Decide upon your major definite purpose in life and then organize all your activities around it.
One of America’s leading authorities on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness
(from The Success Principles by Jack Canfield)
This blog post shares helpful information on Success Principle 2 – Be Clear Why You’re Here, from The Success Principles, one my favorite books by Jack Canfield. I believe you have a purpose in life – a unique gift that you’re supposed to share with others. It’s surprising how many people haven’t identified their purpose, so they’re not living it. Successful people identify their purpose and they’re living it. If you haven’t yet identified your purpose, it’s not too late!
Have you known since you were little what you were “put on this earth to do?”
If you knew at an early age what you were put on this earth to do, consider yourself lucky! When I was very little, I remember thinking I was put on this earth to be a neonatal nurse and help preemie babies….until I realized blood makes me incredibly SQUEAMISH!
Taking the time to consciously identify your purpose will help you stay on track on your success journey.
- Do you love what you do?
- Are you good at what you do?
- Are you accomplishing what you’ve identified as valuable and important?
A YES answer to these questions means you’re in alignment with your true life purpose, and when you’re in alignment, great things happen – you attract the people, resources and opportunities that help you become successful. It’s a simple concept, but once you’ve identified your life purpose, ensure your actions are aligned with it. Eliminate activities NOT aligned with your purpose.
Think of your life purpose as a compass guiding you towards fulfillment and success. This is often referred to as your “WHY.” Simon Sinek wrote a great book I highly recommend called Start with Why. I have friends who went into the military after school or into the family business because of parental expectations – and this was NOT what they were put on this earth to do. They’re now making conscious decisions as they begin their “second act.”
Remember, it’s not too late to identify your true life purpose.
What brings you JOY? What makes your heart sing?
You have an inner guidance system that lets you know you’re in alignment with your true purpose – and it’s directly related to whether or not you’re experiencing joy. To me, experiencing joy also feels as though my heart is singing! I hope you’ve felt it, too.
If you don’t already have one, you should draft a Life Purpose Statement
There are lots of ways to arrive at your life purpose statement – quiet reflection or meditation where you ask yourself “what is my unique purpose,” completing The Life Purpose Exercise (attributed to Arnold M. Patent) in The Success Principles book and workbook, completing the Joy Review exercise or listening to the guided meditation resource in The Success Principles Workbook. Another resource is The Passion Test, which you can access via the book with the same name or online at thepassiontest.com. This emphasizes the idea that your passions and purpose should be closely aligned. I truly believe this! Ideally, your life purpose statement should be one sentence that you can memorize easily, so you can repeat it often and share it with others.
My life purpose statement:
“My life purpose is to use my passion and enthusiasm to inspire and empower others to live authentically to their highest potential.”
As a Canfield Certified Trainer of The Success Principles, I’m able to guide clients through the exercises mentioned, so please reach out to me! For more information on individual coaching visit my Coaching page.
Just know that you can “test drive” your purpose statement and see if it resonates with you over time. It doesn’t have to be perfect straight out of the gate. You can write it and rewrite it until it feels right.
Look beyond your job or career for alignment with your life purpose
Truth be told, I’ve spent the majority of my life (aka “first act”) NOT aligned with my life purpose…and I didn’t even write my life purpose statement until I attended Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to Success event in August 2019. I had ideas floating around in my head, but hadn’t ever put pen to paper. I challenge you to carve out time and come up with a single sentence life purpose statement. It’ll help you figure out what’s truly important to you and keep you from getting side tracked or even STUCK on your success journey.
Let’s say you’re in an unfulfilling job or relationship, or you feel limited by your financial situation. Remember Success Principle 1 – Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life. Even if you can’t make a drastic change in your current situation (such as quitting your job), brainstorm ideas – maybe you can start a “side hustle” or begin a hobby that is aligned with your life purpose. Consider mentoring, volunteering or other acts of service aligned with your purpose. Immediate changes you make will inspire you to look farther ahead into the future and PLAN. Do you see a career change? Maybe you want to start your own business or write a book to help you better align with your life purpose!
I hope you agree that when you’re spending time aligned with your purpose, you’re happier. I know I am. What’s even better is when you’re able to financially support yourself doing what you love – aligned with your life purpose. I am working on this as we speak!
A few additional thoughts and suggestions
A suggestion – having a purpose that is inclusive or broader in scope allows you to “live” your purpose with anyone, anywhere, anytime, while doing just about anything.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations that the earth will move once you’ve identified your life purpose. Many people experience satisfaction (NOT FIREWORKS) having arrived at their life purpose.
Unable to land firmly on your life purpose? No stress! Keep coming back to what’s truly important to you. After completing one or more of the exercises, use the life purpose statement you wrote down and revise it over time.
Once you’ve decided on your life purpose, use it for guidance. Write it down, post it in several places and review it regularly – try for morning and evening. The next step is to regularly ASK yourself – Am I fully living my life purpose each and every day? If not, what can you do to make this a daily habit? Then, DO IT!
Identifying your life purpose will give you a sense of satisfaction, as well as a clear direction. You’ll move forward in life with clarity as you align your actions with your life purpose and feel the joy and fulfillment that results from that alignment.
If you don’t already have a life purpose statement, I challenge you to draft one TODAY! If you already have a life purpose statement, please SHARE in the comments. I’ve included a few more Life Purpose Statements to get your creative juices flowing:
Jack Canfield’s life purpose statement:
“My life purpose is to inspire and empower people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy, in harmony with the highest good of all concerned.”
Fellow Canfield Certified Trainer Jason Adams’ life purpose statement:
“My purpose is using my patience and support to inspire and empower others to live their best life blessed with an abundance of love and happiness.”
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn:
“My purpose is to expand the world’s compassion and connection.”