Start with Purpose
Tools and articles to help you find clarity of purpose in your work and life
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30 Questions to help you
Sign up to receive the weekly email full of strategy, planning and productivity tips to help you get real about your dreams, and receive this free PDF that includes 30 questions to help you better understand your true self. This is one of the first steps in better understanding your purpose, and your ultimate focus in life.
Let’s talk a bit about purpose
Purpose means something different to everyone. To some it means the meaning of life or the meaning within life. For others it’s more about what you do (for a career or a calling) or a guide on how to live your life based on what matters most. It’s definitely informed by who you are and your natural gifts and discovered passions. But nailing it down precisely is hard, some might say impossible.
For me, purpose always starts with knowing yourself. You will never know what your purpose in life is, if you’re not first clear on who you are and what drives you. Those are the signs that tell you where you’re going, how to life a purpose-driven life.
There are rare exceptions, but for the vast majority of us discovering your purpose is a lifelong journey. The goal is not to get to the destination (total enlightenment about who you are and why you’re here), but rather to gain clarity along the way by getting closer to understanding your purpose. With every step you take towards greater clarity, you improve your life.
There are many different aspects to purpose. I’ve created a purpose framework that uses five main building blocks to help you clarify your purpose. They include:
- Identity | knowing who you are (the things you inherited, the conditions in which you were raised, your natural personality, strengths and weaknesses, and the experiences that shape your story), knowing what you do (applying your core gifts to something greater than yourself), and why (the legacy you will leave behind)
- Core Values | The 3-5 things that matter most to you, that you embody, that define who you are, and that guide every decision you make. My core values include curiosity, connection, progress and calm. You can read more about them on my about page.
- Highest belief | The single most important belief you hold about this world or others. If you’re a religious person this is your highest religious belief. If you’re not, don’t worry (I’m not either), there are many other places to look. Science and philosophy offer many answers to the meaning of life, or you can consider a cause or issue that overwhelms you with passion.
- Strategy | Highest beliefs are great, but they also tend to be abstract and difficult to apply to our everyday lives. That’s where strategy comes in. Strategy is what matters most to you in your current phase of life and changes as your life does. I have two young kids so my current strategy is ensuring the overall positive wellbeing of our entire family. This is what matters most to me right now.
- Focus | Finally we break down our strategy into focus areas (the components you have to have awareness of to improve your strategy). You should start by assessing each area, then consider which is the slowest hiker preventing you from achieving success with your strategy. Your focus should change every 1-3 months. I like to check in seasonly. This should ultimately drive what you do every day to achieve what matters most.
If you want to learn more about this approach to purpose, please sign up here to receive a free copy of The Purpose Framework mini-book (coming soon).