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Life Purpose – 10-step Framework to Discover Your True Purpose

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Want to have more meaning in everyday life? Want to find your life purpose? Here’s a 10-step framework to discover your true purpose and live with intention.

Finding your true life purpose is a challenging but rewarding task. A life purpose is like the massive life goal, your life’s mission. It’s about what you are here to do. It’s something that you are passionate about pursuing, it’s the reason you wake up in the morning, and it motivates every aspect of your life.

Your life purpose can be anything.

It can be to live with more joy, to have a dream job, to work as a life coach helping others pursue their goals, to live in harmony and have inner peace, to feel fulfilled while making a positive impact on the world, have a loving family you love spending time with, to be a role model – to name a few ideas.

And it’s not something you discover one day, and then you’re done. Your purpose can change and develop your whole life. And the primary goal of finding your life purpose is to then live it.

In this article, you can find 10 simple tips that will help you find your life purpose.

But first, let’s look a bit deeper into what your purpose in life could be and why knowing your life’s purpose is essential.

How to find your life purpose - 10 step framework to discover your true purpose

How do you know what your purpose in life is?

It’s challenging to know what life purpose you are meant for. But life usually offers some sort of sign if we pay attention. You might find your life purpose as a parent, spouse, or as a son or daughter. Or perhaps it will be through volunteering, being an entrepreneur, or a teacher.

Those are just some general categories of life purposes but don’t let those shy you away from discovery!

Ask yourself:

  • How out-of-the-ordinary is your life?
  • What have you said yes to that no one else in your life can say yes to?
  • Did that thing excite you?
  • Did it make you happy?

The world needs people like you who realize that there is only this moment and these tasks, so make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. You never know where life might take you if you are willing to be open and try something new.

Live life by your own standards, not by others. Cherish meaningful relationships. Do things that make you happy, even when it makes no sense to others.

You don’t have to explain yourself or justify your life purpose but just know in your heart what makes you tick and how you are choosing to spend your life.

RELATED POST: 21 Signs You’re Already Living a Purposeful Life

Why is life purpose important?

What are the benefits of knowing your purpose in life? Why should you live with purpose?

It might help to answer this question instead, “Why live without one?”

Living without true purpose can tend toward boredom and dissatisfaction when on the other hand, life with purpose can mean growth, fulfillment, and happiness. It can give you direction and guide you to stay on the “right path.” It can help you with your self-worth and give you a stronger sense of belonging. Overall it can help you live the best life you can possibly live.

Your true purpose isn’t just something you do on your own time, either; it is practiced every day in your life and impacts every aspect of it, from how you feel to your relationships.

There are two main ways life purpose affects life:

  1. life purpose can help give life meaning; motivation to move forward, and
  2. life purpose can bring joy and fulfillment.

And now that we got those things covered let’s move on to the 10-step framework that can help you find your life’s purpose.

How to find your life purpose - 10 step framework to discover your true purpose in life

10 step framework to find your purpose in life

You can use this 10-step framework to find your purpose in life.

Step 1) Know your joys.

Ask yourself what life activities you enjoy the most.

What are those life activities that make you feel truly joyful? Not just excited, not just interested, but genuinely joyful, calm, and connected. Centered. What makes you feel alive and energized?

The first step to finding your life purpose is to know what you like, want, and bring you joy. Because if you do things that bring you joy, you’ll be more energetic and motivated to step through life.

So write down a list of things:

  • you love
  • you like
  • you enjoy
  • you get excited about
  • that make you laugh
  • that move you

Your life purpose might be among these things.

Example: I love playing bridge. Yep! Once a week for some years now, I turn into a 75-year-old lady pretending to be in an Agatha Christie novel, hahaha!

Is my life purpose to play bridge? Of course not – I’m not that good at it.

But I do feel like part of my purpose in life is to encourage people, and I like to always do that to my fellow players:

  • Compliment their skills.
  • Ask how their week has been.
  • Hopefully, bring a bit of laughter and joy to their days.

And playing bridge helps me decompress and get into a flow state, and it brings me so much joy and energy. All those things you’ll need so that you can live your life purpose.

Step 2) Know your skills.

What are you good at? What other’s think you are good at? What would you like to be better at and are working towards?

Write a list of life skills you have.

These can be anything – not just what you do at work, but also anything and everything you do in your free time, even though you wouldn’t practice them anymore on a regular basis. 

And don’t just write the things you already know how to do; also add something you’re working to develop – things you could be good at someday.

Your life purpose might be among these things.

Example: I played violin for about 20 years. Am I good at it? Well, not particularly. Is my purpose in life to play the violin? No, it’s not (thank goodness… for everyone’s sake).

Did I then waste 20 years practicing it? No, I didn’t. Because I learned grit and persistence, I learned to push through pain, I learned routines, I learned beauty, I learned to channel my emotions and make people cry from movement, and I learned not to quit.

And to serve my purpose in life, I need all those. Every one of them except actually playing the violin.

Step 3) Know your core values.

What do you value? What is important to you? How do you demonstrate that in your life?

It’s not just about skills you have and the things you love that can help you find your life purpose – but also what is important to you. The core values are a big part what drive you and make you who you are.

So the next step is to write a list of your core values (what’s important to you?)

Maybe you value honesty, commitment, creativity, precision, honor, and integrity.

Maybe you value green living, recycling, animal rights, nature, and the environment.

Maybe you value kindness, caring for others, and acceptance.

Maybe you value working with your hands, creating things, and building stuff.

Write a list of personal life values that are important to you.

You can find a list of 192 personal core values from this post: Core values – a list of over 150 personal values + Core values list PDF

You want your life to reflect those values. And your life purpose might be among these things.

Example: I loved working in the corporate world as a purchaser and process developer. I was also pretty darn good at that. I also wanted to bring added value to the company I was working for and did my job as well as possible. And I earned well enough to live comfortably. But something was missing.

Even though the company I was working for was doing important work to make the world a better place, it wasn’t perfectly aligned with my values. I didn’t feel connected with their mission – even though it was an excellent one for them.

And it wasn’t easy to let go and leave because many of the components to live my life’s purpose were there. But I’m glad I did. And here I am writing about it to you.

Core Values List - 192 Personal Values - Alphabetical order - Black and White Horizontal | SaturdayGift

RELATED POST: Core values – a list of over 150 personal values + core values list PDF

Step 4) Align your joys, skills, and values with your life goals.

The idea behind goals is that they give you direction and help you stay focused when you want to achieve something that matters to you. But they’re not the only thing we should live for.

The next step is to align your joys, skills, and values with your life goals. But before you can do that, you need to have some goals in mind.

So what are some of your goals? An easy way to figure out your next goal is to write down things you want to change. Look around you and look within you. Is there something that would make your or someone else’s life better or easier if something would change?

Write a list of goals that come to your mind. And create new ones.

And make sure that they’re aligned with your joys, skills, and values.

Don’t know if your goals are achievable? No worries! Check out this post: 10-step method to set attainable goals.

And remember, you can always adjust your goals.

An achievable goal shouldn’t anyways be something that takes too long; three months is a good timeline. If it’s longer than that, you might want to adjust it. If it’s a year, 3-year, or 5-year goal, I would call that a dream or a vision that you can divide into multiple milestones, aka goals that will make that dream or vision true one day.

Example: You might have a goal in mind, but it might lack one of those components.

Let’s say you want to write a cookbook.

It would be good if you enjoy writing and cooking (joys). And it would be good if you would know how to write and cook (skills) or at least you’d need to know how to find a good ghostwriter and people who have good recipes so you could curate the cookbook by finding and sorting them into an exciting book. And if you value, for example, healthy living or fair trade ingredients, you would have those aspects part of your project.

RELATED POST: How to set your mini-goals each month + cute (& free) Monthly Goals Printable

Step 5) Write your life purpose statement

Now that you know your joys, skills, and values and you have some goals you want to achieve, it’s time to write down your purpose statement.

A life purpose statement is something you can say about your life. It’s like a one-sentence statement that sums up why you are here and what life is all about for you.

Here are some examples of life purpose statements:

  • I am here to spread joy, love, and life.
  • I am here to connect people from all over the world and with different backgrounds.
  • I am here to help others find their life purpose.
  • I am here to contribute more than I take from the world around me.
  • My life purpose is to create beautiful things from recycled materials.
  • My life purpose is to help people and companies communicate their message clearly to inspire, engage and sell more of what they offer.
  • My life purpose is to help stray cats to find their forever homes.

They are not perfect life purpose statements, but you get the idea.

Your life purpose statement is not carved in stone. You can change it whenever. And you don’t even need to share it with anyone.

It’s just there to help you.

So if you would write your life purpose statement today, what would it say?

Step 6) Find your ikigai

The next step is to find your ikigai. What is that? What is ikigai?

Ikigai is a Japanese concept – a philosophy – about “the reason you wake up in the morning” or loosely described as “your purpose.”

Ikigai definition - What is ikigai - a reason for being, the thing that gets you up in the morning

The westernized version of it holds four elements in it:

  • What you love
  • What you’re good at
  • What the world needs
  • What you could get paid for

And when all those 4 elements intersect, you’ve found your ikigai.

If you find what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for - you've found your ikigai

Example: When I started this SaturdayGift blog, my idea was to share my knowledge about balanced shopping habits. The sweet spot between minimalism and clutter, between overspending/overshopping and thrifting.

I had (what I thought was) a great concept and a lot of ideas I wanted to share and write about.

But after the first 9 months, I realized that maybe this is not something that the world needs. Or at least not at this moment. And therefore, I couldn’t get paid for doing that.

And I needed to eat. I needed to pay the bills. So I needed to adjust my “mission.” And it turned out that changing my “mission,” I found something that I love, I’m good at, the world needs it, and I can even get paid for doing it. And (at this moment) is my Ikigai.

But ikigai is much much more than just this one diagram – one tool.

Read more about ikigai here: Find your ikigai – the ultimate guide to find meaning in everyday life

Find your ikigai worksheets: COMING SOON

Step 7) Daydream

One of my favorite quotes is from Walt Disney, and it goes: “If you can dream it you can do it.” Daydreaming is one of the most enjoyable ways to try to discover your life purpose.

If you would close your eyes and go to this magical place in the future where you would live the absolute perfect life,

  • What would you see?
  • What would it feel like?
  • What would you or others be saying?

Forget about your skills and goals for a moment and just pretend that you would hold every bit of knowledge you’d need to live your perfect life. What would be different?

And then write it down. You might find an indication of what your life purpose would be.

Example: I did this kind of exercise about 10 years ago, and none of the things that came up was something I was actually doing in my life.

I wasn’t even speaking my native language, Finnish, but I was there in this dream doing my work in English.

I was finishing my master’s while working full time climbing up the corporate ladder, and I was thinking that the dream I had, had nothing to do with what I was putting all my efforts into.

Yet, it was my dream. And it stuck with me.

And here I am years later, sharing this story with you – hopefully helping you live your dream one day.

Step 8) Create routines and new habits.

If you’re not living your life purpose at the moment but would want to, you need to make some changes.

And the best way to do that is to create new habits and routines. Something that would either help you figure out your life purpose or get you on the right path and direction.

Think about the dream you visioned in step 7.

  • What would need to change that would take you one step closer to getting there?
  • What are the things you would need to do on a daily or weekly basis?
  • What would you need to focus on more, and how could you develop a new habit so it would come more naturally to you?

Write down your “normal” day. 

  • What do you do in your everyday life? 
  • What time do you wake up? 
  • What do you do next? 
  • How do you spend most of your day?

And then write down how you think your future self would spend the day.

Are there some similarities already? Is there something that needs to be adjusted or changed entirely?

Example: When I knew it was time for me to change my life completely and follow the dream that just didn’t leave me alone, the most challenging part was figuring out what I actually needed to do daily. I had no clue what I had gotten myself into. There I was working in my corporate job when suddenly I wasn’t anymore because the dream to find and then follow my life purpose took over. And it took me forever to know what I needed to do.

You know, it’s not like there’s a job description for your life’s purpose; there are no meetings where your goals and achievements are measured. There’s no one guiding you if you don’t have a mentor or a coach. You don’t get paid each month just showing up and doing what’s expected of you.

So you’ll need to figure those things out. And creating routines and starting new habits that serve you better can give the perfect push in the right direction.

Monthly habit tracker
Printable habit tracker

Want to track your new habits? Grab printable habit tracker from this post: 43 Cute & Free Habit Tracker Printables (instant downloads, printable gifts)

Step 9) Develop yourself

When you’re searching for your life’s purpose, it might mean that you need to develop in some areas of your life.

The same way you’ve acquired the skills you hold today. In the same way, you’ll need to develop new ones if your purpose requires that.

And it’s not always the most enjoyable time when you need to learn something new. It’s hard work. It needs commitment. It might mean letting go of something else you like and enjoy.

But the good news is that usually the things we are good at we also enjoy.

Example: Children don’t know their purpose in life. But they live it every day. Their purpose as children is to grow up. And each day, they develop and get better until one day they become adults. Purpose served! Excellent. And as adults, they will one day find their next purpose in life.

So if you want to get some motivation to develop yourself, look at babies. Look how persistent they are when they decide it’s time to walk instead of crawl. Look at children how they follow their routines, go to school, learn new things, have dreams and hopes, and are creative.

They are pure with their life’s purpose. They live it and love it from the moment they’re born.

But of course, they couldn’t do it alone. That’s why kids have parents, teachers, and other important adults there to guide them.

Step 10) Get a mentor or a coach

The last step on your journey to find your life’s purpose is to get a mentor or a coach. We’re not supposed to just figure out everything ourselves in our own lives. It’s ok to have help.

Whether it’s a one-or-one life coach you see or a group coaching session you attend regularly, it’s going to help you sort out your thoughts and ideas.

You can also join a mastermind group or start your process by signing up for an e-course and then see where that takes you.

Or talk to a friend that seems to have found their purpose. Ask them questions. Tell them that you want to find your life’s purpose one day. And then listen to them and see how it resonates with you and if that helps you on your journey.

And maybe one day you can pass that knowledge to someone else and help them find their purpose in life.

So now we’ve covered all 10 steps that can help you with your journey on finding your life’s purpose.

I hope these tips and steps have helped you get started on your life purpose journey.

Your purpose in life might change over time.

You must have noticed that life is full of surprises and it doesn’t always go according to plans. Some of those surprises are pleasant and life-changing, others are not so nice, and we wish they had never happened.

Maybe some of those events are there so that they’ll guide you to your next step, and those changes can affect your life purpose. And it’s only natural.

Your life purpose is not something you’ll figure out one day, and then that’s it. It’s not static but organic.

And it’s good to keep in mind that your life’s purpose could also change in the long run just because you change as a person.

In conclusion

It can be difficult to figure out what exactly it is that will give you a sense of fulfillment and happiness, but you can congratulate yourself for taking a huge jump towards it by going through these ideas and analyzing and reflecting on your life.

Let me know how it goes for you in the comments; I’d love to hear from you!

RELATED POST: 15 simple things you can start doing today to live a purposeful life

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