Take yourself seriously, but not too…
3 serious & not so serious ways to find your life purpose
“What is it that you want to do when you grow up?”
Typical question children are asked. Not because these grown-ups are really interested but because they think it is cute when a 4 year old answers: “astronaut” or “doctor” or “teacher”. Beautiful dreams.
Do you remember what you answered as a kid?
Maybe you do, maybe not…
And somewhere, along the way, did you kind of forget these dreams.
Have you become what you wanted to be? Question is whether that is a terrible thing. Maybe you are very happy you have not become an astronaut?! Lousy job, if you ask me 🙂
Who are you anyway? And what is it that you do? And why? …
These are important and serious questions. Important because they give you direction.
So take this and yourself serious.
However, one of my favorite mottos is: “don’t take yourself too seriously”. So don’t forget to live life with a smile on your face and a bucket full of humor.
And why do you do the things you do?
BAM! The big why. The big vision. Your life purpose.
On the one hand it is an important question that pups up every five minutes. For example on Amazon you’ll find 241,659 results when you look for books on the topic life purpose.
On the other hand it is a difficult question to answer. Luckily there are these 241.000 plus books we can read in order to find the answer 🙂
Or keep on reading this article. I’ll give you 3 serious and less serious ways to find your life purpose.
It seems that we easily fall into the flower power, new age trap when we talk about life purpose. Which might be ok, but lots of people resent it or don’t know what to do with these theoretical of spiritual definitions.
And that’s a shame, because it really is important to find your life purpose, or at least I believe so.
Now, don’t worry.
Finding your why or life purpose doesn’t have to be a spiritual concept. It’s not like we’ve all been put on this planet to achieve a higher purpose that we now need to find.
The thing is: we are here for a certain period. And during that time we do important things that give us meaning. And we perform these unimportant tasks – time wasters.
So basically, you need to find the answer to: “what do I want to do with my time that is important?”
What is my passion? What is it that I’m pretty good at?
And how do you find out?
Herewith 3 ideas:
This one is from a hilarious article by Mark Manson. “7 strange questions that help you find your life purpose”. 7 ridiculous questions.
I’ll pick one, you can find the rest in his article.
“What makes you forget to eat and poop?”
We all have these moments we are so focused on something we forget time and we forget where we are. We are in the “flow” cfr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Think back to these moments you felt you were in flow. What do you make of that? Don’t just look at the tasks you performed, but look at it on a cognitive level.
One of my friends is crazy about writing her blog posts. Not only because of the writing, but because she has a message to share with her potential clients. She wants them to live a fulfilled live.
This good well be her life purpose.
I’m a fan of the TED Talks. One of these talks that touched me was the one from Candy Chang who placed a mega huge chalk board in her home town (New Orleans) with the message:
“Before I die I want to…”
The reactions were funny, humorous, touching.
What would you answer?
Imagine you only had 1 year left to live. What would you do and how do you want to be remembered by? How do you want people to talk about you? What do you want them to say about you? What is your legacy?
When I started my first company, I jokingly said: “I don’t want to following on my gravestone: She who never dared to leave Securex (Securex is the company I worked for back then. A comfortable job and environment. But I felt a bit like being in a golden cage. And I also felt I wanted to do something different with my life )
Again, I refer to a Ted Talk from Adam Leipzig, where he tells us how to find your life purpose in 5 minutes.
He says you should answer 5 questions:
- Who are you? (your name)
- What do you do? Or better, what is it you are so good at that you can teach it to others?
- Who are you doing this for?
- What do they want or need?
- And how can you change their lives thanks to your offer?
Notice there are only 2 questions about you.
It is proven that successful people focus on the people they serve and not on themselves. On making other people happy.
Let’s have a look at my answers to these 5 questions:
- I am Greet Bunnens
- And I enthuse and inspire
- Entrepreneurs & intrapreneurs
- To grow with their business or in their career
- To never be small again
Great elevator pitch, isn’t it?!
Adam Leipzig, advices to focus on answer number 5 (to never be small again) when people ask you what you do at networking events. You can be sure that people will ask “how do you do that?”. How wonderful is it that I can share my mission, say something about Personal Branding, share your dream.
How great is that?!
Here you go.
Up to you now.
Let us know what your life purpose is.
By the way, this may evolve. And it may take some time to find it.
My life purpose as a child, was to become a baker.
Mmmm. I rest my case…