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Where is our purpose and how do we find it?

Organisations often have mission statements declaring their reason for existing, what they stand for and the overall goals that guide their strategies and actions.

Sounds like something we could all do with, right?

What is your mission?

Many clients come to coaching wanting to figure out their purpose in life, what they should be doing.

My first question is, according to whom? The universe? God? The grand scheme of things? It opens up some existential conundrums. Is there a plan? A meaning to life? What is it? Some people have very defined views of this, others less so. Many are too busy living daily life to have thought about it.

We are all individuals, right down to our fingertips, so perhaps there is an individual reason for each of us. Successful people often say that finding their life purpose and living it was fundamental to their success. It's no wonder so many others are searching for theirs. There is a growing niche in the self-help field aimed at “purpose” seekers claiming to help find their raison d'être.

Many embark on that journey looking to be given a definitive answer. It's alluring, the prospect of being told our purpose in life. How nice to remove the guesswork, the fear of getting it wrong or missing out, to finally end the search.

But surely our purpose has to come from within us, be of our choosing and for reasons we understand.

There are places we commonly look for our purpose. In our skills and talents, is what we are good at “our purpose”? Or reason enough to make it so?

Or is our purpose what we do in life? I love being a coach, helping people shift perspectives, become unstuck and reconnect with their joy. That gives me great pleasure. I also love being a writer, and performing and, when I can, making people laugh. Is one of these my purpose? If so, is spending time on the others distracting from my purpose?

When I was 14 I took a psychometric test. Top of the resulting suggested careers was “town and country planner”. Have I been missing out on my true purpose all along? This line of questioning is anxiety inducing.

Living our purpose is more than the jobs or activities we do. We can take our purpose into our work and create work around our purpose, but vice versa is not the answer.

So where is our illustrious purpose hiding and how do we find it?

The best answer I've heard comes from one of my favourite authors, Robert Holden: “Reflect on who you are and how you would like to show up in the world. You are your purpose. You are here to be all that you are, to give the world the gift of your presence. Being who you are will naturally translate into doing what you are here to do.”

Ah, it's been there all along. Let's stop frantically searching and start living our purpose — making it our mission to be more of who we truly are.

Julia Pitt is a trained success coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on 705-7488, www.juliapittcoaching.com

Which way now? on a mission to find purpose (Photograph supplied)

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Published August 10, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 09, 2016 at 7:21 pm)

Where is our purpose and how do we find it?

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