Priming the Passion Pump
By Brad Swift
Clarifying your life purpose is a team effort between the rational mind and the intuitive mind. The following exercise is an effective way to combine these two powerful resources to help you move forward along the pathway of a "life on purpose."
Engaging in the following questions utilizes your memory and your rational nature to prime the pump, making it easier to access the intuitive or creative nature. By the end of this exercise you will have a "rough draft" of a purpose statement. As you go about your daily activity, continue to refine and shape this statement. A life purpose is "alive." It grows and evolves the longer you care and nurture it.
As you ask yourself these questions, write down your responses in a journal, adding whatever comes to you as you are writing. Asking other people who know and support you what they see about you in regards to these questions will add "grist to the meal." Add whatever new insights that comes from these conversations to your journal so you will have a rich body of information to draw upon.
- What do you love to do? Look at times in your life when you were most alive, excited, in love with life. What were you doing during those moments? Who were you with? Ask people who know you when they've noticed you most alive and enthusiastic.
- What kind of people do you love to be with? Answer this both specifically (as in the specific people you love to be with) and in general (as in the types of people you enjoy). What are some of the things you could do in your life that would give you the opportunity to spend more time with these people?
- If money, time, energy, and talent were unlimited, what would you do with your life and who would you be? (If it's difficult to imagine any of these being unlimited, make a note of this. Then, let go of that concern and continue the exercise.)
- Who are some people that you greatly admire? These may be celebrities, people from history, family members or friends... What is it about these people that you admire? Is it a way of being, or a set of values, or what they are up to in life? Be as specific as you can?
- What values are most important to you? It's important to distinguish between the values that you think you should feel are important, and the ones you choose of your own free will.
- The next to the last step is to go back through this material and begin to look for the common thread or central theme that runs throughout. There is a common thread or central theme and your job is to find it, no matter how well it's disguised. Do not wonder if there is a common thread and then check to see if its true or not. There is one and your job is to find it. In fact, there may be two or three. If so, find all of them.
One way to do this is to go through your notes with different color markers and circle repetitive words, phrases, or ideas. You may find there's several different times you wrote about being outdoors, and other times you wrote about nature. They are probably part of the same thread, but you'll have to judge that for yourself. Remember, if you aren't having fun, you're going down the wrong path.
You are almost ready to create your purpose statement. There's just one more thing to keep in mind before doing so. It's to remember that whatever you create today can be changed, or erased and rewritten. In other words, YOU AREN'T STUCK WITH ANY LIFE PURPOSE. This is very important. All you're doing right now is creating a rough draft to try out for a couple of weeks.
- Once you've worked out the rational mind, it time to call in its tag-team member, your intuition. Pick your favorite way to access your intuitive powers. It may be meditating, taking a long walk, run or drive, or setting your intention to dream your life purpose. Read through your journaled material then access your intuition.
- After the above step, if you are still uncertain what your purpose statement is, clarify it with some free writing. As soon as you've finished step 7, complete each of the follow statements at least 5-6 times:
My life purpose is...
The purpose for which I'm here on the planet is...
Who I am as a life purpose is...
The vision I hold for the world is...
- Write down in a brief statement or paragraph what you say today your life purpose is. Remember, this is your rough draft from which you will be working. It's impossible at this point to get it wrong because it's only the start. Write down something and see if you can keep it to no more than 3 sentences.
Dr. W. Bradford Swift is Founder of the Life On Purpose Institute, and author of Life On Purpose: 6 Passages to an Inspired Life. The Institute's vision is: a world on purpose, with people living lives of purposeful, passionate and playful service, of mindful abundance balanced with simplicity, and spiritual serenity.
The Institute's Life On Purpose Home Study Course is a proven, systematic, spiritually based and practical process that helps you clarify your life purpose. Furthermore, this home study course provides the tools for you to design your life to be a true and authentic reflection of that purpose. So then you can get on with the joy of living according to your life purpose! This is our top recommendation for individuals wanting to live a truly fulfilled life.