What is our purpose in life? It’s a question that every human ponders on at some point in their life: What was I created to do? What am I supposed to accomplish in life? What is the meaning of my life?
This past week I watched a video by Brendon Burchard which talked about purpose being the
foundation on which our entire life is built. Steve Pavalina provided a short exercise to answer the question: What Is My Life Purpose?
Steve’s exercise consists of four steps:
- Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type.
- Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
- Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
- Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.
The first time I read the above exercise, I laughed. Could finding my life purpose really be this easy? And, why do you know that you have hit pay dirt if what you write makes you cry? Then I actually did the exercise and I completely understood how powerful this exercise is.
My first short phrase “to be a loving ambassador of all that is good in life” made me feel warm and on the verge of tears, but I knew there was something deeper in me wanting to come out.
So, I went deeper and wrote “to love everyone so much that they are able to love themselves.” This was it! This is why I do what I do for a living. This is why I’m in relationship with my partner. This is why I am constantly growing in my own personal relationship with Spirit. So that I can love myself so much, that I can love everyone so much, that everyone can then love themselves and each other.
Brad Swift, author of “Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life” describes that your purpose is “the context of your life that shapes what you do” and the things you do are “the ways in which you express your life purpose.”
Brad continues to say that “When you aren’t familiar with your purpose, you make decisions according to your default programming–your unconscious ‘inherited purpose’, which is based on whatever people told you when you were a kid. When you do know your purpose, you make decisions that fulfill that purpose and you experience joy, satisfaction and fulfillment.”
Then there’s my personal favorite definition by Robert Scheinfield who says, “You don’t need to “find” or consciously know about your life purpose in order for it to be fulfilled.” Conscious knowledge is irrelevant to the matter when discovering your purpose. Your purpose will be fulfilled regardless.
I like to adhere to a combination of all the above descriptions. As I usually say, “Intelligence, who is the real power force and the one truly driving the bus in your life, will see to it.” Basically, there are four steps to our awakening to our life purpose:
- Being aware of your purpose is the foundation on which you build your life.
- Awakening to your True, heartfelt life purpose allows you to see how you’ve always lived it.
- Acknowledging that your life purpose has shaped all your past actions and being conscious of it can bring you to a place of peace in choosing your future actions.
- Being at peace with the fact that, whether you were conscious of it or not, your life purpose has always been there; moving you through every choice you’ve made in your life.
In living through the experience of becoming conscious to my life purpose, I began to wonder if life purpose and legacy is the same thing. For me, they are. My life purpose is “to love everyone so much that they are able to love themselves” and that is how I want to be remembered when I no longer walk the Earth.
This led me to remember those who have passed and what their legacies were. And, it became clear to me that when this experience with human existence ends, all the exercises executed to get in touch with our purpose only matter to the extent in which we lived our lives in congruence with our life purpose. Ultimately, what becomes important during the transition is, a Brad Swift said, “the context of your life”; the HOW you lived as opposed to the WHAT you did.
And, from experience, for those left behind after a person has passed on, all that matters is how the transitioned person gave and received love during their lifetime. Whether they themselves were in touch with their own life purpose is no longer a concern. The context of their life, how they loved, becomes the most important aspect of their life. This is why I feel that living your life purpose means living all aspects of your life from a place of love. Like John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote, “All you need is Love, Love is all you need.”
Therefore, our life purpose – the foundation of all that we are – is about living from a place of love in all aspects of our lives. No need to fret and worry about “finding” your purpose. Simply institute compassion, love, joy into every aspect of your life and be content to live from and through that place.
A great women that I was blessed to know transitioned recently. I bask in the memory of how she gave and received love. She was nearly 80 when she transitioned and served as the loving force of one of our cultural institutions, Black Enterprise. Barbara Graves, Mrs. Earl Graves, lived a life of love. She gave love to her husband by standing with him through the “good” and the “bad” times. She gave love to her family by always being there for them. She gave love to her Black Enterprise family by being a compassionate voice at times when the stress of running a successful, iconic company became overwhelming. And, she received the love her husband, children, grandchildren and employees gave to her with grace and ease.
The transitioning of Mrs. Graves confirmed for me that while I continue on this journey of human existence, exploring my life purpose and coaching others to become aware of their own, I know it’s all about becoming conscious of HOW we live and not WHY we live.
- Have you set forth what your life purpose is?
- Are you living your life purpose?
- Do you live from a place of love in all your daily experiences?
If you answered ‘NO’ to any of those questions, complete the Steve Pavalina short exercise ”What Is My Life Purpose?”