4 Steps to finding Purpose and Meaning

Are you looking for more meaning in this one big beautiful life of yours?   Are you certain that you’re supposed to be doing something that makes a difference in this world but you’re not quite sure what?  I’ve been there and if you read this blog regularly I’d bet those are questions that you often ponder too.  If you’re anything like me, you know you can’t keep doing the same thing you’ve been doing day in and day out not seeing the direct impact of your work.  Or do any work without knowing that you're making a difference for someone.  

It’s taken me 11 long years of searching, trying to figure out what the right thing for me actually was.  I can honestly tell you that I’ve found it.  Before this year I’d ask myself questions like

* Who are you underneath all of the labels and layers?
* What are you truly passionate about?
* Does your passion and work need to be the same thing?
* 10 years from now what would you be sad that you hadn’t accomplished?

The 11 years I’ve just spent in corporate America gave me a lot of time to think, but I wish I could have leapt sooner.  I’m hoping that by sharing my process maybe it will help you cut down the learning curve.  Here are 4 things I did to help bring me to where I am today.  It’s my deep hope that sharing these steps will help your journey as well.    

1) Get to know yourself: On a deep level I knew if I wanted to make changes in my life I would have to enter into a loving relationship with myself. If you want to make big changes you will need to do the same thing too.  For me I had to really examine who I was and what I wanted from life.  There’s no short cut on this step, it might take a lot of time and that’s ok, because the time you put in with this step will impact you for the rest of your life.  Here are the steps I took to get to know myself on a deep and profound level

*Daily writing: I used two books as workbooks "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron and "The Desire Map" by Danielle Laporte.   Morning pages from “the artist’s way” changed my life.  I write every day to stay in touch with my conscious thoughts and my unconscious thoughts.  This has helped me get clear on who I am, and what I want to be doing.  The desire map helped me really nail down how I wanted to feel in life. These books may or may not resonate with you, but they've helped me grow and discover important things about myself.  If these books don't work for you find a book that does help you tackle life's big questions.  
*Find a spiritual practice: For me this was yoga.  My 200 and 300 yoga teacher certifications taught me so much about my connection to faith and meaning.  Yoga has taught me to be a better person off the mat.  Yoga helped me get to know myself on a deep and profound level. If it’s not yoga find something that will help you grow spiritually. 
*Meditation: my meditation practice has helped me to slow everything way down.  By slowing down I could examine what was working and what wasn’t working in my life.  I’m sure prayer would work similarly.  If you bring a mindfulness practice into your life, you have no choice but to make positive changes. 

2) Get clear on your purpose: I knew my purpose wasn’t working at a job that I never got to see the direct results of my work.  By doing the work in step one I came to realize that I was passionate about personal growth, personal development and health and wellness.  I also realized that I had to merge my passion and my work.  I wouldn’t be successful until they were one in the same.  Now that I’m clear on my purpose, I can’t help but move forward to make it happen.  Things that I did to get clear on my purpose
- Do the work in step 1
-Spend time thinking about and writing out your 5 core values
-Ask yourself these questions What are am I truly passionate about?  Does my passion and work need to be the same thing? 10 years from now what would I be sad that I hadn’t accomplished?

3) Invest in resources for growth:  I’ve spent thousands of dollars in trainings, workshops, retreats and with coaches. In fact I might end up with more than one coach by the time this year is over.  Why?  Because they have knowledge and experience that I don’t have.  They can help me cut the learning curve and save me time and money.   Invest in a coach, invest in a workshops and retreats with thought leaders that resonate with you.  It always seems like a large financial investment up front and it is but the coaching, retreats and workshops that I’ve done have all paid dividends for years following the experience.   

4) Do the work:  All of those steps are great, but you must actually do them.  Invest in them, make them a priority in your life.  Then when it’s clear what you should be doing you must take action to make it happen.  Get out of your own way and make the choices that will take you in the direction you want to go. 

If you want to do the work and you need a little help getting to where you want to be, I'd love to work with you.   You can find information on my coaching process here.  I've also created a few writing prompts to help you think about your dreams and goals and work to move in the right direction.  You can access that process by signing up for my newsletter below.