Purpose Finder: Find your purpose in life

From the Life Transformation Toolkit

Life is too important for you to settle, to drift, to stall, or to grow complacent. There is magic within you, and the world deserves for you to to let it out. But what is that magic? What is your purpose? What is your mission in life?

Finding your purpose in life can be frustratingly difficult. It’s difficult, after all, to sift through the fog of daily life, to wade through the many variables there are to consider, and to identify the destination you should be pursuing.

The Purpose Finder can help. Based off the internationally acclaimed 16 Elements of Success, and core to the popular Escape Velocity Workshop Series, this tool will help you find your mission, so you can make sure your daily, weekly, and monthly efforts align to somewhere meaningful… somewhere you want to go.

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Step 1

Answer
the following questions

Listed below are each of the 16 Elements, with several questions under each element. These are meant to cast a broad net, and to help you dial in on a sense of what your purpose is. You don’t have to answer each of them, although it’s recommended. At a minimum though, choose at least two from each section and think deeply about them.

Find a distraction-free environment, and write down your answers on a blank sheet of paper.

This usually takes about an hour. And this is the hard part. It requires emotional labor. It takes time, and it makes you dig deep. But this is your life’s purpose, your mission, your ultimate individual “why”. It’s worth it.

If you do choose to focus on just one or two questions, try to hone in on the ones for which the answers seem most obvious… the ones that “just click”.

Objective

  • What types of objectives (goals, projects, initiatives, etc.) tend to excite you the most?
  • Think of the last time someone told you about their objective, and you just felt a deep sense of longing, maybe even jealousy, and wanted to respond “I would love to do that”. What was it?
  • If someone gave you all the time and budget you needed to go do something productive and meaningful, what would it be?
  • Is there this deep, sometimes actively surpassed, feeling like you should be going somewhere or doing something, and you keep dismissing it, or pushing it down? If so, what is it?

Space

  • Are there certain things that other people do where you just naturally tend to see the barriers and obstacles they will face, and just feel the desire to tell them about it? What are those things?
  • Thank of the times in your life you’ve been held back by something, some obstacle, and felt the most profound frustration… what were you trying to accomplish?
  • If someone told you to go buy a tool, or an instrument, or something that would help you do something else, their treat… what would you buy, and what would you do with it?
  • If you were to be given a year of time to focus on anything you wanted to focus on, what would that be?

Score

  • What types of things do you naturally keep score of in life (beyond the usual)?
  • There are things that live deep inside us, beyond our consciousness that create a sense of winning or losing. When we ignore them too long, we feel like we’re losing. When we spend some (really, any) amount of time on them, we have a sense that we’re winning. What are those things for which have this innate sense of winning or losing that could be an indication that your inner self is trying to shout out that you’re either going the right direction or you’re not.
  • If you were to keep score of everything that was truly important to you in your life, and if that score was going to be exposed to your most respected peers, what score would scare you the most? What would it be measuring?
  • What score would give you the most pride? What would it be measuring?

Growth

  • If someone gave you the money, time, and permission to take a year and become an expert in one thing, what would you choose to focus on?
  • What would you do with that expertise?
  • List a few of the top things that you wish you had the time to learn. What do they have in common and what would you do with that knowledge?
  • What are you most naturally curios about?
  • There are times when we learn and it feels like it’s labor. There are other times when we learn and it feels exciting, like a light is turning on inside of you. What are some of those topics that tend to turn the light on?

Value

This is about feeling valued. It’s about rewards and recognition. 

  • What are some of the things that you do, that you feel like others tend to value the most?
  • What are some of the things that you do, that you (yourself) tend to value the most?
  • What are some of the things you do, that most often earn you recognition from others, especially from those you respect?
  • What are some of the things that you do, that when recognized by another, tend to give you the strongest sense of satisfaction and fulfillment?

Leadership

People will recognize in us the magic that we don’t see in ourselves, and they will come to you as a guide for those things. That’s a huge indicator that this is something that fits within your purpose.

  • What types of things do other people turn to you for when seeking guidance or to ask you for help?
  • If you could suddenly have the expertise, time, and money to focus your whole life on being a leader, mentor, or guide, what types of things would you want to do that for?
  • What type of people would come to you?
  • What problems would they be asking you to help with?

Renewal

  • What are the activities that seem to fuel you, rather than drain you, that somehow leave you energized, even though they take work?
  • What are the things you’ve done in the past that feel like they made you somehow more whole?

Plan

  • Are there certain objectives or initiatives or causes that you tend to naturally see clearly and understand better than other people do? What are they?
  • Are there certain types of things where you just naturally seem to “know the way forward”? What are they?
  • Are there certain pursuits or objectives or activities you find out other people are doing and just can’t help but want to step in and help them “figure it out”? What are those things?
  • Are there certain things that you just have the naturally ability to see the path, or the way forward, and maybe sometimes it’s so clear that you get frustrated when you see someone else deviating from that path that to you is so obvious? What are those things?

Contribution

  • Think of the last time you feel like you really made a difference… what is it you were doing?
  • When do you feel like you are doing your very best work, and what are you doing when you feel that way?
  • Think back to some of the happiest moments of your life… what were you doing?
  • Think back to the last time you felt deeply like you were part of something important… what was it and what were you doing?

Momentum

  • What things do you do that seem to move the needle the most. That give you the most sense of having moved forward. We have a deep and innate sense of what we should be doing, even when it’s not conscious, and when we spend even just a little time on something we will feel the momentum from it. It’s like it’s a natural path. It just feels you with momentum, and you feel like you’re moving forward.
  • Think back to the last time you were so immersed in an activity that you totally lost track of everything (time, appetite, etc.)… what were you doing?

Meaning

  • What types of activities, or pursuits do you tend to find most meaningful?
  • What types of things do others do that you tend to look at and think “that is meaningful, I would love to do that”.
  • What types of things do you get the most fulfillment from? These are those things after which you sit back and feel deep satisfaction for time well-spent?
  • When you look back at your life, what were your proudest moments, and why? What did you do to feel that way?
  • What types of issues are you most drawn to? Perhaps this shows up in the type of news you read or the conversations you just can’t help but get involved in.

Identity

This is that innate sense of who we are and what we’re capable of.

  • What types of activities do you tend to most naturally succeed at? These are the things that just come naturally to you, and that you tend to do well without even really working at it?
  • What types of activities or things do you do that others tend to compliment you for (even, or perhaps especially, if you tend to dismiss those compliments)?
  • What types of activities or things do you tend to do in your spare time (or wish you could do, if you had spare time)?
  • If someone were to give you all the money you needed for the next month, and told you to spend it doing anything productive, what would you do with that time?

Relationships

  • Which of your relationships tend to energize you… who are those people, and what do they do?
  • What is it about them that elicits so much energy from you?
  • If you could devote yourself to helping any group of people, what group would you focus on and why?
  • What would you want to do to help them? What problems would you solve?

Environment

  • Is there an organization or a setting or a place that you feel naturally and repeatedly drawn to? If so, what do they do there? What happens there that is so attractive to you?
  • Is there a place where you go that whenever you are there, you just feel energized and refueled? What happens there that makes you feel like this?
  • If you were to have the opportunity to go anywhere for a month and participate in whatever they were doing for that month, where would you go and what would you be doing there?
  • If you could work anywhere in the world (any country, any organization, any job or role, or any work), and not have to worry about pay, where would that be, what would you be doing, and why?
  • Was there ever a time or place where you just felt like you truly belonged, some deep-seeded connection that you couldn’t quite explain? Where was it, and what was it that caused you to feel like this? What were they doing there?

Step 2

Search
for the common answers

Congratulations! The hard part is now over, and now the fun part can begin.

The next step is to look over the answers you wrote down and search out the common themes. The answers that kept surfacing time and again. You may have already noticed them. Often by the time you get to the end, you’re already thinking “ok, I get it”.

Write down on a separate piece of paper these common themes. While you do this, keep in mind you’re trying to answer the ultimate question “why am I here?” and “what is my real purpose in life?”

Don’t worry so much about whether or not this is your “ultimate” destination. Remember that often we don’t know what that is until much later, and even then it may change. All you’re trying to do right now is figure out what direction you should be heading.

Personal Coaching
is available for this element

I’ll personally help you answer

Where am I going
in life?

Because sometimes we get stuck simply because we aren’t sure what we should do next or where we should be going in life. And when you’re uncertain about your destination or direction, the tendency is to just stay where you are.

In this coaching session we’ll dig deep and find which direction the light is coming from. After all, knowing where you’re going is is the first step of getting somewhere worth getting to. An educated outside perspective is often just what you need to catch a glimpse of the future that lies in store for you.

The leading framework for achieving success in life

Life Engineering
The disciplined pursuit of excellence

Life Engineering is dedicated to helping individuals, parents, leaders, and organizations achieve excellence. We provide the tools and the training, the motivation and the methodology to move beyond where you’ve been, to go farther than you thought you could… to achieve more, to become more. It’s about more than just success.

It’s the disciplined pursuit of excellence.