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"What is your purpose?"

Part 8. 

Using your inner guidance in life's big question

By Pam Garcy

I've had clients say, "What's the purpose of life?" People are naturally born to search, seek and nurture their curiosity. This question reflects part of the search and the desire to put a life direction into words

Before we even start in a discussion of the topic, I'd like to say something that might seem a little shocking to some of you. It is this: it is not mandatory for you to define your purpose in order for you to live a happy and fulfilled life. Simply by virtue of the fact that you are here, you are human and you are alive, your purpose exists. Whether or not you choose to have a mission statement for yourself, there is ultimately no way to fully define, describe or reduce the totality of you. Therefore, don't beat yourself up if you are not someone who cares to think about your purpose or put it into words.

Also, for the purpose of this discussion, I consider your path, your purpose and your mission to be interchangeable terms.

That being said, my position on this topic, through years of wrestling with it myself, is that (assuming freedom), your "purpose" is ultimately what you define it to be and it is simultaneously not definable. So, basically, you define your purpose to the best of your ability with the knowledge that there is almost always more to the story.

One key point in what I just said is that YOU are the person who decides this. YOU are the one who directs your life, and thereby you prioritize and decide how to live a "purposeful" life. It is not I, not your mom, not your dad, not a guru, not a therapist and not a religious leader who decides upon your mission, your purpose or your path. Even if you choose to follow the dictates of authority, you are ultimately the one who makes the choice.

You can see that this entire e-zine so far has been to encourage you to walk ethically upon your own path, and to allow yourself to determine what that path will be. A key part to walking upon that path is to develop greater trust in your inner guidance. As you begin to turn inward for answers to your deeper questions, you may begin to realize the amazing clarity and power that is available to you.

Based upon what I've just told you, I'm going to offer some suggestions to help you as you begin to use your inner guidance to help you to live "on purpose."

Take a moment to relax. Take a few deep breaths.

Realize that the questions which follow are not the most serious questions in the world. If you don't have the answers today, you can almost always come back and do this another day.

These questions are simply here to help you to tap into your inner wisdom, thereby pointing you in a growth-promoting direction as you begin to put your purpose into words. So, I'd encourage you to take a relaxed and semi-playful attitude as you approach the questions which follow, and then to simply observe where it begins to lead would be a big plus to write down the answers to these questions; that way you can return to these answers later and view their full wisdom (or lack thereof).

So, here it goes--take those deep breaths and settle into your chair, sofa, recliner or play...take each question one at a time....and record those answers!

Just as successful corporations have a mission statement, let's take a moment to think about your mission. Have you ever stopped to think about that? What do you really enjoy? What helps you to feel excited about life, supercharged and ready for more? What is natural for you? What do you love? What are your gifts? What is your greatest asset? What is something that you've contributed that you feel proud about? What skills do you possess that others have found helpful? If you looked back on your life, what have you always seemed to include, even if it was unconsciously, in your days?

Also, look at what effect you like to create for yourself--because you might produce this same effect in a variety of different ways. Do you like to create the effect of joy, power, peace, connectedness or something else?

Now that you've answered those, let's take it to the next point. How could you create more of what you love in your life? What would you be doing differently if you already had more passion about your life? What would your career look like? How about your relationships? How would you treat yourself, if you were already living with your greater purpose in mind?

Once you've written the answers to the above questions, take a little time off and then come back to them.

At that point, I'd like to encourage you to write the first draft of a mission statement. Include what you want to create and how you see yourself creating it. For example, I would start with this: "I would like to create a pathway for others to find fulfillment and happiness in an environment of joy, love and connectedness. I see myself creating it through writing, speaking, teaching, listening, parenting and friendship."

You could certainly condense it further. Once you define your purpose, you can strive to live a life that is more "on purpose" and more ethically self-directed.

I'll be eager to hear how you're doing on your path--because there is only one you!

Pam Garcy, PhD is a Psychologist and Coach in Dallas, Texas. If you'd like a partner in reaching your goals and overcoming the obstacles that seem to stand in your way, please contact Dr. Pam for coaching at Dr. Garcy offers a special 10% coaching discount to all valued subscribers of Cultivate Life and to customers of Dr. Pam's best-selling books - including the bestsellers The Power of Inner Guidance: Seven Steps to Tune In and Turn On and Wake Up Moments of Inspiration 

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