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How to discover your life’s mission

The more I work with my clients the more I see that we all want the same thing. We all want to contribute, feel that what we do has a purpose. So, we go on the quest of finding our life’s purpose. Sounds easy, right? Well, it turns out that we have a difficult time finding it.

Long before I quit my job I knew that my life’s purpose was not being fulfilled through my job. But what it could be, I didn’t know. I just knew I wanted to be of help, but to whom and how? After a couple of years of deep soul searching, defining and redefining my life’s mission, I finally found it.

My mission is to help others through coaching, motivating and leading by example on how to choose a professional path and purpose that builds on core values, unique strengths and expresses one’s passion and purpose. Sounds beautiful and so easy. But it took me quite some time to figure it out.

This doesn't mean that it will take you years to figure out; it simply demonstrates that it is a work in progress. So, how do you figure out what your life’s mission is?

Three ways to find your mission 

I believe there are three different ways to find your life's mission: the rational one, the intuitive one and the mixed one. We are all very different and have different ways of coming to certain conclusions. I suggest that, whether you are more of a rational person, intuitive one or a mix, you try and experiment with all the assignments listed below.

1. The rational way

This way requires some rational thinking. Write down your answers to the following questions:

  • What activities make you lose track of time?
  • What would you regret not doing, being or having in your life?
  • If you knew you could not fail and money was not an issue, what would you be doing in your life?
  • What causes do you strongly believe in and connect with?
  • What do you want to contribute to the world?

2. The intuitive way

This way relies on your intuition, focusing on getting information through your creativity.

Visualisation

Ask someone to help you with this one if needed. Close your eyes, relax through breathing and imagine that you are old and you are sitting in your favourite chair. Your loved ones are there with you to celebrate your birthday. One of them stands up and starts a speech about you and your life. What do you hear him or her say? What are you the most proud of? What made you feel happy and alive all those years? Take your time to hear it all. Open your eyes. Write it all down.

Calling

Do you hear an inner voice in your head, telling you what your calling is? We often hear it, but it is either very weak, or we do not want to listen to it, thinking we would be crazy to follow it.

I had this voice telling me that what I was doing (fast career) was not fulfilling my purpose, but I ignored it for years. Until I had very traumatic life experience and I decided to listen. Don’t wait until something bad happens. Listen to yourself now.

Mission board

Take a big stack of your favourite magazines; they are your favourite ones for a reason. Go through them and tear out the pages with the pictures that grab your attention. Do not think about it. Do it quickly and intuitively. Once you have done this, take a big piece of paper and arrange them. What do you see?

3. The mixed way

Think about the most difficult experiences in your life. Describe them in detail. Did you transform your life after this experience? How? Lots of people are looking outside themselves for their purpose but most of the time it’s right in front of your nose. So close you cannot easily see it.

What is your life trying to tell you about your life’s purpose? To which difficult situations from your childhood and your adulthood do you want to give significance?

Write your mission statement

Once you have done the exercises, look for your main theme. Follow the clues that direct you towards your life’s mission. If you want to help others, start by sharing your life’s mission in the comments below. Make the first step…

Dorota

Author

Dorota Klop-Sowinska

I specialize in international career and expat coaching. I am a certified coach / counselor at Dutch Academy for Psychotherapy. I have been living in the Netherlands for more than...

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