What if you were to identify your life , you could achieve all of your goals and dreams? Goals are there to identify the actions you take to fulfill your purpose, not to be your purpose. Purpose is the driving force behind you setting the goals you want to achieve. Goals are merely a reflection of your overall purpose. But, as Dan Miller says in his book, 48 Days to the Work You Love, "A goal is a dream with a time frame of action attached."
Perhaps some of you read this article because you are you feeling confused, depressed, even hopeless about your direction. And, others may be brimming with enthusiasm yet seeking a system to record and live out positive changes you desire to make. However, some may be curious as to how knowing your life purpose could make any difference?
What you need to know is that your life purpose is about knowing who you are and what energizes you. Also, it is about realizing your natural talents as well as the contribution that is made to the world when you are utilizing your gifts. Your purpose gives you a new framework of value that begins to shape every action, decision, choice and moment of your life…especially when the flow of situations try to throw you off course. So, whether you are experiencing a crisis, elation moment, or you are faced with a transformational opportunity, it is important to stop and self reflect in order to identify your purpose. ALL goal setting revolves around your core purpose.
To identify this purpose, it is important to explore four primary questions:
- What are your ASSETS/STRENGTHS (they energize you)? 2. What are your EXCITEMENTS and ENTHUSIASMS (they energize you)?3. What do you REQUIRE TO BE STIMULATED?4. What is your PRIMARY LIFE ASSIGNMENT?
For every new opportunity that comes along, I now ask myself how it aligns with my purpose. Regardless of how much money I could acquire, if the activity does not align with my primary life assignment, which is the core of my personal mission statement, then I do not pursue it. Here is my primary life assignment: "To stimulate, orchestrate, and implement initiatives that transform people, organizations and communities while in the process brings intrinsic value fiscally and personally ".
How do you discover your real purpose in life? I'm not talking about your job, your daily responsibilities, or even your long-term goals. I mean the real reason why you're here - the very reason you exist.
Robin Chaddock, in her book, How to Find Your Personal Path to Success: Living Out Your Passion and Purpose, talks about identifying your central strengths and central passions. She calls these two (2) identifications your divine assignment. The premise is that if your entire life is inundated in activity that revolves around living out your strengths and passions, you will ultimately be led in the direction that is God directed, offers contribution, and produces personal happiness and an abundance of energy. The expression of our strengths and passions contributes to a cause greater than ourselves.
And yes, sometimes it takes a major crisis to wake up and realize the importance of doing the inner work of clarifying your true purpose. The good news is you don't have to stumble along with a 'trial and error' approach which can take decades. You can start today. Let's do that now.
We will be utilizing an exercise that will help you to define your life purpose. It is important to think about your purposeful life assignment from the perspective of utilizing it in all areas of your life. Areas of your life where you are not engaged in your life assignment, you will probably notice that you feel lethargic when you perform these tasks. Additionally, it is common to want to continually procrastinate those activities we don't enjoy.
Every company continually seeks to maintain an inventory of its assets. Individuals often maintain a financial asset inventory which is valuable in forecasting retirement needs and as well as present and future budgeting. A personal asset, enthusiasm and stimulation inventory serves the purpose of providing awareness in regard to what will fuel your growth in all areas of your life: spiritual, personal, emotional, career, interaction with others, fun, increased wealth, and cleaning up messes and stuff.
- What gives you energy? (Activities, people, events, hobbies, projects, etc.)2. What are the things that you want to spend hours doing?3. What activities make you lose track of time?4. If you had to teach something, what would you teach? How would you document and explain your most important message to others? What do you want them to learn in a lifetime?
Exercise:Start out by making a list of your primary assets and then make a list of what excites and motivates you. The specific example below should help you in your brainstorming process. Then, you will be provided with a list of words whereby you will circle five in each category. You will circle five in the Primary Assets area and five in the Primary Excitements area. Don't forget to keep it simple. Goal setting is focused, simple, and specific to what you personally want to achieve in your life.
Here's what to do:1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type.2. Write at the top, "What is my purpose in life?"3. Brainstorm answers that emerge
So, let's begin with a quick brainstorming session and list the assets and excitements that immediately come to your mind. Then, create a list of the things you do not enjoy and you are not skilled in doing these things (ineffective proficiencies). Don't do a lot of thinking; but rather, just let the ideas flow and record them as they surface.
Assets and Excitements• Assets, include the set of skills and abilities at which a person is very, very good. Everyone has many competencies, but only a few unique strengths. A person who utilizes their strengths is creative, energetic, and highly productive. Excellent work is the product of one's strengths.• Enthusiasms, include those activities that people absolutely love to do. They gravitate toward these activities whenever possible, often making time for them over other responsibilities. One's passions are the activities which bring immense energy.• Ineffective Proficiency, are the skills at the opposite end of the spectrum from unique strengths. Ineffective proficiencies, often called weaknesses, are those activities by which a person struggles. If necessary to use a lesser competency, a person lacks energy and enthusiasm, becomes easily frustrated and distracted, and generally produces below average productivity and quality.
Specific examples of "Asset Words" are as follows (identify three (3) that represent you): accomplish, achieve, administer, assess, clarify, communicate, counsel, create, develop, discover, design, educate, evaluate, express, formulate, grow, identify, inspire, lead, manage, measure, mold, nurture, orchestrate, organize, preach, prepare, process, promote, radiate, represent, stimulate, strengthen, supervise, teach, understand, unify, and value.
Specific examples of "Enthusiasms" are as follows (identify three (3) that represent you): balance, comfort, compassion, creativity, dignity, faith, generosity, honesty, hospitality, humor, joy, kindness, mercy, orchestration, peace, service, transformation, unity, wellness, and wisdom.
Now pick one top primary asset word out of the three you picked and one primary enthusiasm word out of the three you picked. Each of these words equates to your primary assignment. In other words, ASSET WORD + ENTHUSIASM WORD = PRIMARY (or DIVINE) ASSIGNMENT!
Now that you have identified your purpose, make sure that all your activities align with that purpose. You will feel energized and intrinsically rewarded.