Finding one’s purpose in life is a journey of discovery with many adjustments along the way. This noble voyage begins with the essential question, “who am I?” In other words… “what is and has always been true of me?” Most of us get caught up in the shoulds of life, e.g., “I should be an attorney because I come from three generations of attorney’s” or “I should go into the family business”. While important to consider as part of your life’s purpose, these values may not always ring true as your soul’s principle objective. As individuals or on a team, we are capable of achieving incredible things. However, if your success in life is defined by an elusive standard or outdated thought pattern, you may net a somewhat shallow connection to your life’s potential. I have found that the deep research leads to great transformation.
Regardless of where you are in this personal journey, a powerful exercise is to think for a moment about who knows you the best and what descriptors would they use to describe you? Or ask them to describe your most essential characteristics? A brief warning is that hearing compliments can feel uncomfortable so try to really accept the positive characteristics of who you are. Keep a list and be sure to add any that come to mind while looking for the ones that truly fit. Another perspective is to think about the key turning points in your life and ask yourself how did I respond was it courage, tenacity, confidence or a healthy dose of stubbornness?
The final step in this exercise is to pull the list together into a brief paragraph I call an essential self-statement. This includes the key characteristics from your list. I’m including mine as a sample:
Courageous and thoughtful guide. I offer my genuineness and compassion while appreciating the challenging power of inquiry to reveal possibilities in the face of despair or stuckness.
Enjoy this self-discovery exercise! My next blog will focus on how to apply it to your life.