Your Purpose


Purpose is like having a compass, it gives you direction in life.

You may be asking yourself right now whether you even believe you have a specific purpose. When I did the exercise described below I was skeptical too, but when I finished it it was undeniably there in front of me.

Crikey!
Maybe one of the best examples of what knowing your purpose might do for you is Steve Irwin (no longer with us). He always said that he was put on this planet to protect wildlife (and teach people about it). Steve’s entire life was dedicated to that purpose. He bought large pieces of land, relocated dangerous animals and taught people about wildlife in the Australian Zoo and on television.

Not everybody agreed with his (sometimes controversial) methods, but it can not be denied that Steve lived his purpose everyday and led a very fulfilling life as a result.

Do we even need a purpose?
Maybe not, but if you’re interested in finding out things that work for your life, it’s definitely worth a shot. The result will almost certainly surprise you (as it did me). It wasn’t what I was expecting when I did the exercise, but looking back at it years later it now makes sense to me more.

General purpose
I guess the most general purpose I can think of is “to grow” as we seem to be most happy when we discover new things about ourselves and even reality itself. Be the best that you can be sort of thing.

Although this general purpose gives us an idea of what works for us, it’s not really very specific. It doesn’t say in what area of life you need to grow (or how for that matter).

History
The exercise itself has been around for quite some time in various forms (StevePavlina.com), so I can’t take any credit for it. Here’s the gist of it.

Discover your purpose
You’ll need some paper and a pen for this.

The exercise could take anywhere between 20-40 minutes so it’s definitely worthwhile to sit down somewhere quiet where you won’t get disturbed.

Our brain is a bit like a super computer. You ask it any question and it will come up with an answer. The trick here is to ask it the ‘right’ question (the answer lies in the question so to speak). The brain also needs to understand that you are serious, otherwise it won’t dig deep enough.

At the top of the paper write down the following question:
What’s the true purpose of my life?

Now write down anything that comes to mind. And I mean anything! Let your brain know that you are serious by writing it all down! The brain will see that from your persistency and writing the things down it comes up with you are serious, and will basically keep coming up with the good stuff.

After some time it’s likely that you will want to give up. This is normal. It is very important that you keep going because your purpose is only minutes away.

How will you know you’ve got your purpose?

When you see your purpose in front of you, you should get a strong emotional reaction. In my case it came with a huge sense of relief. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I knew it was mine. Looking back at it I can now better understand why certain phrases were in there and why the order was important. It was well worth the effort.

So that’s all there is to it really; a pen, some paper, a bit of time and some persistence!

What are you waiting for??? GO!!!
🙂

A purpose of before we were born???
I find this a fascinating way of looking at purpose (but can’t prove it of course). The idea is that before we are born we agree to live a certain life and at that point we know our purpose. Then our memory is erased and we have no further knowledge of it right up to the point where we see it in front of us again. This would explain the strong emotional reaction when you see it again.

It’s only a theory! 🙂

If you’re not comfortable with that explanation then perhaps consider that your sub-conscious may actually have a pretty good idea of what it is you want to do with your life and by consistently querying your brain about it, it is forced to dig very deep and deliver that very answer. It’s simply asking your brain for directions; directions that deep down you strongly believe in.

My purpose
My purpose is “To love, to teach, and to make people laugh!”.

At the time it didn’t even make that much sense to me, but now I think I can explain it better.

I was leading quite a selfish life at the time (still am at times of course *grin*) and I have since come to realize that the true rewards come from expressing love (an outward force). When you give there is room to receive again. (That’s the way love flows) For me it is a worthwhile transformation, an exciting, challenging journey.

To teach is to know (walk the talk so to speak) and also embodies the “sharing what you’ve learned” concept (hence this website). Don’t get too hung up on the “walk the talk” too much though, because “talking the walk” (describing the journey you’re on) is good too! 🙂

The “to make people laugh” bit is in there to remind me to not take life too seriously and to not forget that laughter still is the best medicine! (It beats clozepine anyway)

🙂