After practicing intensely for a long time, some of us experience “burn out.” We lose our drive to go forward. During these times, and, better yet, before they ever arrive, it can be very helpful to sit down and think through your life purpose. Studies have shown that when people are focused on a purpose higher than themselves, they can achieve more. They can lift cars off people in danger. They can keep on going when their bodies say no. They can finish their book when they think of the people it will benefit. They can keep caring for the sick when they become a channel for God.
Each person’s purpose is personal. Yours may change from time to time. If you’re not sure what your purpose is, I offer my own method.
Your “Purpose” do-it-yourself kit:
- Think about what drives you, energizes you, what you would sacrifice for, who you would want to help, and how you would want to help.
- Let these answers help you figure out your core values. You could use this exercise to help.
- Armed with your core values, write a purpose statement. You may focus on only a few of your core values for this. Rethink your core values and purpose statement every few months or so.
As an example, here’s how I worked the purpose kit:
- Drive: I like playing trumpet, being creative, learning and helping people be happy. Energy: exercise. Sacrifice: my time, my habits. Who: children, family, the elderly, the overly-stressed, lonely people. How: teaching, performing, giving complements
- Core values: achievement, authenticity, creativity, learning, forgiveness, happiness, patience
- Purpose statement: I want to inspire others to be the best version of themselves by sharing my most authentic, creative work.