The key ingredient to living a life of joy and full self-expression is to come to the awareness of who you really are, what your life purpose is, and why you are now in a situation to do “what life is asking from you.” It is typically difficult in this day and age to know our authenticity due to the pressure on most of us to succeed by achieving wealth, recognition, and approval. This however, often leads to short term gains but turns to stress and discontent with a constant focus on the future, or past memories of what didn’t work.
Most of us were most likely raised and conditioned by parents and teachers who knew little about living a purpose oriented life based on one’s unique strengths, values, passions, or even a calling. So we picked up that same ball and ran with it~ the same way our parents did. But now with the advent and resurgence of Spirit conversations in the world, along with a greater consciousness of love, compassion, and peace as a preferred way of life, many have broken free from the previous mold.
Those who have begun to question their lives and have a growing interest in becoming more aware about their authenticity are asking good questions and not taking for granted that they must have a job just to make money, even if it is something they feel displeased with or out of sync with who they really are. Those in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s might have a nagging feeling that life is passing them by, and they want to feel a greater sense of wholeness. They do not want to be stuck in the same old rut, however deep or shallow it may be. They want change, are ready to engage their fears and take the leap from what is familiar and known to what is unfamiliar and possible ~ and maybe even exciting! They have crossed over from Body-Mind Thinking into the domain of Heart-Centered Knowing, with the difference looking something like this:
|Body-Mind Focus: →Drift along, however life happens||Heart-Centered Focus:Grow, develop, ‘Be’ & express your best|
|Give in to convenience of comfort||Act from Purpose (vs. convenience)|
|Avoid responsibility/complain||Take Charge of Your Life!|
|Avoid difficulties; stay in a cocoon||Take risks; learn from challenges|
|Consume, want more||Be reverent and grateful|
|Focused on pleasing self/judging others||Practice kindness and compassion|
If you are among those investigating a more heart-centered life, below are some questions to ask yourself to guide your research into discovering the truth of who you are. This is often covered up or lost in the confusion of life’s challenges, fears, relationships, and the “daily grind.” The awareness of your authentic truth is stored back on the hard drive of your computer-brain, and needs to be accessed and brought up to your personal monitor/screen! So once you step back and ask yourself a few questions, you not only become more familiar with your truth, but are then able to develop a Purpose Statement from which to guide your choices and actions, and create newly inspired results. It’s a matter of having your left brain ask the questions, and your right brain/heart answer them!
From this research you will be much more aware of your strengths, dreams, passions, calling and commitments from which to develop your Purpose Statement. And out of one’s Purpose Statement flows a clear Vision, focused Intentions, specific Goals and a Plan of Action to contribute your unique gifts in the world.
Self discovery process and questions to develop your Purpose Statement
(Make this a fun process! And don’t be shy~ boast a little!)
- Gather information from what others say (ask friends to tell you three of your strengths)
- Identify successes from past achievements, honors or award you have been recognized for
- Answer this: what do you love to do and are good at?
- Find a coach to provide an assessment or check out a free online questionnaire at Authentic Happiness (Martin Seligman).
- List those values that resonate with your truth, such as integrity (doing what you say and keeping your word), compassion (empathy with others and seeing if there is something you can do to help, such as merely listening); risk taking (trying things you aren’t sure you will succeed at and being ok with “failure”, which is about learning and growing your power and confidence); etc.
- There’s a card sort exercise from LifeKeys that helps clarify highest to lowest priority values~ focus on and take consistent action on the top 2 or 3.
- “Do you volunteer your time or talent to any organization or people who need your help? Why?”
- “Is there an organization your give money to? Why“
- “What Hobby or Leisure time activity do you spend most time doing?”
- “Do you have any interest in using your strengths to teach or serve others also engaged in this focus or activity?”
Finish these sentences:
- “My heart is nourished when I am doing . . . “ (list 10)
- “My life is ideal when I am . . . “ (taken from The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Atwood) list 10-15!
- “I really love . . . “ (8-12)
Answer these questions:
- “What did you dream about doing when you were a child?”
- “What dreams do you know have that are yet to be realized?”
- “Knowing money was not an issue, and it would be totally impossible to fail, I would be doing . . . “
- “What is your gut telling you to do?”
- “What do you love to do that makes the world a better place?”
- “What is the most profound experience you would like someone else to receive?”
- “What is the most important guidance you did not receive enough of as a child?”
- “How does it feel when you share that quality or guidance with someone else?”
(The above four questions have been adapted from the work of Patrick Harbula)
- “What is your soul nudging you to do, and what is Life calling from you?
After reviewing the data, I suggest you take a stab at writing a Purpose Statement, knowing it can be rewritten at any time. Make it resonate with a feeling of true alignment to your Heart’s Desire. The statement should include the following components:
- Identifying Gifted Talents and Core Passions;
- Stating the Purpose (of helping, serving, or contributing to others in a particular way);
- Sharing your Vision (in order to achieve a stated outcome).
Here’s an example, (my own Life Purpose): “My Purpose is to use my insight and understanding of human behavior to guide others in discovering and expressing their unique passions and calling, so the world lights up as they express their joyful and positive energy!”
Now try yours! My Life Purpose Statement (or Soul Purpose as I often refer to it):