Purpose

Those who have done a lot of self examination, therapy, and transformational work are familiar with being told how important knowing what your purpose in life is. You may have already asked yourself, “Why was I put on this earth?” “What would I be doing, no matter what?” “Is there anything unique that I can contribute to the universe?” Sometimes there has to be some purpose we hold onto that is important enough to get us out of bed each morning.

I know that there are people that grew up in an environment that enabled them to be in touch with their purpose early in life, but I have not met many of them. Most of us were instructed by those we spent the most time with as to what they thought our purpose should be. Parents, relatives, teachers, and peers can’t help but encourage other people to follow what they personally think is important. Often, these well meaning adults try to foist their unfulfilled visions and purposes on those they can influence.

After experiencing everyone’s opinions, it could take a while to get in touch with your own purpose, so be patient. You may have gone all this time not even being aware that you can choose the life you want, so you will have to do some personal archeology to rediscover who you are.

What do I suggest you do to get in touch with what the child in you really loved? What was important to you when you were 3- when your personalty was formed? In the “Journal of Personality,” 71(4), August 2003, it was reported that research showed “Children’s Behavioral Styles at Age 3 Are Linked to Their Adult Personality Traits at Age 26.”

How far back can you remember? If you don’t recall what you cared about when you were 3 years old, what is your earliest memory? What did you like to do? Where were your energies directed? Did you prefer playing with others, or did you read a lot on your own?

If clients have taken personality testing some time in their lives, I ask them to retrieve their results because that information can be useful when seeking purpose. If they have never been tested or don’t have access to their results, I suggest that they take the Myer’s Briggs Type Indicator, the most prevalent personality testing tool and one of the services I offer.

The testing can help you get in touch with who you really are, not what you may have become, that may not be fulfilling. This process can be the foundation of your authentic self. You will no longer need to think, why isn’t it easy for me to do math (or sports or whatever), like someone else? Instead you will know what you are naturally good at, focus on that and let someone else do the math and/or the other things you would struggle with.

Combining your personality testing research with jogging your memories of early childhood, can be helpful tools to getting in touch with your life’s purpose. You will be able to start cobbling the pieces together that describe the essence of your life and what you would be doing, no matter what.

How will you apply this knowledge of your purpose to all parts of your life? I ask you to examine every category of your life to be sure one area does not limit another. For example, your visions for relationship may include more time with your family, but your actions in your career encompass working overtime and weekends. Your purpose needs to be a holistic one that encompasses every area of the life you want to live, with balance.

Journaling about your purpose helps also, especially the old fashioned handwritten way. If you were born after the electronic age began, then you will probably have to do your journaling on the computer. I give clients personalized assignments geared to accessing memories, self assurance and being in touch with their passions about life.

OK, after all these steps- you are ready to take these pieces you have gathered and put them together into a succinct, complete sentence or two that defines your overall life’s purpose. Your purpose will be uniquely yours and if you have been able to tap into your very core, the purpose you have created will not change much the rest of your life. That will be the gratifying reward for all of the soul searching effort you have put into this challenging process.

Now that you grasp your purpose, it is available and useful in so many circumstances. Purpose can guide you when you feel you have lost your way. Hopefully when that occurs, you will have gotten in the habit of referring back to your written purpose. If you have some consequential decisions to make, like, “ Is this the right job for me to take?”, visit your purpose. Do I want to spend the rest of my life with this person? Check out your purpose to see if following these offers will enable you to fulfill your purpose in life.

Your tolerance for compromising in the face of sacrificing your purpose in life will become limited once you are clear about what you really want and who you uniquely are. You won’t be taking whatever is offered to you that may fulfill another person’s purpose, yet will never coincide with your own. Being sure of your purpose in life gives you the courage to live by it.

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INTEGRATED LIFE DESIGN Marilynn Frances Lundy One Lincoln Plaza, Suite 30s New York, New York 10023 Tele/Fax 212-362-7057 MarilynnLundy@IntegratedLifeDesign.com

  • Comments
100
  1. annette lieberman  Reply

    GREAT!

    • MarilynnLundy  Reply

      Thank you, Annette!

  2. Mitch Levenberg  Reply

    You have a special knack for the genre and this is one of the best of its kind. Clear and specific and as usual so well written. Go Marilynn!

    • MarilynnLundy  Reply

      Wow, Mitch, coming from an author & educator like you, I'm thrilled by your praise.

  3. Caitlin  Reply

    With your great guidance and these tools you are writing about I was able to get in touch with my purpose a couple of years ago. Thank you for all your support. The way you write about it is exactly the way you worked with me and I have to say: It really works!

    • MarilynnLundy  Reply

      Terrific acknowledgement Caitlin & thank you for living your vision!

  4. Susan Burns  Reply

    Thanks, Marilynn. Very clear!

    • MarilynnLundy  Reply

      Thanks for letting me know Susan!

  5. Linda Newman  Reply

    You were a great coach in my time of need and you still are. People who work with you are changed forever. I met you at a networking event and decided to hire you. I believe things happen for a reason and that is why our paths crossed. Thank you SO very much.

    • MarilynnLundy  Reply

      Thanks Linda, for your high praise & referrals you have given me through the years.

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