If you don’t have a purpose in your business or your life, you’re basically just wandering around aimlessly without any concrete goals on the way you want to live your life, and what you want to accomplish.
It’s the same as getting in your car and setting off for a drive, without any idea where you’re heading, or why you’re going in the first place. That would be a waste of valuable time and energy – and you don’t want your business or your whole life to end up the same way.
When you discover your purpose, it will be the motivation and passion that continues to propel you and your business forwards, no matter how many challenges you face along the way. It will also become the heart of who you are, and what your business stands for – which is essential for people to buy into it.
We all have a purpose in life, whether we realise it or not. Take your mind back to a time when you felt super stressed, unmotivated, negative, or unfulfilled. These are all strong signs that you were living out of alignment with your purpose.
But before you start thinking it’s all about you – it’s not. Instead of thinking solely about what you want, shift to thinking about what the world needs, and where this correlates with your unique skills and talents.
In this article, I’m going to explain how to find your purpose, and how to put your purpose into action, both in business and your personal life.
How do you find your purpose?
If you’re still unsure about what your personal purpose is, there are lots of questions you can begin asking yourself to get the ball rolling.
- How can I make the world a better place during my time here?
- What are my unique superpowers and strengths, and how can I play to them?
- Who do I want to become?
- Who do I most admire? What are the traits that all of these people share?
- What kind of person was I during my best moments so far?
You might be able to answer these questions relatively easily, but take your time to really think them over and get to your truth, instead of who you think you should be, or what you think you should do.
Who do you really want to be, at the very core of your being, when you’re being completely honest with yourself?
The answers to these questions is where you’ll find your purpose. And the great thing is that this method works equally well for discovering your individual purpose, as well as the purpose for your business.
Don’t rush yourself to figure this out. Take the time to think carefully about each question. Some people discover their purpose in a day, while others take years.
What is most important to you?
None of us have a crystal ball that tells us what the future holds, but it’s still vital to pay attention to the future. What is important to you right now, and what do you think will still be important to you in ten, 20, 30, 40 years time?
It’s okay not to have all the fine details mapped out, but you should have a broad sense of where you want to go, and what kind of life you want to live in order to feel fulfilled and engaged.
A great way to begin figuring out your goals is to talk to the people you admire most, and ask them a tonne of questions.
Find out what they value most in their life. Talking to people in their seventies and eighties is a great way to discover what ended up being important when reflecting on a lifetime of living. Ask about what they’re glad they did, and what they regret most.
The more you explore, the more you’ll form deeper insights and eventually your own perspective.
Don’t be afraid to keep on questioning yourself and others – this is how you’ll get to the valuable stuff.
What are your priorities?
As a business owner, you will identity with the role of “business owner” or “entrepreneur.” But what other roles do you play in your life?
You might also be a parent, a spouse, a friend, a mentor, a teacher, or a sibling. List all of the roles you play, and assess where your time is currently split in those roles. Then evaluate whether you’re happy with the current split.
Rearrange your list into the order that is most important for you. There is no right or wrong here.
If you find this difficult (FYI it’s supposed to be!), imagine you’re very old, and today is your last day on earth. What do you want to have accomplished? And how would you like to be remembered by the people in your life?
Once you identify your priorities, you will then be able to save precious time from activities that don’t align with you, and focus all of it on accomplishing the things that truly matter to you.
No one can do and be everything, which is why it’s important to get okay saying no to things. Saying no to certain things, means you’re able to say yes to better things that are more in line with your purpose.
You will have to make sacrifices, and some difficult choices here, but it’s better to think about them now to avoid huge unexpected conflicts later on.
Figure out what you need to do to meet your goals (think long term)
Long term goals can be overwhelming, so break it down and figure out all the steps you need to take to reach those big goals.
Think about it in decade milestones. Start by picturing who and where you want to be at age 70. Then work backwards. Where will you be at 50, 40, 30? What do you need to do at age 30 to be on track towards the life you imagine for yourself as a 70 year old?
What skills will you have to have? What knowledge will you need? What contacts will be of value? Where do you want to be living, and what kind of lifestyle will you lead? Ultimately, you’re trying to figure out what you need to do today to get to where you want to go in the future.
Some us get too caught up in what the present us wants, and pay little attention to our future selves.
Put your purpose into action
Life is a journey. Along the way, you’ll learn so many different ideas, take on so many different roles and duties, and beliefs. Staying true to your purpose is about continuing to allow these to evolve as you go through life, depending on what you need to be your very best, and serve the world in the best way you can.
Don’t lose sight of who you’re striving to be, or the people you’re hoping to serve. Focusing on pleasing everyone is a mistake, and you’ll only end up pleasing no one. Get clear on a niche group of customers you aim to serve in your business, that aligns with the beliefs and values you hold for yourself in your personal life.
Allow this to naturally evolve as you do.