Before you begin this journey of discovering your life purpose, it is important to set a few facts straight:
- Your life purpose is very different from your goals. Your life purpose is your reason for being, the driver for your life, and the project that you will present to life and that GOD created you for. There is no such thing as achieving your life purpose…..it is the compass that guides your goals and direction as long as you live
- A life and a living are two different things. You make a living by what you get, and a life by what you give. It is very difficult to think of life purpose if you are struggling to make a living every day. So if your life now consists of trying to make ends meet (put food on the table, provide clothing and education for your family etc..), then that is what you need to focus on now and give yourself a pat on the back for trying so hard. You can honor your purpose in this stage by simply scheduling some time off your busy schedule to volunteer or putting effort in your free time to support any cause you believe in
The journey to find your life purpose is a long, soul-searching and sometimes painful one, and it is also the most rewarding journey you will ever go on! It is such an important and sought topic that over 230,000 books have been written on the subject!
From my work on my own journey to find my life purpose, and from helping many other remarkable women connect with their own life purpose and honour it, I am sharing with you the 4 steps that I know will be an impactful starting point for you:
Step # 1 – GET IN THE RIGHT MINDSET
There is no quick fix and no easy answer on your journey. It will serve you best if you literally disconnect from the world and connect with yourself and only yourself, for a period of deep reflection.
- Schedule some alone time when you know you can be completely alone in a peaceful place that you enjoy, where there are no interruptions, no important tasks to tend to right before or after and no urgent matters that might interrupt you in between. You may want to schedule anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on how ready you are, how much time you have and how much focus you want to put. The longer, the more meaningful….
- Have a pen and lots of paper ready, and some soft relaxing music
- It is always a great idea to start by doing something quiet that completely relaxes you and clears your mind from its busyness. Listen to music, meditate, pray, go for a walk, take a shower, exercise etc….. What works for me is breathing to soft classical music : Closing your eyes, slowly focus your mind to feel every part of your body from the top of your head till the tips of your toes. Then, slowly focus your mind on your breathing, taking slow deep breaths from your stomach so that you fill your lungs with air as you inhale, and release the air completely from your body as you exhale. Do this as many times as you need to feel that your mind has let go of all thoughts, good and bad, and is feels light and empty, now just feeling your breathing
- Before you open your eyes, ask yourself what your intention and goal for this journey is today. What do you hope to reach from your self-reflection today, and why it is so important to you to reach that goal. When it is clear to you, open your eyes and start working.
Step # 2 – ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
Here are your guidelines:
- Give each question from 2 to 5 minutes at least (use a stopwatch)
- Take your thoughts to beyond the materialistic worldly things. Imagine, just for this exercise, that you have all the money you need to survive, gone to all the places you wanted to go, bought all the things you wanted to buy, have rested and recuperated, and now are looking for what is truly meaningful beyond the material
- Write down whatever comes to your mind and keep writing until time is up. Do not stop to read what you wrote, change things or reflect on them. Just keep writing whatever comes to your mind. Even if you are stuck, do not stop. It is o.k. to keep repeating …… just stay with it and trust yourself
- Know that this process is one you need to repeat frequently. It is o.k. not to find all answers the first time, and it is normal that you may find a slightly different answer every time. Eventually, it gets clearer and clearer until you own it completely
- When time is up, just move on to the next question
Here are the questions:
- Reflecting on all your life achievements, what are (4) things that are special about you?
- Reflecting on all your life mistakes, what are (4) things you have learnt well about yourself?
- What are you extremely good at? Describe your feeling when you do it?
- If you were 80 years old, what would you want your family to remember you for?
- If you were 80 years old, what would you want all the other people who really matter to you in your life to remember you for?
- If you asked yourself the question: For what God created unique me, in this particular time, in Egypt, in my family and circumstances, what would the answer be?
Step # 3 – ARTICULATE YOUR LIFE PURPOSE
Now go back over your answers, and reflect for 5 minutes. Ask yourself what your answers are telling you about yourself.
When you are ready, articulate your purpose as a statement of purpose:
What I want to do is (e.g. inspire, empower, enlighten, teach, help etc….)
I want to do this for (e.g. the world, Egyptians, your city, your home, your family etc…..)
I intend to do it by (e.g. providing, showing, always smiling, making time, being kind etc…)
Now, say it aloud to yourself several times. Do you feel it? Do you resonate with it? Is this your life message?
Step # 4 – INTENTIONALLY FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION
Now that you have a full or partial idea of your life purpose statement, remind yourself that “Where you focus your attention, energy flows. Where energy flows, life grows”.
Every morning, without fail, set your intention to commit to honoring your life purpose and ask yourself: “What is one thing I can do today to move a small step forward in the direction of my life purpose?”. Once you know what that thing is, make sure to schedule it in your tasks for today!
Honoring your life purpose might mean for you that you will want to take drastic steps to change major things in your life, or it may mean making small and significant changes. In all cases, take it one step at a time, every time focusing only on the next step………
If you set your intention and focus long enough, you will eventually find that “sweet spot” that is the perfect intersection between a living and a life. Where you honor your passions, your mission, your vocation and your profession all at the same time!