When you’re learning how to design your life…
You hope for a better future.
You believe in yourself and in the power of your thoughts.
Your actions are inspired by your thoughts.
You’re living a happier, more positive life.
If you can’t answer that question, the happier, more positive life you’re creating is likely unstable.
If you can’t identify your purpose, you won’t be able to get where you’re trying to go.
Why purpose matters
Purpose isn’t something that’s just “nice to have.” Rather, it’s a vital part of discovering real and lasting happiness.
Having a purpose…
…helps you commit to positive change for yourself and others. Purpose gives you something to commit to and fight for. Also, because a purpose is bigger than you, it causes you to look outside yourself and see how your actions affect the world around you.
…gives you something to hold on to when things get hard. When the going gets tough, the tough need a purpose. Knowing your “why” will help you stay the course, even when challenges and setbacks come your way, as they’re bound to do.
…allows you to feel fulfilled. Feeling useless is discouraging. Feeling like you have something to work toward is empowering and fulfilling.
…helps you expand your vision. When you have purpose, you’re looking outward. You become more aware of what the world needs from you.
…is linked to better health and wellbeing in older adults. Research has linked having a greater sense of purpose to a reduced risk of death and a lowered likelihood to develop Alzheimer’s.
Purpose has both internal and external benefits that can inspire your thoughts and motivate your actions.
The best intentions
Purpose is all about intentions. What are you trying to make happen? What result are you shooting for?
Intention changes how your words and actions are perceived by the world. You put on a ski mask; are you hitting the slopes, or robbing a bank? You walk out of an important meeting before it’s over; are you being rude, or did you just receive word that a loved one has been in an accident?
Intent doesn’t change the action, but it changes the way the action affects you and those around you.
In everyday life, intention can take you where to want to go. That said, it can also leave you at a standstill, or even push you back.
It’s not always easy to examine your intentions truthfully. Do you take an extra long lunch break because it’s your best opportunity to build relationships with your coworkers, or because you’re feeling burned out? Do you stay up late every night because you get stuck binging a show, or because that’s when your most creative thinking happens?
Good intentions will support a higher purpose—one that lifts you up and propels you forward as you move toward the life you really want. When you are coming from a place of elevated purpose in your thoughts and actions, you will arrive at your desired destination.
When we notice that we are deliberately choosing words and actions that are intended to help us accomplish our purpose, we discover power and momentum that wasn’t there before.
Purpose and the Egg
Purpose is a vital stage in the Egg framework. It not only provides support for the stages that come before it (hope, belief, and action), but it also helps you move forward, toward real meaning and a feeling of being at peace with yourself.
One of the exciting things about purpose is that it helps you discover how your own thoughts and actions can align with a greater good. You see that doing something that matters helps you grow. You have a stronger desire to harness the power of your thoughts to promote positivity in your own life and in the lives of others.
Purpose is the second to last stage of the Egg framework; it’s the thing that must be mastered if you are going to break out of your shell and exist in a place of meaning.
Find your purpose
“Why am I here?”
It’s a powerful question, one that nearly everyone asks themselves at some point in life. But how do you go about answering it?
Here are some tips we have for when you’re trying to discover your purpose:
- Let go of “should.” This isn’t about what your purpose “should” be; or what others “should” be doing, it’s about what it is and how we dance with what is right now.
- Recognize your contribution. What do you give to the world? Are you a parent, an entrepreneur, a teacher, a public service worker? Are you a master at random acts of kindness? Do you fight for causes that are important to you? Recognizing your contribution and innate passion can point you to your purpose.
- Examine your actions. Your actions likely already reflect a purpose of some kind. Look at what you repeatedly do, and ask yourself, “Why?”
- Practice gratitude. Because purpose connects you to the rest of the world, being grateful for the things around you will help you uncover a purpose that is genuine and that helps you express that gratitude, which will leave you feeling fulfilled.
Purpose brings awareness. It allows you to see the impact of your actions, and subsequently, your thoughts. It encourages you to look outward, focusing on what you can do to discover a happier you and create a happier life.
That’s the power of why.
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