No one ever said the Dalai Lama lacked a sense of humor. “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others,” he replied to an eager follower seeking wisdom and enlightenment. “And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
I was blindsided by the “What’s your life’s purpose?” question on my very first date. “I want to see my name in lights on Broadway!” I proudly announced. Lines creased his forehead; and, looking pensive, he asked, “But don’t you want to experience something deeper? What legacy do you want to leave behind?”
That question about legacy and the footprint I want to leave on this planet changed my life. In an instant, I knew I wanted to do more than sing and dance and perform in front of others; I want to encourage everyone to tune into the unlimited Power within where all things are possible.
A personal purpose statement defines who you are and how you want to live your life. It provides clarity and reflects your commitment to your dream. A purpose statement articulates what you bring to the people around you and what brings meaning and fulfillment to you and your life.
When composing your own purpose statement, consider the following:
Brainstorm: A purpose statement reflects your core values. Think about the following questions:
Compose Your First Draft: Give yourself permission to write your purpose statement without making corrections. Use your responses to the brainstorming questions for reference. Your statement is a reflection of you and that which drives your personal convictions. Be honest with yourself.
Use Your Draft to Create a Second (or Third) Statement: It is much easier to edit than compose. Your purpose statement becomes more clear and concise when you edit it. The more relaxed and the more you allow yourself permission to let words flow (rather than constructing them into something that sounds good), the more closely your purpose statement will authentically align with who you are.
Sign It: Allow a space for your signature at the bottom of your purpose statement. You can adhere a gold seal, add your fingerprint, or kiss it with lipstick to “seal the deal.” A signature reflects your commitment which will guide your words, actions, decisions, choices, and behavior.
Display It: Print your personal purpose statement on fine or colorful paper. Frame it or display it in a place where you will see it. The daily reminder of seeing, reading, reflecting upon, and holding your purpose statement close to your heart will act as a compass with which you steer your own life.
Your personal purpose statement is a work in progress. It is a reflection of who you are, not who you believe others want you to become. The Dalai Lama also adds, “The purpose of your life is to be happy.” Your task is to consider what gives you and your life meaning. You may possess powerful courage and an unlimited commitment to hard work, but we also need purpose to drive our efforts into a specific direction.
Are you ready to begin? The time is now.