Do you feel trapped in unfulfilling work, without any clarity about what would bring greater meaning?
One of the best places to start is with clues from the past, with the following inquiry:
1. When in your life did you feel the most fulfilled? We’re looking for something that’s personal to you, without including common fulfilling events like finding a life partner or starting a family. What activities were you doing when you felt the most fulfilled? Write them down.
2. When in your life did you feel that your life had the most meaning? What activities were you doing then? Write them down.
3. When in your life did you feel the most aligned and in the flow? Write down a list of these activities.
4. When in your life did you feel the most motivated? Identify what you were doing in those times and write them down.
5. What do you consider to be your greatest gifts?
6. If you were totally funded and knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
The answers to these questions will give you insights into your purpose. In particular, look for any recurring themes in your answers.
This is because, when you are on purpose, you will experience the greatest joy, fulfillment, meaning and motivation. When you are on purpose you will be using your greatest gifts.
Next, look for the theme or themes that give you the strongest emotional impact, including a mixture of excitement and fear. From them, write a paragraph about your purpose from what you learned.
The next step is to explore options that would express your purpose through your work. Have fun starting first from a blue-sky perspective, where no possibility is tossed out, no matter how impractical it seems. Let your brainstorming reach far and wide.
For example, if bridging a gap between separate things lights you up, you would have many options.
You could be a consultant who focuses on mergers, a cross-discipline scientist or educator, a nursing home coordinator who connects people together, a leader who aligns teams into a single direction, a writer who pulls many ideas into a unified story, and more.
The possibilities are nearly endless when you let your imagination roam wide!