Today I want to talk about seven keys to discovering your life’s purpose.
Everything created was created for a purpose. My laptop was created for a purpose, my watch was created for a purpose, even my fingernails were created for a purpose. And if my fingernails have a purpose, you most certainly have a purpose; there’s a specific reason you were created.
It’s critical to your success that you discover this purpose, this reason for your existence.
You see, every successful person is living “on purpose.” Their life has a mission, a focal point, and they are most likely working in an area where they feel they have a “natural” advantage. What is your advantage? When you discover it, you will be much better positioned to succeed…
Your success is dependent on you discovering your purpose and fulfilling it, so today I want to discuss seven keys to discovering your life’s purpose.
1. What makes you smile?
I was coming back from giving a speech one day, several years ago, and I just couldn’t stop smiling. This was prior to me discovering my purpose. I was on such a high; it’s hard to even explain it. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was a sign of my purpose, and a sign of what I’m supposed to be doing. It seems obvious looking back, but at the time I had no idea. What makes you smile? It’s okay if you don’t know, just keep on living and looking until you find out.
2. What are you curious about?
What are you curious about? What do you want to learn about? More specifically, “What books do you have in your library?” It’s a sign of your purpose, if all you have is cookbooks, then that’s a sign. If you’ve only read books on cars, then that’s a sign. If you looked in my library, over 90 percent of the books would be related to self development; specifically on the subject of success and successful living. That’s a sign of my purpose. I didn’t plan to purchase books related to success, it’s just what I purchased, it’s what I’m most curious about.
3. What do you notice?
The mechanic notices something wrong with the car, the hairdresser notices when someone’s hair is out of place, the speaker notices a boring speech. What do you notice; it’s a sign of your purpose. I notice when things are not orderly or practical, this is a sign of my purpose. This does not fully explain my purpose, but it’s one additional piece to the puzzle. It sometimes takes many years to piece the puzzle together, but if you keep on working at it, you’ll discover your purpose. It was through perseverance that the turtle reached the ark.
4. What are you passionate about?
Passion is a key to your purpose; it’s a sign of your purpose. If you’re passionate about self development, then maybe there’s a helpful book that you are destined to write. If you’re passionate about cooking, then maybe you’re supposed to be a cook, if you’re passionate about singing, then maybe you were born to be sing.
What’s the lesson? Discover your passion and it will be one step in the direction of discovering your purpose.
5. What would you do for free?
What would you do for free? I love to motivate people; I would certainly do it for free. The pleasure I receive from getting people into action is more valuable than the money I receive. What would you do for free? What have you done for free in the past? Have you fixed someone’s car, washed someone’s hair? Whatever it is, it’s a sign to your purpose.
I’m not saying if you fixed someone’s car you should be a mechanic, but that gesture is a sign. Maybe it’s a sign that you’re unusually helpful, this would be related to your purpose.
6. What do others hear you say?
What do those closes to you always hear you talking about? Maybe you should ask them, because it’s a key to your purpose. If you’re always talking about cars, then that’s a sign, if you’re always talking about Web sites, then that’s a sign, if you’re always talking about real estate, then that’s a sign, what do you talk about?
7. What do people complement you on?
What do others say you’re naturally good at? Do people love to hear you sing? Design is a sign of purpose. Trees don’t talk and elephants don’t fly. How you’re designed is a sign. It’s a sign of how you should be spending your time. When you spend your time doing what you do best, then you will succeed.
* * *
These are seven signs pointing you in the direction of your gifts. You want to discover your “dominant” gifts; these are the gifts where you can have the greatest impact. If you haven’t yet discovered your purpose, its okay, keep studying these keys, you will eventually discover your purpose and begin to live on purpose.
Photo by jenschapter3
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20 thoughts on “7 Keys to Discovering Your Life’s Purpose Today”
The 5th, What would you do for free, is one question I ask my clients a lot. I think it is somewhat different than the other because it elicits values and things you can do which not only give you pleasure, but also meaning and fulfillment. That’s what I think is the ultimate emotion to strive for: fulfillment.
I think that this is the kind of thing that students in college need to know. I’m a recent college graduate (almost, one more semester) and a business major. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of people who helped me out in finding a direction and read a lot of books that have helped as well.
A lot of my friends who don’t read blogs such as this one, the four hour work week, and the mindset game aren’t in a good position for when they enter the real world. They’re focused on the money rather than achieving what they really want. They don’t have an idea of what they would do for free, what people really compliment them for, or even what makes them smile.
We’re a pretty much lost generation, unfortunately. We need more people spreading the message about doing what’s right and enjoyable rather than what’s “sexy” or makes lots of money.
What a great post. I think one of the most common things I hear from people is, ‘I’m not sure what I should or want to be doing…..but it’s not what I’m doing now!’
This perfectly sums up what they need to focus on, think about and pay attention to in order to find their purpose. My usual first question is what makes you happy, so I’m glad you put smiling first!!
I think the first step is to infuse purpose into our daily actions instead of going through the motions and getting through the day. Act with purpose and next thing you know, you are living “life on purpose”.
This is a great post here… Having purpose makes everything better and makes you feel good to know you’re on the right path. Having a purpose can do a lot for your mind and your body and yes we all have a purpose and that’s what makes life so grand.
Great questions! I’m thinking about #7: What do people compliment you on? Being raised in a home with the manta of “what will people think” was baggage I’ve learned to let go of over the years. With a new perspective and a willing heart I see the untapped value of honestly listening to the compliments I receive. Of course, this involves the discipline of weeding out the BS. Over time we can learn the fine heart of discerning the truth in order to truly transform.
I think asking what you are curious about is a great place to start. This question gets energy and motivation flowing…and you’re well on the path!
The biggest secret to know your life’s purpose is to imagine yourself on your deathbed.
It may sound cliche, but if you want to know the purpose of your life, make a list of things you would like to do before dying. AND more importantly start doing them.
There you have it.
Thanks Jack, well said….
Hi there! I loved the article! I’m discovering good practices in life to feel peace when I’m doing daily basis things, and reading your articles always attach some value in my journey!
Awesome post. I tend to generalise to two questions of what are you good at and what do you enjoy the most. I’ve never really considered outside those – especially after I found my purpose. But, for helping someone else find their purpose – these questions are very helpful. :)
I certainly agree that living on purpose is a key to success. Indeed, from my perspective there is no success outside of fulfilling the purpose for which we were created. Fame, fortune, or power, are very poor measures of true success. We have plenty of headlines telling us about the train-wrecked lives of people had plenty of these things, but who didn’t really know their purpose in life.. And while I love the practicality of the your seven points, I think it’s important to say that it’s a lifelong journey and that is not all easy for many people, in reality most people, to identify their life’s purpose. But there are great processes and tools available for those willing to put in the work and who are willing to ask the deep questions and then surrender to the answers.
Number 4: what is your passion? That is what I am searching for right now. I think it is just as important as what do I notice, and what would I do for free… over the next year I am seeking to make as any changes about myself, and discover the answers to those questions. Hopefully, I will have some answers, and will be living a much happier life when the 365 days are up.
Thanks for a great blog, it tells me that I’m asking the right questions of myself, and my life.
Keep up the great postal
Outstanding advice :)
This is great stuff, I am forwarding this to my wife, she always complains about the fact that she has no purpose. Sometimes people want to be someone else and strive for things that are against their natural calling, sometimes we need to take a conscious stock pile of our giftings to realize who we are and hopefully what we are called to do. This article is a very practical way to approach it.
Wow !!! I am speechless…..
So many times I pondered upon what my purpose is. even in my sessions too. I knew some bit of it….but all seven points have pointed to only one thing….
I am doing what they point to….now all I need to do is to be wholeheartedly doing it….and not get demoralised by my own self doubt !
God bless you for sharing this one !
Life always shows us many sign, idioms to understand the purpose of life and right doing. It is really interesting to answer all the 7 questions and you will come up with a smile on your face and responsibility on heart. What people compliment me on “I am good at public speaking and I have a deep sense of social injustice” when I was in college I have written a poetry “The ambition of stone” and when I narrated it to a hundreds of people. it was satisfactory for me and my close friends appreciated it. well the article has really help me to understand the purpose of my living , I want to spent my life in motivating people , encouraging them. but it doesn’t show all qualities on me as a perfect to do it. And I have to gain, learn the skill, to be a real leader a motivator, a mentor.
I had a great time reading this blog. i am 22, and a grad. I am a civil engineer by profession. But i am not very sure if that is where my heart lies. Yes i am in a journey of soul search. And yes, about what you said your interests were. I find I am in the same place. I speak philosophy, love motivating others, read a lot of self help. Could that be a purpose for my living? Some help please.