Purpose is a huge buzz word at the moment with articles running rampant, such as ‘How to Find Your Purpose’, or, ‘Get Clear on Your Purpose’.
The definition of purpose is: “the reason for which something is done, or created, or for which something exists”.
Do you know your purpose for being created?
Do you know why you exist?
These are really big questions, and while it’s nice if you can find an answer that overarches everything you do, it can feel like a lot of pressure to find “the one”. Personally, I find it more useful to focus on purposeful action.
How can there only be one purpose in our lives?
The idea of having only one purpose has always confused me, and when asked, “What is your purpose?” in different seminars, courses or by coaches and mentors, it seemed like I always had different answers. At times I judged myself, because, with all the personal development work I’ve done, I should know what my purpose is.
Many people do a lot of work to find a purpose, which acts as a filter for what they want in their life, asking themselves: does this fit in my purpose? Yes – do it, No – find something else.
It can be a very effective way of bringing more meaning and direction into your life, if that’s something you struggle with, but don’t get caught up if you’re unsure what yours is. Regardless of whether you know what your purpose is, or not, it’s more important to be taking action in life, instead of sitting on the fence contemplating.
If you’ve never even thought about what your purpose is, it’s definitely worth a journaling session or 2 or 10 – just don’t let it be another excuse for procrastination.
The changeable purpose
The truth is, while we may or may not have an overarching purpose for our whole life, our purpose can also change from day to day and moment to moment.
An example of this is when you wake up in the morning on a weekday, most people will have the purpose to get the kids up and ready for school, or just get up, eat and go to work. Whereas, on the weekend, it could be to stay in bed and read your book until midday.
Another example would be when you’re having a conversation with a co-worker, you have a specific purpose of why you’re talking – it could be about a project you’re working on, or it could be the office gossip.
You get the point. Our motivations for everything we do change from moment to moment, depending on what it is we’re trying to achieve. Having awareness about what we’re trying to accomplish is one way to be more effective and bring more meaning into our lives.
What is purposeful action?
Purposeful action is being conscious of what our purpose is, for every action we take.
Every action has a purpose, whether we’re conscious about it, or not. Having awareness of our purpose in the moment, gives us the ability to choose our actions more carefully.
Being intentional with our time, energy and the actions we take is fundamental in creating a meaningful life.