“What is my life purpose?” is one of the most common questions that I am asked.  It is one of those big questions that many seek to answer.

However, rarely do we stop and ask why we want the answer to that question.

There are any number of reasons, not least the feeling that something is missing, or that there must be more.  Sometimes this comes from a healthy want to grow, but sometimes the inquiry is a quest to compensate for something such as low self-esteem and low self-confidence.

The truth is that we are all absolutely amazing, wonderful beings…supremely talented with so much to give…and we each have a purpose.

Are you asking the right question?

However, when the question is based in low self-esteem, finding your purpose may not be the answer to the question that you are really asking, which is really “how can I feel better about myself?”.

What you may find is that actually “what is my life purpose?” is not really the question you are asking at all.  Many people are actually asking, “how can I find work that I will love that I can make a career of and get well compensated for?”.  Indeed, often the question being asked is “how can finding my life purpose solve all my problems?”.

That is a big ask and fundamentally misses the point of what a life purpose is.  Finding it may not be the answer you are actually looking for.  Here are some things to bear in mind about what a life purpose is not as you look for yours.

Your life purpose is not the answer to all your prayers or a solution to all your problems

Your life purpose is the big picture of your life, to provide direction, guidance and meaning.  Following it won’t miraculously magic all your troubles and cares away.  However, it will help you to find perspective and understand why some things are happening…and more importantly, how you might move forward.

It is not a job description

Your life purpose is not a description of what you will be doing as work and for money.  It is not a job or career path.  You may indeed find jobs or create a business where you can express your purpose but it is not a divine role profile.  One of the most disempowering beliefs we have in our society is that work and money are inextricably linked…or that effort and money are.  Your life purpose may have little to do with how you earn money.

It is not all about you

Your purpose is about your happiness AND it is about the part that you play in the world…i.e primarily what you give.  As you grow and develop, you start to see that this is about creation and creativity and what you can give rather than consumption and what you can have.

It is not a guarantee of happiness

When you follow your purpose, you are going to feel more fulfilled and life will make more sense, which will undoubtedly make you happier.  However, it is not like you will never have problems again, and your purpose will challenge you to cause you to grow…so that you can fulfil your purpose more and more.

It is not an excuse

It is no excuse to ignore responsibility, for acting irresponsibly or for hurting others, or yourself in the name of finding your purpose

It is not exact

It is not like you get a perfectly defined map and compass of your direction and purpose in life.  You discern your purpose through your actions, your intuition and feelings which means it is not an exact science.  Also, as you grow and peel back the layers, it may take on a very different look.

It is not all pre-destined

Not every part of your life is mapped out so that you have no choice.  In the grand scheme of things, nothing trumps free will.  Therefore, if you choose not to uncover your purpose, nothing will happen other than what you make happen.  Rather, your purpose is like a blueprint or what James Hillman describes in The Soul’s Code as the acorn theory i.e. you have all the potential within you to grow into a mighty oak, but your growth is conditional upon the circumstances and life you live and the choices you make.

[reminder]Are you looking for your life purpose? Do any of the above resonate for you?[/reminder]