Purpose in life helps to bring value and meaning to all that we do. It is the compass that determines our heading in rough or troubled times. When it hits the fan we can look to our Purpose to help guide our responses…And it will hit the fan! Here is a strategy to help determine your Purpose:
Step 1: Forgive Yourself – Too often in life we carry our burdens with us from one stage to the next. We allow them to accumulate as though these burdens are a badge of honor or battle scars that we must display. This is selfish and irresponsible. It prevents us from experiencing joy and happiness. Starting today – forgive yourself for your past mistakes and forgive others that have not been genuine in their dealings with you. Carrying around that burden wastes your energy and holds you back...let it go!
Step 2: Give Thanks - As citizens of this great Nation, we have so much to be thankful for. One key to receiving is giving thanks for what we already have. Some might think to themselves – what do I have to be thankful for? Here are some questions: Are you alive, do you have a family, your health, a job, friends, etc.? We must appreciate what we have before we can accept more into our lives. Live with Gratitude everyday.
Step 3: Write Your Eulogy – Sound weird? Steven Covey suggested we “Begin with the End in Mind”. He was spot on. Every great accomplishment started with a vision. A life of Purpose – well lived – is no different. What will they say about you when all is said and done? What will your legacy be? How are you going to make a difference in the lives of those that matter most to you or the World in general? Write it now! This activity will really help to clarify what is important today so that you ensure the story you desire to be told at the end is what you intended. This serves two purposes – 1. It helps us to acknowledge how we are showing up today and 2. Helps us to determine the changes necessary to better serve our Purpose.
Step 4: Write Your Personal Vision & Mission Statement – Part of living a life of Purpose is defining what that means for us. Companies do it with Vision & Mission Statements. There is no reason that we should be without a personal Vision & Mission Statement. The Vision is the “view from the top of the mountain” while the Mission is “the path to the top of the mountain”. Take the time after you have determined your Purpose to determine your Vision & Mission. This is how you lead your family, business, church, friends, and community.
Step 5: Operating Principles – This is a set of guidelines similar to the 10 Commandments - our personal 10 Commandments. “I leave everything better than I found it” is an example of an operating principle to live by. These principles serve as our core or foundation. When times get tough we will refer to these operating principles for guidance.
Step 6: Establish Written Goals & Maintain Accountability – Align your Goals with your Purpose and find a person that will hold you accountable. We grow through meaningful relationships with others – humans are social creatures. Find someone you trust and allow them to see the true you and help you grow. Accountability will be a key component to maintaining a focus on your Purpose & Goals.
If you don’t plan your future…who will? Do you think they will have your best interest at heart when planning your future for you? Establish your Purpose today.