When you are clear about your purpose, it inspires everything you do. Because all of your activities either serve your purpose or distract from it. You quickly learn when an action inspires you and when it doesn’t.
Do you have some fabulously big ideas or projects you are interested in creating and sharing? If so, what do you suppose is the underlying motivation for those ideas?
Has it occurred to you that the deep motivation you feel could be your “purpose” or passionate mission? If you are interested in exploring the idea of purpose or “mission,” stick around, you just may rekindle your own spark of unique genius.
Purpose Isn’t a Thing
Here’s a secret: purpose isn’t a thing you DO. You’ve probably noticed that “doing” by itself can quickly lose luster. Your mission or purpose is the spark within that motivates you and gets you out of bed in the morning, not out of obligation, but in anticipation. Purpose is more like your subtle uniqueness or that je ne sais quoi that everyone (except you) sees in you.
Since purpose is more about the quality you bring to what you do than the literal thing you do, it can be a little tricky to figure out.
We think about purpose as if it’s a linear “thing,” a noun. My purpose isn’t to be a farmer. But as my talents, passions, and values converge in my kinship with nature and fascination for nourishing the body, I find I am drawn to farming.
Mary is unsure of her career path. She expects it to be a thing she does, like acting, gardening, or coaching. Her purpose is shining light on love and forgiveness through experience and relationship. While Mary enjoys hosting a regular podcast about love and forgiveness, she hasn’t made the connection between podcasting and her purpose. She hasn’t realized that her purpose calls her to many opportunities based on her gifts and abilities. Purpose is the quality and fragrance of what you do as only you can do it. The way it is expressed may take many forms.
No, “I Could Never Do That”
Sometimes we have a sense of our purpose, but we don’t believe it’s possible to implement. Weird, right? Why would we hold ourselves back from what we most want and came here to do? One reason is because we learned to cope with painful experiences by blotting out those feelings.
If all you wanted as a child was to make art and your mother and father insisted that art was not a viable career choice, you may carry that conflict. Let’s say your purpose is expressing beauty and truth. If you believe that can only happen through art, you could easily miss a calling as a writer, for example. You could feel unfulfilled in your career thinking it can only look a certain way.
Your Divine Sparkly Spark
The incredible news is that once you address those blocks or beliefs, you re-engage with life and allow your sense of excitement to resurface.
There is a magnificent spark inside each of us that is waiting to ignite and manifest new possibilities of living and feeling. Here are 5 steps to help you clarify your purpose. Make a little space in your life and give it a try, I promise, it will be worth it. You are worth it! The rest of us need that wonderfulness only you can bring.
1. Slow Down For a Moment
We spend a lot of energy holding our feelings away. Nobody likes to feel pain, and let’s face it, life can be rough. It can also be beautiful if you take a moment to notice. I invite you to slow down. Fill your day with things you like, go outside, walk or snowshoe, hop in a boat or just take a drive to a beautiful place and hang out with a picnic. Take a moment now and imagine what you would do with 4-8 hours to yourself?
2. Take Yourself Out of Your Usual Routine
When we keep doing things the same way, at the same high speed, we get more of the same and we burn out. Schedule a day or even a few hours. Block out some time for yourself with no interruptions, no checking your phone. Take a break and do one thing you thought of in #1.
3. Write it out! Give yourself space for reflection.
a. First list: Make an extensive list of your values, the things that have meaning for you. List those attributes you find most appealing in others (and yourself). Think about all the values and qualities you aspire to and feel strongly about. Don’t scrimp, go for it.
b. List #2: Write down all of your talents, strengths, abilities, and areas of genius. There should be at least 25 things on this list, but don’t feel you have to stop there.
c. List #3: Take a deep breath or two. Allow yourself to really go to that creative space inside and list your passions. What would you do if nothing held you back? List at least 10-20 things, a bit like a bucket list, things you are passionate about experiencing.
d. Now look for all the overlap, kind of like a Venn diagram. Where are your strengths and values relevant to things you’d like to do.
4. Take Action! Take the time to actually do this exercise. You won’t get any benefit from just reading through it. How could you bring your ideas and projects to life?
5. Which one (or more) of the passions you identified could you commit to? What are 2 small steps you can take today to get started?
- Start planning and create a timeline. Break down the tasks and keep it simple.
- What sort of fears come up? Don’t fight them. Let them bring you information about how you’ve blocked yourself in the past. It’s okay to feel some gratitude for the fear. It was trying to protect you.
- Notice the synchronicities that appear as you embrace your idea.
I hope you enjoy this process! Living your life on purpose is like plugging in an appliance. It works SO much better when the electricity (aka energy) is flowing steadily. Over time, you’ll see even the challenges and so-called “setbacks” as part of the flow and momentum of living your purpose.
Once you get the hang of it, your purpose will fuel your mission. At that point, there will be no stopping you.