Life Purpose – Must you know it to get started?

Do you know what you are supposed to do with your life? If you’re not sure, or have no clue, you are not alone.

In this world driven by purpose and desires of success, people who haven’t yet identified their purpose will often feel they are less-than, or just dense. They may even be frustrated and avoid the conversation out of their lack of identity.

Take a breath and relax. You don’t have to figure it out to just get started. Just do something. When you explore, try out new activities, and be adventurous about your life you will soon discover what you don’t like! That starts to narrow the field a little. But that can also waste a lot of time.

Here are some quick ideas and clues to help you…

(1) Whatever you are doing now, examine what you love and don’t love about it. Write down what you love about it. How can you do more of that?

(2) Take an hour away from everything and everyone to just dream. If you could paint a picture of what your ideal life would look like, what is it? What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Write down the answers.

(3) Look back at your life – do a life map. This entails writing down key events for every 5-year span of your life to date, as far back as you can remember. Let the reflection just flow, don’t force it. Maybe take a few days or weeks to complete it. Keep adding to it. When you have a lot written down, go back through it using a highlighter to draw out those times that were particularly happy, successful and fulfilling. What were you doing?

(4) Like a corporate ad agency – think about your brand. If you were packaging yourself and putting together a TV ad campaign – what would it look like? What words would you describe your benefit to others? Write them down.

(5) What do you often do that requires little or no thought, yet you deliver it excellently? What are the things that others don’t find easy, but you do. Write them down. (Not everybody finds that easy you know. Ask them!)

When you start identifying the great moments in your life, they are clues as to how you are uniquely wired to do something specific in life.

Your purpose is unique to you. Don't try to be somebody you're not. Click To Tweet

As my friend and colleague Bruce Bugbee teaches, “If you’re created to be an elbow in the world, be the very best elbow you can be. Don’t waste time and energy trying to be an ankle!” You can’t copy someone else’s purpose. Be the best YOU you were created to be.

CAUTION:  Sometimes the things that we’re really “good” at keep us from what we are great at. Good is truly the enemy of great. Be careful (especially with #5) that you don’t fall into the “good at” trap. I’m good at a lot of things, but I’m only great at my core purpose. All those other things caused distraction and wrong turns in my life. One of the key traps could be when you’re unemployed and faced with financial crisis. You may have no choice than to take on work that you’re “good” at, just to put food on the table. That’s OK, it’s a reality of life. But the trap is when you stay there for too long. See these seasons as temporary as you continue to pursue what you’re great at. When you get comfortable and feel that you can’t give up the current situation, that’s when you’ve trapped yourself. You can also set yourself free. I’m always surprise at how people keep themselves in prisons of incorrect perceptions, forgetting that they hold the key to the gate.

Enjoy your life and live every moment with passion and excellence. Don’t wait until you have it all figured out. Just start! Your future awaits.