the difference in the world.
Since then I’ve created a business where I get to share the things I’ve learned along the journey of my own life, using my strengths and living my life on purpose — in both meanings.
By starting the business, I’m now sharing my qualities more widely and reaching more people than I could before. I’m living my life on purpose. The business is deliberately designing my life so that I’m sharing my strengths more widely. This in turn brings me more and more in alignment with this particular purpose of being of service.
Discovering your strengths by no means requires you to start your own business. You can have the same clarity about your strengths whilst staying in your current role. It’s a way of valuing more deeply what you contribute and increasing your sense of confidence and worth.
Or it can prompt you to find another job that may be more suited to you.
I by no means proclaim to have it all figured out. I still struggle to put into words what I think this life purpose is. All I know is that I’m on the right track. The more I do what I’m doing, the more my strengths evolve and the more this life purpose becomes that little bit clearer.