What's Your Purpose?

There are two ways of looking at what motivates us in life:

- day to day necessity
- the big picture.

And of course, we fluctuate between the two. Although for the most part people are overwhelmingly caught up in the day to day detail of life... getting that report done, picking up the kids, shopping, the bank account, houses, clothes, aches and pains, what films are on and a million trillion other concerns in between. Apparently we have between 60-100,000 different thoughts per day and we change approximately 2% of these on a day to day basis. How can that ever lead to significant change or progress? Day to day stuff is essential, of course it is.... but is it what makes us tick? Are we more than that?

So what about The Big Picture? What does that really mean? And can we live for something greater than ourselves?

When I was a little boy I remember being asked that straight-out-of-the-adults-handbook question 'what do you want to be when you grow up?'. I think my parents' friends had all read the same handbook so I was asked the question a lot - which meant that I thought about it a lot. What I always wanted was to do or be something significant. I had a feeling that life was important and that I wanted it to be exciting and dynamic - an adventure. It's not surprising really that a young boy would want that from life. Fast forward 35 years. I have now coached over 100,000 people across the world, which means that I have asked a lot of people from all walks of life some pretty fundamental questions about what they want from life and then mined every corner of my acumen to help them get it. What I've discovered is - everybody wants life to be exciting, dynamic.... an adventure. We don't all want the same kind of adventure but we all want our lives to mean something; to feel on our death beds that this trip has been worthwhile and that somehow this rolling planet of mists and tides has benefitted from us being here. Even the most cynical of people want to be happy and want that happiness to rub off on others.

So what's the DNA of this adventurous life? What gives birth to that sense of meaning and significance we all want? Simply put, what leads to a life well lived? I call it Purpose.

Discovering and living our Purpose in every area of life is for me, the most exciting, compelling and meaningful relationship to life. I define Purpose as 'our best little bit'. If you could take your core values, your gifts talents and abilities and the contribution you are most inspired to make and find the point where they all intersect, that would be your purpose. It’s your highest calling... the highest possibility for your life. And... you can live it in every area of your life starting today.

Finding your Purpose in life has had this mythical quality to it as if we have to have a moment where Excalibur is held aloft the misty marshes of Avalon, or the clouds open after a marathon of fasting and meditating on a Himalayan mountain top, or when we have recovered from a near death experience and have seen the light of beyond. No doubt these experiences exist and I think they're great but.... honestly, is that most people's experience of life? Our Purpose, our deeply held truth and inspiration is inside of us, all of us without exception. Every spiritual discipline on the planet has the same tenet 'know thyself' because... how could we have self-actualisation without self-knowledge? All this means is - we don't have to have a mystical experience to know ourselves, we just have to ask ourselves some good questions and be able to answer them authentically.

Seneca said 'change itself is easy, it's resistance to change that causes pain'. Over the years of coaching and coaxing people I have seen the same resistances come up in people. I have observed the mechanics of resistance and I have experimented with ways of asking questions that open people up to new possibilities. How can a person achieve the same depth and level of personal realisation as one who devotes themselves completely to meditation or the healing arts, in an afternoon?

So I created the 7 questions of Purpose - 7 questions you ask yourself which reveal your Purpose - these can be found at www.lifepurposehq.com That's it. That's all you have to do. Answer 7 questions authentically... A guided contemplation of sorts. It always works and you can't get it wrong. Once you have discovered your Purpose you'll want to start upgrading your behaviours to match and serve this best part of you - so I created the Attitude process. In essence it's a game which cultivates a relationship to life that is as uplifting as it is effective. Finally I realised that we needed to be able to set and realise goals that put our Purpose in every area of our life so I created the Means programme - a goal-setting and life-mapping process which harnesses the subconscious mind. Purpose - Attitude - Means. Completing the process is like having a personal manifesto for living. It's incredibly empowering. For many people it's the first time that they undeniably know who they are and what they want to be more than anything else in the world. They read their purpose statements and they are thrilled. They say "is that really me?" with a light in their eyes. "Is it possible that I can truly live that in my four score years and ten?", but really, they know that they can. They know because all their answers came from within, from themselves. And what could be more empowering?

They then start putting their Purpose into practice improving their relationships, becoming more successful at work, improving their health, changing the world and changing their world in equal measure. It gives them the big picture and it infuses the day to day with Purpose.... it's a life worth living.

My Purpose statement is: I serve the Purpose of generating Enlightened living? The passionate curiosity of an enlightened planet affects everything I do and has done for the last decade. It brings me adventure, meaning, love, joy, and fulfillment. Purpose is the best part of me and the best part of my life.

What does an Enlightened Planet look like? I don't really know. I'm discovering more about it every day. Thrillingly, one thing I do know though - it includes you living your Purpose.

Living your Purpose means a better life and a better world.

Take the bait, there's no hook.

Richard Jacobs March 2011

You can answer the 7 Questions and find your purpose in life at www.lifepurposehq.com.

© Richard Jacobs 2011

Author's Bio: 

My name is Richard Jacobs. I have had the privilege of coaching over 100,000 people in seminars and workshops. One of these seminars.... probably life's most important question was turned into a book - "What's Your Purpose? Seven Questions to find your answer". I developed a whole system to find and live your Purpose with follow up programs - how to create the Attitude that most makes you sing and the Means to achieve your goals while keeping a smile on your face.
I have been in the self-improvement industry for 16 years and am based in the UK.
My purpose is to generate enlightened living.
All my material is my own. It's unique, refreshing and extremely effective. It works for all age groups and crosses all cultural and religious boundaries. It's also got a sense of humour.