Where does life purpose come from?
Is it something that falls upon us, like a grand piano that falls on characters in cartoons?
Or is life-purpose more than that?
We make a grave mistake in believing that life-purpose is something that will come to us when we meditate, or something that we can search for. Life-purpose isn’t a noun at all. In fact, life purpose is a verb. It’s what you do day in and day out. Your habits. Your routine. Your consistent effort. And that creates a momentum in defining what lights you up.
Think about it. Is it possible that Albert Einstein searched and sought a life purpose before he began his lifetime work of searching for answers to life-questions? Or did he simply do on a daily basis, the things that raised his vibrational frequencies (i.e., did what moved his heart)?
Consider that life-purpose isn’t something that you find. Instead, it’s something you shape, as you pursue the things that move you.
We’ll revisit this topic soon. In the meantime, here are five things that you must know about life purpose as found in research:
- If you focus on the wrong type of passion, you’re due for a huge failure and burn-out. Scientists have found that there is a significant difference between harmonious passion and obsessive passion. The difference? If you feel out of control, or that your mood/self-esteem depends on the passion (think: sharing unrequited love), then you’re engaged in obsessive passion. Harmonious passion, on the other hand, complements your life and highlights what you value in life. It leads to increased vitality, work performance, and positive mood.
- Knowing your life-purpose can be worse than not knowing at all. Researchers found that if you had a life-calling but didn’t fulfill your purpose, you were worse than those who never considered life purpose. You’re more likely to have worse health, more stress, and less life-satisfaction.
- Passion is key to success. Research shows that having grit (persistence, or conscientiousness) without passion falls short. Simply having grit, or pushing yourself, having self-mastery, and showing persistence, only leads to burn out and does not show for success unless we have passion.
- The more energy and effort you invest in something, the more passionate you become about your endeavor. If you feel like you haven’t been able to create your ultimate life purpose in a way that succinctly describes what you do, have faith. Begin with putting energy into different tasks and challenges. When you experience progress from engaging in a task that you freely chose to engage in, passion follows.
- No one is perfect – not even Oprah. Researchers found that people who believed passion and purpose come from engaging in work they loved (reflecting Oprah’s commencement speech, passion “will bloom when we’re doing what we love”) were less likely to do so than those people who believed that passion and purpose come from doing what matters. Purpose and passion have less to do with the work/job you’re doing, and more to do with how aligned your actions are to what you believe in.
Read more about these five here.
How does this affect the way you approach your life purpose and calling?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.