I discovered my life purpose in 2019 while living in Vietnam.
It came to me as an inspiration, a powerful inspired thought that reverberated through my body like nothing I had felt before…
“I am going to help people achieve their dreams.”
At the time, I thought this was my only purpose. Or, at least, the only part I was aware of.
It took a few years for me to realize that this was only one layer of my overall purpose in life.
In fact, through a deep period of introspection and asking myself the right questions, I began to identify many layers of my purpose, including:
- My higher purpose (to help people achieve their dreams)
- My ikigai (to create)
- My passion (personal development)
- My mission (build a business that helps people achieve their dreams)
- My calling (writer, author, speaker, coach)
- What’s most important to me (my health and well-being and my relationships)
- The challenges I’ve chosen to face (the challenges of entrepreneurship and online business)
- My top 3 values (fun, freedom, and meaning)
- And more…
It’s this clarity (and more) that has guided my life ever since, and it’s the reason I’m writing this article.
Table of Contents
Deep Misconceptions: How Most People Think About Life Purpose
First off, most of us have no clue what ‘life purpose’ really is. We have vague ideas conjured from movies, television, religion, and social media that tend to produce more anxiety for people than practical information and solutions.
Most people see a life purpose as a single overarching mission or objective that drives you for the rest of your life. Or they see it as a single passion that you follow for decades.
The problem with this type of thinking is that the people who discover this “one thing” naturally (and succeed at it) then think that this is the way it works. They offer shallow advice like “just find your passion” and “do what you love to do” with little information about how to actually do it, because they effectively stumbled into it.
Then those poor souls who are struggling to find their purpose and passion get even more frustrated and anxious. They see other people living living it and talking about how wonderful it is, while they’re still stuck in a job they hate and a future that looks bleaker than Cleveland:
The Good News
The good news is that this has created awareness in the general population that we do not have to be doomed to soul sucking work for the rest of our lives.
We can do what we love to do.
Fulfilling work does exist.
We can succeed at things we actually care about.
But we will need to put in the work and overcome whatever obstacles stand in our way in order to do it. For most of us, it won’t just be handed to us. We will need to earn it.
(And it makes it that much sweeter when we do.)
The Other Good News
The other good news is that the concept of life purpose has generated many questions about life itself, why we’re here, if we all have a purpose, and how to find, follow, and live our purposes.
Today, I’m going to cover 10 of these life purpose questions. These are 10 of the most important, pressing, pulsating questions we can ask ourselves in life (with examples).
Odds are, you’ve asked yourself one or more of these questions at some point. Most of us have.
I have done my best to provide answers that will be useful to anyone seeking more clarity in their lives about who they are, what they want, and where they want their lives to go.
Let’s dive in:
10 In-Depth Answers to Common Life Purpose Questions
1. What is my purpose in life?
The big one…
What is my purpose in life?
Many of us have wondered this at some point. There came a point in my life after 6-7 years in business, trying over a dozen different things to make my dreams come true, that I finally pleaded to the universe:
“If this isn’t what I’m meant to be doing, what AM I am meant to be doing? What is my true purpose?”
Shortly after, through a series of asking myself some basic but profound questions about what I’m truly passionate about, what I’m best at, and how I want to help others, I gained the final piece of clarity I needed to actually act upon my purpose and start living it.
What I learned is that your purpose in life is comprised of two things:
- Who you truly are in your heart and soul
- What you say your purpose is
It’s all you baby! No one can tell you what your purpose is, and it’s not something outside of you.
The knowledge of your purpose, your passion, your calling, etc already exists within you. It comes from YOU. It comes from your heart and soul. You just need to go within, ask yourself the right questions, and knock on your inner doors to uncover it.
Your purpose is also what you say it is. You can choose it. You can decide that “this is my purpose and I’m going to follow it.”
It doesn’t have to be bestowed upon you from some outside entity.
The #1 reason most people struggle to figure out what to do with their lives is because they lack self-knowledge and the life-changing clarity that comes from it.
When you know yourself well enough, down to the depths of your psyche, your purpose becomes abundantly clear. It becomes obvious to the point where you can’t ignore it.
When people don’t know themselves well enough, they usually end up bouncing around unfulfilled and typically end up following someone else’s purpose.
To summarize, your purpose in life is a combination of who you truly are in your heart and soul (understood by deepening your self-knowledge) and what you say your purpose is.
2. How do I figure out my passion and what I want to do with my life?
The next big subject most of us care about is finding our passion. Why is this?
Because most of us want to do what we love to do. Most of us want to do what fills our hearts up to the brim. Most of us want to do things that energize us and uplift us.
And, unfortunately, a lot of the work available these days is the opposite. It drains us, we don’t like it, it doesn’t activate our hearts, and most people would never do what they’re doing right now if they weren’t getting paid for it.
A passion is a combination of what we love to do and what we are good at or want to get good at. And if it’s something we’re really passionate about and love, we’d probably do it whether or not we were getting paid for it. That’s the difference.
So to figure out your passion in life, you only need to discover two things about yourself:
- What you love to do
- What you are good at or want to get good at
This combination typically makes up a person’s passion or passions.
A passion is also something you’re really enthusiastic about. It’s something you love to think about and talk about or something you love to learn about.
It’s something that tends to light your soul on fire when you engage in it or think about it.
It can be a high-level concept, it can be an activity, it can be a community, it can be a cause, it can be a hobby, it can be a business, it can be many things.
But just like with finding your purpose, finding your passion in the most direct way possible requires you to follow a similar process:
Go within, ask yourself the right questions, write down your answers, and uncover the clarity that’s already within you.
Yes, you can try a bunch of different things and hope one of them ends up being something you’re passionate about. This can be a good route if you are deeply lost about what to do.
But don’t just leave it up to luck.
What you are passionate about comes from within you. Again, it comes from your heart. It’s in there. You just need to uncover it.
What did you love to do as a kid? What used to consume you for hours on end? What do you love talking about? What activities put you into a flow state? What do you love learning about? What are you good at? What are your strengths? What are your gifts and talents? What have other people complimented you on in the past? What do people come to you for advice on? What types of challenges do you enjoy facing? How do you want to grow and evolve?
Ask yourself these types of questions and write your answers down, because your passion lies in the answer to these types of questions.
Don’t overcomplicate it. All you’re doing is learning more about who you really are.
Then, once you know your passion or passions, you can take the next steps to turning them into a paycheck you can make a living from and quit that boring, stressful, soul sucking job.
3. How can I find meaning and fulfillment in my life?
How do we find meaning and fulfillment in life? Is it just based on doing what we love to do?
Is it just based on things like contribution and feeling like you’re making a meaningful impact in the world?
Does it come from our relationships and the people we love and care about? Does it come from a sense of belonging?
Does it come from being part of a cause or mission you care about?
Does it come from following your calling and doing what you’re born to do?
All of the above can bring meaning and fulfillment to our lives, but those are the more obvious paths.
Doing what we love can bring us meaning and fulfillment, because it’s heart-based and lights us up inside.
Contribution and feeling like you’re making an impact can also bring us meaning and fulfillment, because helping and uplifting others tends to do that.
Our relationships, the people we care about, and a sense of belonging to a community can fill some of us up so much there’s nothing left for us to desire. We are whole.
A cause or mission can bring people together as they work towards something meaningful and important.
Doing what you are born to do and following your calling can bring you a deep sense of satisfaction on a daily basis as you engage in it.
But there’s something else I’d like to bring your attention to that can help you find a deep sense of meaning and fulfillment in life, and it’s a little unorthodox:
Choose your challenge.
Don’t just choose your goals, dreams, and desires, but choose the challenges you want to face.
Choose the challenges that excite you. Choose the challenges that will help you grow and elevate. Choose the challenges that will empower you.
Choose challenges that will help you expand as a person and shape and mold you into more of who you want to be.
Choose the challenges that will help you reach for more of your potential as a human being.
Since 2014, I chose the challenge of being an entrepreneur and building and online business that gives me the freedom to live wherever I want and travel around the world.
It hasn’t been an easy road, but that’s the point.
I’ve been knocked down many times. I’ve stood back up each time, and each time I’ve gotten stronger and more resilient.
I’ve learned. I’ve grown. I’ve empowered myself through all of the challenges I’ve faced. And I continue to do so.
I’m so grateful for what I have experienced so far, because it has given me an opportunity to tap more into my inner power and potential.
So don’t just choose what you desire. Choose the challenges you want to face as well.
Because there is deep meaning and fulfillment in who you become in facing them and overcoming them on your hero’s journey.
4. How do I know if I’m on the right path or if I should make a change?
How do you know if you’re on the right path or if you should make a change?
The wonderful part about being a human being is that we’re born with an internal guidance system called intuition.
Intuition is like our sixth sense. At it’s basic definition, it’s a feeling produced in the body that the mind then has to interpret the meaning of.
And when we interpret that meaning, we can often gain some deep insights about what we should do.
Put simply, one of the best ways to know you’re on the right path or if you should make a change is to listen to your intuition, your inner guidance.
Ask yourself, “What does my intuition say about the path I’m on? How do I really feel about it? Is now the time to make a change? Or should I wait?”
You will likely receive some clear answers either immediately or in the coming days about what you should do.
I believe we are all guided, but we have to learn how to tap into and listen to our inner guidance.
Listen to your intuition and see what it tells you, because it often knows much more than you can understand consciously about what path is best for you right now.
5. How can I make a difference in the world and leave a positive impact?
Making a difference in the world and leaving a positive impact requires a lot of courage.
This is the path I’m on and have been on since I made the decision to become who I feel I was born to be, while knowing I had a lot of pain and struggle and personal development to go through before I could truly become that person.
It takes guts to set out to make a real difference in the world. You have to learn A LOT. You have to grow A LOT.
You have to be willing to get punched in the mouth, knocked down, and lift yourself back up again and again and again no matter how long it takes or how many times you get smacked in the face.
This is the price most of us dreamers pay for the extreme satisfaction and self-actualization of positive impact.
To make a difference in the world you need to develop yourself into a difference maker.
You need to know what you want and go after it with a determination that does not recognize failure as a possibility. There is only one option for you, no matter what it takes. And that is winning.
You need to develop a strong mind, which often only comes through facing obstacles and blasting through them time after time.
You need to learn how never to settle for less than you desire, deserve, and are worthy of. You need to learn how to become who you want to be no matter what other people may think, feel, or say about you.
You need to develop a deep belief in yourself, in who you are, and what you are capable of accomplishing.
You may also need to surround yourself with people who have similar aspirations, so you can support each other and grow together.
Can you make a difference in the world and leave a positive impact?
(By the way, we all make a difference in the world and leave a positive impact in some way, but what I’m talking about here are the big life goals and dreams that involve serving others.)
That depends on your level of commitment and your determination to make it happen against all odds.
I believe you can do it.
So make the decision and go for it.
6. What steps can I take to discover my life purpose?
Here are 5 practical steps you can take to discover your life purpose:
- Learn what a life purpose really is
- Uncover your inner purpose by asking yourself the right questions
- Define your purpose and purpose plan
- Live your purpose by following your plan
- Empower your purpose journey with the right tools and resources
These 5 steps are otherwise known as The Purpose Discovery System.
First, you need to know what a life purpose is, because you must know what you’re actually searching for.
Most people are searching for a vague idea of their purpose, and that’s why they struggle to find the clarity they’re seeking.
They don’t know what they’re looking for.
To find what you’re looking for, you need to know what it is. So, first, learn what a life purpose consists of and which layer of purpose you care about discovering most.
Second, your purpose lies within you. The self-knowledge you need is already within you, and the most direct route to uncover it is to ask yourself the right questions about who you are, what you want, what’s most important to you, and where you want your life to go.
Next, take that self-knowledge and put it into a concrete definition you can carry with you wherever you go, and then formulate it into an action plan to actually follow your purpose.
Fourth, follow that plan until you succeed or you reach a point where you know the plan isn’t working. If this happens, create a new plan and put it into action. Keep doing this until you succeed.
Finally, empower your journey with the right tools and resources, like books, seminars, courses, videos, articles, audios, mastermind groups, coaches, mentors, and whatever resources can help you elevate and progress in your life.
7. How do I balance following my dreams with practicality and responsibilities?
This question is super important and relevant for anyone with practical responsibilities, like a family, life expenses that need to be paid on time, health concerns, etc.
The most important thing for you to understand is that someone out there, who was in a similar situation to you, has succeeded at following their dreams while taking care of their life responsibilities.
Single mothers have built businesses that have changed their family’s lives while working full time and taking care of their kids.
People with disabilities have gone on to defy the odds and make a massive positive impact on the world.
I spent 3 years healing my body just to get back to a place where I could work on my dreams again.
These people (and many more) did not allow anything to stop them from achieving their goals and dreams. They made a decision to go for it, and, from that commitment, the way was shown.
Yes, your responsibilities are very real. The kids gotta eat. The bills need to be paid. Your health may not be the best right now. You may have pressure from relatives or friends or outside influences to do something more “practical.”
But it’s up to you whether these become limitations that stop you or obstacles that can empower you as you move through them and reach for your potential.
8. Can I have more than one purpose in life?
Yes, in fact, your purpose is likely made up of way more than just one thing.
Life purpose, overall, is made up of layers of purpose. It’s not just one thing that gives us purpose. It’s many different things that are meaningful and important to us.
You may have one purpose in relation to your work. But you may also have purpose related to your family, your community, your spirituality, etc.
So it’s perfectly normal and natural for you to have more than one purpose in life. The key is to identify which layers of purpose are most important to you and set out to discover them.
9. How can I stay motivated and focused on my life purpose?
To be honest, if you’re struggling with motivation and focus when it comes to your purpose, either the purpose you’ve chosen isn’t aligned enough with who you really are, meaning there’s a deeper purpose inside you still that you won’t have trouble staying motivated for.
Or it’s because you’re not quite ready to follow that purpose yet. You still need to go through more personal development. You still need to let go of fears, worries, and doubts. You may still need to gain some life experience for you to be in an energetic place where you can go for it with all of your power.
Because if this thing you’re focused on is really your life purpose, there shouldn’t be much difficulty in staying motivated.
I stayed motivated for four years, experienced a ton of defeats in my business, and health problems until I finally achieved one of my first big life goals of moving to Thailand and traveling around South East Asia in 2018-2019.
There was no lack of motivation. I wanted this badly. And I was motivated and inspired every day for four years to make it happen.
And when I finally made it happen, it was so satisfying.
I still remember getting off the plane in Thailand, walking to a restaurant down the street, eating some delicious Thai soup, and feeling so grateful that I persisted for those four years. It made all the pain and struggle I experienced worth it.
10. How do my values and beliefs fit into my life purpose?
Your values and beliefs are absolutely key to your life purpose.
First off, your values will determine your actions. For example, I value fun, freedom, and impact when it comes to what I do with my life and my work.
An office job pretty much aligns with none of those values. It ain’t fun. The “freedom” is laughable. And the impact is typically minimal or zero (according to my own parameter for myself and what I believe I’m meant to do in the world).
However, running an internet business in the personal development space covers all three of those values for me.
It’s fun, because I love working online, creating content, managing my business, etc. I enjoy it.
There’s a ton of freedom. I’m my own boss. I choose my own schedule. I choose what to focus on. And I work online so I can work from anywhere with an internet connection.
And there’s a ton of impact. I’m helping people empower themselves, change their lives, and achieve their goals and dreams, and that’s super fulfilling for me.
So, your values will determine what you do. Therefore, it’s important to choose values that align with what you really want.
Because if you choose values that don’t align with your desires, you’ll likely end up in a situation that causes a lot of internal conflict for you, and it might be hard to leave that situation because you’re always battling with yourself internally.
(Like valuing the safety and predictability of an office job, while desiring the freedom to travel and explore the world. Tough one…)
Next, your beliefs will determine how far you go. If you have limiting beliefs, they will need to be reprogrammed for you to reach the fullest potential of your purpose.
The more your beliefs align with your purpose, goals, and dreams, the easier you will accomplish them. Simple as that.
If you believe success is hard, it will likely be hard for you. If you believe it’s difficult to live freely and purposefully, it will likely be difficult for you.
If you believe that you are capable and worthy of what you desire, it will likely come more easily. If you believe that living freely and purposefully is your birthright, it will likely happen for you.
So do your best to align your values and beliefs with what you actually want, not just what has been pre-programmed by your upbringing, past experiences, or society.
Need More Answers? Where To Go From Here
Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot from these questions and answers, but if you have more questions, feel free to send me an email or comment down below.
Also, I mentioned multiple times the importance of going within and asking yourself the right questions, and I’m sure you’ve wondered what those questions are.
Luckily, I’ve collected them into something called The Purpose Discovery System. It’s a book that walks you through 5 simple steps to find, follow, and live your purpose, with all of the right questions packed into over a dozen powerful life purpose exercises.
The book is only $0.99 on Amazon right now, so get your copy before the price goes up.
If you’re serious about finding and following your purpose, doing the exercises in this book could change your life forever.
I also recommend downloading my Self-Discovery Workbook. It’s free and will give you a good start to getting to know your true self clearly defining your purpose in life.