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Find Your Purpose with 2 Simple Questions

If you work for an organization, it’s likely that you’re familiar with its mission, vision and values. 

A mission describes objectives and how to get there.  The vision illustrates where that work will lead.  And values demonstrate core beliefs guiding the work being done.   

Thinking about your own personal goals or any sort of life change you want to make, it’s likely that you follow a similar structure as most of those organizations.  You begin with a goal in mind, map out the work needed to achieve it and allow yourself to visualize the sweet accomplishment of success.

Ready, get set, go!  And then – cue the whammy music – your plan either doesn’t work or it is laced with so much struggle you give up.  But why?  What’s missing?

Your purpose. 

Where does having a purpose fit in?  And why is having a purpose important?

Your purpose is the first step.  It’s your why.  Think of your purpose as your foundation – without a strong one, the structure lacks stability.

Setting out to do something without first identifying why it’s important for you can be a recipe for complete derailment.  Your purpose acts as your compass.  It keeps you grounded and pointed in the right direction – towards the change you want. 

Your purpose is a big deal. And that’s usually why it gets overlooked. 

Just the thought of something as big as identifying your purpose seems so cerebral and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be!  And nailing it down is simpler than you might think.

Two simple questions to help identify your purpose:

1. What are the benefits of achieving your goal or life change?

Envision what will change for you in all aspects of your life when you reach this goal.  A healthier lifestyle, more career fulfillment, better life balance, happier relationships, increased wealth?  Consider all the benefits and write them down.

2. Who benefits when you achieve your goal or life change?

Think about those who are most important to you.  How will achieving this goal, or change, improve or impact the lives of others whom you so dearly care about?  Think of all the ways and write them down.

Look at both lists.  By now, your goal should feel much more personal and meaningful.  Knowing your “foundational why” provides you with more motivation and discipline towards your success.  It becomes harder to veer off course or jump ship when your purpose is solid and acknowledged.

Developing a more personal connection to your goal lays the groundwork for stronger commitment.