I do an exercise with many of my clients where we identify a motivating force behind their lives- a mission statement just for them. For many people, they read the finished product and feel like, yes, that's me and that's what I'm doing here on earth- that's my purpose. For others, the mission isn't all-encompassing- it describes one aspect of what they're doing on Earth, but not the whole mission. It would be a little odd, for example, to include your role as a parent on your Linkedin profile.
But many people have a mission to parent well. It's not less important than doing their job well, or being a good spouse or friend. On any given day we are living out multiple purposes.
One of the ways to determine what a calling or mission might be for you is to think about what comes naturally to you that you also enjoy. Do you find yourself mentoring others whether you're at home, work, church or a sports team? Do you effortlessly break down difficult concepts that others are struggling to communicate? Are you always the one planning vacations, meetings, outfits, oil changes and anything else because you love to plan and organize?
Looking for patterns in how you operate life is one way to see what gifts you came here to share. Many times that purpose won't seem to correlate to your job. For example, a colleague of mine had a client who felt his purpose involved sharing love and wisdom with others. His career was in IT, so he had a hard time seeing how he could possibly be living his purpose. He eventually realized that he led his team with compassion and wisdom, which fulfilled part of his life purpose. He just hadn't recognized his style of leadership as sharing love and compassion because of the IT environment.
For many people, how you live and work is much more important than what you're technically doing. The “what” could be law, education, fitness, construction, e-commerce... you name it. If your work allows you to act in accordance with who you feel you really are, and allows you to share your many gifts, you could be happy no matter what your title is.
So what are some things that come naturally to you? Do you feel that any of those things might be what you're here to share? All of us have different skills and gifts that complement each other. When those around us are fully living out those skills it's a huge gift to those who don't have them. I am so grateful to those who love work that involves analysis and math around tax time! As banal or unimportant as your talents may seem, by doing them you are making a difference. Maybe it's not how you thought it would look-- but you may already be living on purpose.
Life Purpose and Career Coach
Career Clarity Now