How to Discover Your Purpose

“What’s got you turned on? What’s got you bombed out of sight to get up early and stay up late and hit it all day? What’s got you turned off? When I found the answers to those two questions my life exploded into change… And then I got me a long enough list of reasons to turn me on.” – Jim Rohn

Calm lake

What’s your life purpose? Do you know? Have you ever given it any thought?

It’s worth taking some time to think about.

Life is much more fulfilling when you have a purpose. It’s much easier to get out of bed in the morning when you know why you’re getting out of bed.

If you don’t know what your purpose is, make it your purpose to find out.

Passion vs Purpose 

Being clear about your passions – what you enjoy doing with your time and energy – is great place to start. But know this: your passions are not your purpose.

Your passions and your purpose may intertwine. Your passions may lead you to your purpose. But in the end, your passions are NOT your purpose. They can’t be. Passions are things you do, purpose is the reason you do it.

Accepting Your Purpose

Truth is, you already know your purpose. We’ve just got to get you to accept it.

This is why so many make a life of their passions.

Their ego prevents them from accepting and pursuing their purpose.

Discover Your Purpose

Below is a compilation of questions I’ve used to help me discover my purpose.

Answer these questions in your journal. If you don’t have one yet, I recommend grabbing a Moleskine.

 

 1) As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As kids, we are much clearer about our purpose.

Over the years, we learn to change to fit in. To get by, To survive.

Before all of the rewards and punishments changed your mind, before you learned to rationalize what was possible, what did you want to do with your life?

Who did you want to be?

2) What makes you come alive?

Presence. Being in the moment. Extreme focus and enjoyment.

What does that for you?

3) What are your hobbies?

What do you spend your free time doing?

What did you used to do for fun?

What do you want to do for fun?

What do you enjoy learning about?

What do you want to learn about?

4) When are you the happiest?

I’m not talking superficial happiness – the dopamine rush that comes from eating cake or partying. I mean really happy. Like you’re on top of the world and nothing can touch you.

5) What do you really want to do?

What is it you’ve always wanted to do? What’s that deep down thing you know you’ve been sent here to do? What does everything else in your life point back to?

6) What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

The fear of failure often freezes us. I know it’s stopped me dead numerous times. If you could let go of the fear of failure for just a moment, the possibilities would be endless.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

7) What’s stopping you?

We all have obstacles that get in the way, that’s not a problem. Let’s identity them now and figure out how to get around them.

8) How could you solve this?

Asking ‘how can I solve this?’ is the first step in getting around any obstacle. For each obstacle above, list 3 solutions you haven’t tried.

9) What’s the absolute worst that could happen if you failed at what you truly want to do?

I mean the WORST. Make a real good country song out of it:

“I could lose my job. My wife would leave me and I wouldn’t be able to pay rent. I’d have to stay at a friends house, but all my friends think I’m so dumb for trying this that they won’t let me. I end up on the streets…”

10) If that happened, what would you do next?

So you’ve hit rock bottom. Now what?

11) What are the chances of that happening?

We often focus so much on negative make-believe scenarios we never stop to consider the likeliness of it happening.

So on a scale of 1-100%, how likely is it these things would happen?

12) List 5 accomplishments you’re proud of.

What are 5 things you’ve done well in your life? List them.

13) What are your chances of succeeding at what you really want to do?

Remembering your past successes – those other times you set out to do something important to you and succeeded – what are the chances you’ll succeed at this thing you truly want to do? 1-100%.

14) What are you getting from not taking action?

There is always a benefit to not taking action – we don’t risk failure so we stay comfortable, we don’t risk rejection so our self-image isn’t damaged – what is it you’re getting from not taking action?

15) By not taking action, what are you missing out on?

By staying where you are what don’t you get to experience? Get detailed. Make the list as long as possible.

16) By not taking action what does the world miss out on?

What if you were the only one that can do what it is that you’ve been put here to do? The only one in the world that could make it happen. If that were true, what would you be keeping from the world by not taking action?

17) What would you gain if you were successful?

If you did take action.. If you did succeed.. What would you gain? What would the world become?

18) What steps can you take?

If you were to start right now. Right this very moment. What steps could you take to make this dream a reality? List as many as you can.

Conclusion

You should now have a much better understanding of your life purpose.

A major difference between those who succeed and those who do not is whether or not they take action. If you took the time to answer the long list of questions above, you’re definitely a person of action.

Before you go, I’d like you to do one last thing.

Make a list of the action steps you identified in step 18 and put them somewhere you can see them (bathroom counter, nightstand, desk).

Complete (or at the very least start) one of the steps on that list in the next 48 hours.

Article Notes 

Hardly any of these have come from my brain. Most of them were borrowed from this article by Wake up Cloud or this video by Tim Ferris. Check out both of their sites for more great info on self-development.


If you have any questions about the exercises above or want some extra guidance with it, leave a comment below.

I’d also be very happy to hear what you’ve learned from this exercise.
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