How To Find Your True Purpose In 3 Days

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How To Find Your True Purpose in 3 Days or Less [The Purposeful Living Commencement Exercise]

This is written by one of our partners, Wings To Success

If there is one stumbling-block that will hold you back more than any other, it is failing to find your true purpose in life. Similarly, if there is one thing that will allow you to leap ahead in your life, it is this very same discovery of purpose.

This is a deep inner calling. When you first discover and then begin to follow your true purpose, problems like lack of motivation and focus start to melt away. This is foundational. This is perhaps the most important post on this website, and it should be your starting point if you haven’t already figured out what it is that YOU were born to do.

Wealth. Health. Prosperity. Respect. A legacy to be proud of. Step up. It’s your time. Shut off all distractions right now. [Tip – flight mode on your phone, red cross on your email and social media tabs.]

If necessary, print this out and take it somewhere you know you cannot be disturbed. You could even use the toilet roll as notepaper at a push.

[As the title says, this process can take 3 days. But you can fit it into your life – you will only need to spend between 1 and 3 hours per day on this. The rest of the time is to allow your subconscious to sift through the information you’ll be dredging up. And you’ll never get to the end of it until you begin…]

You will need: paper and pencil [a small, reasonable quality notebook is preferable, but if you don’t have that yet, for goodness sake don’t postpone the whole exercise until you have – you might never start.]

The Purposeful Living Commencement Exercise – Opening Notes

The intent of this exercise is to pinpoint your unique contribution to the world.

Yes, you have one. I don’t care who you are, what your background is, how many times you have failed right up to this point – if you are still alive and kicking, then there is time for you to uncover your reason for being here.

Why should I care?

Once you know your true purpose, decision making becomes easier and quicker. You can start to take intelligent steps to move your life in a direction of YOUR choosing.

This is the route to greater prosperity and quality of life, or at the very least the route to leave something worthwhile behind you before you shuffle off your mortal coil and leave this life for another. The other thing that makes this exercise so powerful is that it allows you to define how everyone sees you.

As the late great Zig Ziglar put it – You can’t make it in life as a wandering generality. You HAVE to be a meaningful specific.  Truly successful people didn’t arrive at where they are now by mistake. That’s why this step cannot be avoided if you are serious about building a life of inimitable greatness.

What if I can’t be bothered to do this exercise? 

That’s fine. Go back to mindlessly scrolling and posting on Whitter. AcheBook. FaceTube. Depressing news- or “farcical media-” websites that suck your life away. Heck, go back to your emails and your IM feed if you want. Your poison. Your choice.

And let others control your feelings, thoughts, emotions, and yes, your life. You won’t be alone. Far from it – you’ll be with the 95% of the general population that, like sheep, mindlessly follow each other round in ever-decreasing circles.

The door back to the world of low effort and low achievement is accessed by clicking the red cross on your browser window. Please leave now. We won’t miss you. 

Still reading? Ready to leave a life of mediocrity behind you? Good. Step this way, please…

Step 1 – Interests and Passions 

Think back to your earliest memories, then begin to list out your interests. All the things that captured your imagination as a child. Put an asterisk* next to those subjects that held excitement for you. Don’t hold back. List absolutely everything out.

If you are struggling with this step, it might help you to get some old family photos – they often help bring the memories back. Otherwise, speak to those that remember you as a young person. It’s important not to get too hung up with this step.

This should be a quick task – scribble out everything you can think of, moving through your life up to recent years. You’ll come back to this list later and add things you had forgotten. The important thing is to get a good list, with the most exciting subjects starred for easy reference.

Step 2 – Emotions  Now, you need to think through your life from a different perspective. Think about situations and stories that affected you deeply. What got you to cry?

This is a key step to uncovering your deepest reason for being. I don’t care how tough an exterior you have, if there is any human soul in you, there should be some subjects that will make you have that overwhelming feeling of emotion. When you have at least one subject written down, you can move on to the next step.

Step 3 – Teaching & Serving Consider any occasion at any point in your life when you have been able to help someone. Unless you really are a hermit [how’s the broadband connection working out in the cave?] then you will be interacting with people, most likely on a daily basis.

You may even teach without realising it. At the very least, you are likely to be teaching by example. So, think over some of the teaching you have done or you are doing. What subjects do people look to you for help and advice on? What things do you see others struggling with and think to yourself “If only that person would let me, I could show them a much better way?”

List the subjects out, and like before, asterisk any that hold sparks of excitement or enjoyment for you. This might not be the level of passion you identified earlier, however any subjects that you enjoy talking about or helping someone understand should have a star placed by them. If you find this step difficult, don’t stress. You’re not alone. Maybe you have never thought of yourself as a teacher before, so here is another exercise that might help:

Consider any way in which other people in your life are in any way dependent on you, even if it is to a minor degree. Again, unless you are living a life of extraordinary solitude, you should be able to identify a least a few other people that look to you to perform some function that is of benefit to them. List them out, along with the ways that you are helping those people. Again, put a star by any activities that you enjoy doing.

Step 4 – Take a Break

It is advisable to leave this whole process for a while now. Head for bed if it’s late. Otherwise, go for a walk, have a shower, mow the lawn, work out, play with the dog – whatever you need to just relax and give your brain a chance to stretch and refresh. Don’t be tempted to skip this step.

Hint – it’s a good idea to keep the paper and pencil not too far away – sometimes you can get inspiration just flash into your conscious mind when you are doing something else completely. When this happens, get it down on paper fast. It will most likely disappear as quickly as it arrived if you don’t scribble some notes out first.

Step 5 – Review & Refine  Time to review everything you have written out so far. Add other interests that come to you as you go through it all. Look for patterns between the different lists. This is a mindfulness exercise, designed to take you to a different level of consciousness.

Many persons going through this for the first time feel elated at the new insights gained at this point. It should make you start to sense the greatness of what is within you, and what potential the future holds. Allow your mind to freely wander over the lists and make connections between interests.

Write a mind map if it helps. Look out for that indescribable feeling of excitement that bubbles up as you contemplate what you could be. Keep writing. New ideas for what you could do with your life often surface at this point. Write them down, but don’t get sidetracked. And for goodness sake try not to get interrupted. Take drastic measures if necessary.

Now for the difficult part. Refining. You need to – have to – pick your absolute top passion, the most important priority in your life. Everything else will by necessity fall in behind your overarching passion. Here are two mini-exercises to help you with this.

The “Tribute Statement” Exercise  Consider a statement that you would like someone to make about you at an event where you are being honoured. What describing words would you like people to use? Write them out. If there was one characteristic above all others that you would want to be remembered for, what is it? Compare your other lists, of the things that get you emotional and the things that you help others with. Keep your mind open and look out for new realisations to come to you.

The “Current Necessity” Exercise Another way to help you pick your top passion is to resurface into the real world for a few minutes and consider what you need, most urgently, in your life. For some the answer to this will be “more money”. For others it will be “peace of mind”. Others will go for things like “find a partner” or “get recognised for….” – whatever it is for you, quickly jot it out.

Then go back through all the interests, and filter them through what you have just written for the current necessity in your life. Make a shortlist of the ones that could be used to help you achieve your most urgent necessity. Compare your other lists again, paying careful attention to the things that get you emotional and the things that you already help others with.

Finally, pick the one interest that is most closely aligned. If all of this sounds like a lot of work, remember that it is designed to take place over 2-3 days. I would recommend you sleep on it at least twice if possible. By this I mean read through all you have done so far just before going to sleep, then go straight to it when you wake up. Keep your mind receptive.

Step 6 – “The Revelation” A.K.A. The “Aha!” Moment This moment could actually arrive at any point during Step 5, or even in Steps 3 or 4. I can’t describe to you the feeling, except to say you will know when it arrives. This is the reason for the constant pleading not to allow distractions to creep in, and not to allow yourself to sabotage your own thoughts.

As humans we are very susceptible to being programmed by the thoughts and beliefs of others. This is an insidious process that takes place often without conscious realisation. To discover your true purpose though, you will need to remove self-limiting beliefs. Sorry if this sounds like a load of new-age nonsense. I assure you it isn’t. Don’t rule anything out while you are going through the exercise. Assume everything is possible and that it is impossible for you to fail. That way you are much more likely to get to the real core of who and what you are.

If three days have passed with no AHA moments then an experienced coach can be a great help. Don’t let this exercise overpower you or feel bad if it doesn’t seem to work for you. A huge amount of programming has already entered into your subconscious and the spell can be hard to break. If you want me to go through this exercise with you on the phone or by email, consult this page for more information. [Link opens in a new window.] Onwards!

Step 7 – Final Distillation of Purpose – “Owning” One Word.  Here is the final, rather extreme, step for you. When you have got your purpose, it will be much more beneficial if you narrow it down to just one word. Yep, that’s right – one word – a word that you will aim to virtually “own.” This is similar to what the big brands do, but it can be just as powerful when applied to individuals. For example, it could be “Motivation” [Zig Ziglar] “Wingman” [Lt. Col. Robert Waldman] “Search” [Google] “Enjoy” [Coca Cola] “Express” [FedEx] – and so on.

Pick one word, then seek to live it for as long as you are left here. It will do wonders for your personal brand, focus, determination, and decision making.

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