What to consider when defining your life purpose?


Who wouldn’t want to live a life of purpose?

It makes sense, and yet almost 90% of European employees said they don’t feel engaged in their work in 2021, according to GALLUP.

In his study of terminally ill people’s biggest regrets, Tom Gilovich of Cornell University confirmed that most of those interviewed felt they had let down his ideal self.

We tend to regret our actions in the short term. However, it is our inaction that causes us the most long-term remorse.”

How to find the purpose of life, this Holy Grail that would bring us happiness…?

And how to be sure that we are on the right track?

In most cases we have it in front of us and we do not even realize it. Our life purpose accompanied us throughout our lives without us really taking it into account.

It took me 7 years to name my life purpose… for something that I can actually do now in 40 minutes in consultation with my clients…

What I did not understand in these 7 years was the fundamental part: My deepest self, my guts, my heart… call it what you want…

The curious thing was that, applying the simple exercise that we apply from neuroscience (consulting the subconscious), I did not learn anything new… but finally I found real words, beyond mental concepts, and I only needed to write down a sentence to summarize my life purpose

The purpose of life is not a concrete goal

My concept of purpose was simply wrong. Like many people whom I often ask, I formulated my life purpose as an intermediate goal. In 2014, for example, I wanted to set up a fast food restaurant with local products and recipes.

What I didn’t ask myself enough was the “why”. I insist: every time you set a goal, ask yourself “what for” until you find an answer that resonates with your inner SELF (not with your logical reasoning). If I had investigated more in terms of “what for” and less in “why” at that time, surely I would have found myself with a purpose almost the same as the one I live today: to reconnect people with the world from their true being. And perhaps I would have realized that this franchise format was not the most direct way to live that purpose.

A continuous action.

Life is lived, and your life purpose too! There are those who will say that life happened to them and others who will comment that they chose at all times. The latter will be more likely to live a life of purpose since purpose is perpetual action. We get up early to do… not to be, and not even to be. In fact, whether we like it or not, we act on a daily basis, even when we are on “autopilot” mode. We act permanently and every moment is an opportunity to live our life purpose.

The definitions of the purpose of life multiplied. In my opinion, the purpose of life is a way of acting that is perfectly aligned with your deepest values ​​and leads you to leave the mark that you really want to leave in the world. This definition includes a starting point (values), a middle path (actions), and a goal (your impact on the world).

Your last day

Take 5 minutes alone, without interruptions. Close your eyes and imagine the last second of your life. Imagine that this second seems like an hour, along which your whole life is parading.

Imagine that you have kept your current life. What do you feel during your last second? Focus on the emotions. Do you feel sad? Frustrated? Happy? Do you feel afraid?

How are these sensations reflected by your body?

If you felt happy… I invite you to continue living as you are doing now. But, if you noticed any feeling of discomfort, you want to put yourself back in the situation (your last day) and ask yourself these 3 questions:

What would I have had to stop doing?

What would I have had to start doing?

What would I have had to keep doing?

Your next steps to living a life of purpose

  1. Write down the 3 most pertinent answers to the previous questions, and for each of them, ask yourself “what for” (forbidden to ask yourself “why”!), ad nauseam! Your life purpose is there;
  2. Once you have a clear answer of what your future self would like you to stop doing, start doing and continue doing, how about listing a series of small habits that you could start right now?
  3. Above all, do not overload yourself, I recommend that you implement only one habit, as little as possible and integrate it for at least 10 days before incorporating another habit. And, remember, take it one step at a time: only implement very small habits at a time.

From neuroscience, we actually recommend starting with habits that strengthen your brain: SLEEP – EXERCISE – EDUCATION – DIET – STRESS REDUCTION

We will talk about it in another post about habits 😉

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