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Discovering Life Purpose: 4 Meaningful Questions for Self-Reflection

Have you ever had a feeling that something was off, but you didn't know what, or how to fix it? Or perhaps, you have some inkling as to what you should be doing next, but fear and self-doubt creep in? Yup, I've been there too.


In the end, we all seek to better understand ourselves and to live a meaningful life. When our day-to-day doesn't feel right, we can experience increased anxiety, stress and depression. I've been there too. This study shows a clear correlation between having a greater purpose in life and lower levels of depression and anxiety.


Getting the answers to our deepest longing for purpose can seem like a daunting task. This journey requires introspection and a willingness to dig deep into our psyche, personal experiences, values, and aspirations. It requires courage. And I know that if you're reading this, you my friend, are one of the courageous ones.


To help you on your inner travels, I offer below four meaningful (and painless!) questions for self-reflection that can guide you in finding out just what your purpose is.



I encourage you to write the questions down in a journal first, leaving plenty of space between each for you to answer. The best way to do this exercise is with an open heart and a quiet mind: meaning that you want the answers to come from your heart (your Higher-Self, your Intuitive Guidance) rather than your critical/rational mind. The less you think about the answer, and the more you feel into it, the better. If you need help to get into this state of mind, download my Heart-Centered Meditation here, and proceed with the questions after you finish the meditation. Yoga or another somatic practice can help too (I love Yoga Download for its convenience, affordability and extensive array of classes, Check out their membership offerings here (this is an affiliate link that will direct you to yogadownload.com)).


What is your Life's Purpose?


Most people, when asked, will say that their life's purpose is their career. The job they decide to have is directly correlated to their purpose. For example, a doctor might say that their purpose in life is to heal, an artist might say that their purpose is to create beauty and a teacher might say that their purpose is to shepherd future generations forward.


But a curious thing happens when others mention finding meaning and fulfillment in things that are not related to a money-making endeavor. I'm thinking of a father who says that his children give him meaning and he found his purpose through being with them. Or a volunteer who finds purpose and meaning in preparing meals for elders with mobility challenges.


You see, in truth, there is no straight way to purpose and meaning. In fact, purpose can be anything that makes you feel alive and gives you a sense of overall direction, It's when you feel like this life matters, and through it all, there is meaning and hope.


So I encourage you to play with this idea of purpose first and foremost. If you feel a void within, you probably aren't experiencing a lot of things that feel fulfilling, joyful and meaningful in your daily life. And I know too well how that will suck the soul right out of you!

So, if you are ready now, let's explore the 4 questions that will bring you closer to your purpose:


1. What Brings Me Joy and Fulfillment?


Ok, this seems too easy, right? Remember, purpose doesn't have to mean your job. It can be anything, as basic as watching a sunset or as intricate as providing fresh water to remote villages in India. To uncover what truly brings you joy, I encourage you to reflect on the moments when you've felt most alive and content. These can be activities, hobbies, or experiences that deeply resonate with you, and that make you feel alive and at peace.


Additional Questions:

  • When do I feel most energized and engaged?

  • What activities make me lose track of time?

  • Which hobbies or tasks do I look forward to doing, and why?


The answers can illuminate the passions and interests that align with your sense of purpose. Whether it's creating art, solving complex math problems, or simply being in nature, identifying these sources of joy is a vital step toward understanding your life's calling.


2. What Are My Core Values and Beliefs?


Listing your values seems to be everywhere when you try to find your purpose through Google, and you may want to overlook this question...but don't. When I was prompted to list my values at the beginning of my journey, I didn't even know what those were and had to look up a list...I found myself to be a little pathetic at that point!


But really, you know them already. These are the things you base all your decisions on (whether consciously or unconsciously!). The trick is obviously to align with our real values, and not the ones prescribed by our environment. To do so, focus on your emotions and the thoughts and images that come along with your emotions; this will give you clues about your true values.


Consciously identifying your core values and beliefs helps ensure that your life's path is in harmony with what matters most to you, not what other people — even the well-intentioned ones — want for you.


Additional Questions:

  • What principles do I stand for?

  • Which values do I find non-negotiable?

  • How do my beliefs influence my view of success and fulfillment?


Understanding your core values—such as freedom, community, leadership, and compassion —can help align your actions with your purpose. This alignment not only brings a sense of peace but also empowers you to make decisions that reflect your true self.


Psss: If you need a list, here's one by internationally acclaimed writer and speaker, Brene Brown.


3. How Can I Make a Positive Impact on Others and the World?


In her book The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters, Emily Esfahani Smith divides the quest for meaning into four pillars: belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence. She shares stories of individuals who found meaning in being of service to others. This gave them purpose and a sense of fulfillment. So perhaps, the potential to contribute to the well-being of others and/or the planet is a profound aspect of discovering your purpose, too. This question encourages you to look beyond yourself and consider the broader impact of your actions.


Additional Questions:

  • In what ways can I use my skills and passions to serve others?

  • What causes am I passionate about, and how can I contribute?

  • How can I use my experiences to make a difference in the world?


Whether it's through your day job, volunteer work, or everyday actions, finding ways to contribute to the greater good can provide a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment.


4. What Challenges Have I Overcome and What Lessons Have I Learned?


Life's challenges and obstacles are not just inconveniences and hurdles to overcome; they are opportunities for growth and learning. Reflecting on these experiences can offer insights into our resilience, strengths, and long term goals. Often, obstacles are our Soul's way of redirecting us in the right direction and it's our job to remain open to its guidance.


Additional Questions:

  • What significant challenges have I faced, and how have I grown from them?

  • What lessons have these experiences taught me?

  • What positive outcome came out of an obstacle?


Understanding the lessons from your struggles and how you've used them to become a stronger, more empathetic person can reveal meaningful paths for your life. Sharing your experiences could also inspire and uplift others facing similar challenges.


Conclusion


For the time being, your dharma or purpose in life is to explore the depths of your being and find what your abilities and gifts are. Don’t force the issue or get stressed out about it. Ask yourself what you love to do, and what are you good at. Each day write down in a journal whatever answers come to you. But more important, live the questions, and let the experiences of your days and weeks show you what your dharma is. This practice will help you discover that living your purpose isn’t so much about finding a label or job description as much as it is about finding a balanced and enjoyable way of being yourself and making a meaningful contribution in others’ lives.  —Deepak Chopra

Discovering your life's purpose is a deeply personal and ongoing journey. It requires self-reflection, honesty, and the courage to embrace your true self. By contemplating what brings you joy, understanding your core values, seeking ways to make a positive impact, and learning from your challenges, you can uncover a purpose that not only fulfills you and improves your health, but also contributes to the greater good.


Remember, your life purpose doesn't have to be a grandiose mission; it's about finding meaning and satisfaction in the ways you choose to live and give.


If you want to explore your life's purpose more seriously and be compassionately guided along the way, I offer one-on-one intuitive coaching. My clients have had phenomenal insights about what guides their decisions, the limiting beliefs that kept them stuck for years and where they want to go next. Join them if you are ready to find more meaning, fulfillment, and joy in your life.


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