“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Note : This is a guest post by Robert D. Smith.
We are all created for a purpose that we exist to fulfill.
The problem is that most people either . . .
A. don’t know what their purpose is
B. only think they know what their purpose is
Do you know yours? Are you sure? Really?
It’s easy to spend life passing time on the comfortable and easy stream, either assuming you know your purpose without really challenging yourself or just being content with thinking you don’t have one.
If you remain on that path—your life will always carry the undercurrent of dissatisfaction. Maybe not immediately. But at some point, a lack of true purpose will catch up with you.
So why do so many people do this, and what’s at stake?
The reason why is simple. As I mentioned before, a life devoid of purpose is two things—comfortable and easy.
What’s at stake? To be brutally honest—a life worth remembering. A life that provides HUGE amounts of value to those within its reach. A life you won’t regret living.
Deep down, we are all looking for something more. Aren’t you? I know YOU are!! That’s what finding your purpose is all about.
Perhaps you’re thinking that’s a tall order—figuring out your life purpose and living it out every day. It’s definitely not the easiest path, but I assure you that it is the most rewarding.
Discovering your purpose is about getting to the very core of who you truly are. Maybe you don’t even know yourself at that deep level yet. Maybe you’re afraid of what you might find out.
When you find that place, the very core of your being, you will know. You will know because you will feel more alive and more yourself than you could have imagined. To uncover your purpose and to live it out is to be truly and fully yourself.
The good news is that you can write your way through this process…even if you don’t consider yourself to be a “writer”! Writing is the best way to tell yourself what really lives in your heart. You can’t argue with the truth that you put down on a page for yourself. This truth is YOU.
Take the following steps to write out your purpose:
1. The Brain Dump
Get out a sheet of paper or a fresh Word document. Title it “My Purpose in Life” and begin writing about anything that comes to your mind. This is what I call a “brain dump.” Just free write. Free write about whatever is on your heart and mind that wants to be released to the ink and paper (or the screen). If you are tempted to stop and ponder, don’t. Continue writing. You can edit out what does not matter later.
If you keep writing without stopping, without filtering, you will start to see a lot of truth on the page. There will be truths about you, truths about others, truths about life. Some of it may surprise you, and some of it may feel obvious. In fact, there may be some parts that are so obvious they are surprising.
2. The Juicy Bits
After 15 minutes of writing, stop and review the words that are now in front of you. Pick out the bits and pieces that make you feel, that strike a chord somewhere in your spirit. Whatever those bits and pieces are that make you feel something in your core, those are the things bringing you closer to your purpose.
3. The Purpose Statement
Take those pieces that connect you to your purpose, and refine them. Put them into one or two sentences that define the purpose of your life. Act as if this is a tweet and you only have 140 characters to accurately communicate what you are on this planet to do. And now live.
The process of living your purpose is a choice you make each and every day.
Finding your purpose is certainly quicker and easier than living it out, but the joy most definitely lies in the living.
There is one major key to keeping your purpose in front of you every day:
Intensity will be your vehicle to living your life full of your individual purpose every day. Your purpose requires this of you. Complacency and comfort are NOT the wings of passion and purpose. It’s intensity.
Complacency and comfort are NOT the wings of passion and purpose. It’s intensity.
Many make the mistake of thinking that intensity is a state of mind. It is not. Intensity is a state of emotion. It flows from the heart to the head. Intensity is:
Intensity is the product of an emotional connection to your purpose. It comes when you realize what is at stake with fulfilling your life’s purpose.
List out what you have riding on your purpose. Ask yourself (AND write out the answers to) the following two questions:
- What will happen if I do fulfill my purpose?
- What will happen if I do not fulfill my purpose?
Everyone’s stakes are unique, but here are a few common ones to get you started (create your own and get very specific):
By fulfilling my purpose I will help those who are hurting
By fulfilling my purpose I will create the life my family deserves
By fulfilling my purpose I will leave the world in better shape
People are motivated differently, so if positive results aren’t getting you fired up, try the flipping it around to the negative. For example, you could write, “By not fulfilling my purpose, I will not create the life my family deserves.”
Remember, intensity comes from your heart, and is an essential ingredient to living a life of passion and purpose.
Seize Your Purpose Today
There are so many uncertainties in this life, but the one thing that is certain is this very moment. Right now, today, you can decide to make an impact on the rest of your life. It is a great gift to be able to make the choice to live a life of purpose, full of passion. It is a gift we must not squander. It is a gift that we must open with joy.
Today is the day that you take control. Choose your next steps with your purpose in mind, even if it is just one step for today. If you take each step, one at a time, with your new life purpose in front of you, a life of fullness, passion, and purpose will unfold.
Today is the day that you MUST ignite your life with purpose.
Robert D. Smith is the author of 20,000 Days and Counting, a crash course in living each day with maximum intensity and purpose. He blogs about personal growth, entrepreneurship, and more at TheRobertD.com.
If you wish to find your purpose and passion in life, I invite you to join my 4-week interactive course, The Path to Passion, beginning April 6. Sign up on the wait list now to receive an early bird discount during registration. (Signing up for the wait list does not obligate you to register.)