How to Live Your Purpose

by Tristan Loo - Date: 2007-01-18 - Word Count: 1658 Share This!

It's a fundamental belief of mine that each one of us is brought upon this world with a major definite purpose in life. Everyone has a unique destiny for contributing to this world using their unique blend of talents and passions. I have no doubt that most people today work hard and stay busy with daily activities. The problem I've noticed is that many people live their lives without any sense of meaningful purpose that gives their lives passion and significance. They get caught up in the daily mechanical routines of life and they become creatures of habit rather than purpose-driven beings. Finding and shaping your major definite purpose is perhaps the most important thing that you will ever do in your life because your purpose is the driving force that spawns all the achievements that you will ever accomplish and it provides that unlimited source of motivation that drives you to achieve all the goals that you set for yourself and enables you to live life to the fullest.

What is a Major Definite Purpose?

Your major definite purpose is like a path that you follow during your long journey through life. Your purpose is by it's very nature something that you are very passionate about. In fact, it gets your juices flowing at the mere thought of pursuing it. It drives your actions and motivates you to do the things that you do, despite the adversity and even the pain that you might have to endure in order to reach it. Think back in time to all the monumental figures throughout history. What was their decided purpose in life? You will find that the great ones throughout history believed in their purpose so passionately that some even died in the pursuit of it. That is how strong your purpose must be for you. You must be willing to gladly trade the rest of the days of your life in the pursuit of that major definite purpose of yours.

Why Do Some People Get a Mid-Life Crisis?

Even if we don't clearly define our purpose in life early in our adult life, eventually it hits most of us at some point somewhere between the ages of thirty-five and fifty-the infamous mid-life crisis. This "crisis" almost always comes from an inner voice telling us that something is missing from our lives. That feeling is the need to find and pursue our major definite purpose in life. It's our subconscious mind saying, "Hey, you're at the halfway point already. Why don't you stop wasting time and start doing what you are supposed to be doing!" Why wait for your subconscious alarm clock to go off like that? Start working on it right now.

Your Major Definite Purpose is NOT Your Goals

There is an important distinction that we must make between goals and your major definite purpose in life. Your purpose in life is not your goals, but rather it defines all the goals that you create for yourself throughout your life. Your purpose in life is like a queen ant that gives birth to all the soldier ants in the colony. Those soldier ants are your goals and without them, there can be no ant colony and similarly, without a queen (your purpose) to spawn those goals, your life would have no meaning-no sense of direction. So they go hand-in-hand.

Brian Tracy, in his book Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want -- Faster than You Ever Thought Possible, says that your purpose in life must follow the same criteria as your goals by being specific and measurable. I tend to disagree with this. Your major definite purpose should be a lifelong journey or commitment without any discernable stopping point. The reason for this is that if you set your definite purpose with an achievable end point, such as saying Thomas Edison's major definite purpose was inventing the light bulb, then what do you do with your life after your purpose is completed? Anthony Robbins in his audio book, Live With Passion, states that many adult males die within a few years of retiring, not of old age or of poor health, but simply because they no longer have anything purposeful to live for. Your purpose does not follow the same criteria as goal-setting. Your purpose has no tangible end point. The metrics involved in weighing how successful you are with your purpose is decided by how you will be remembered by others at the end of your life. How many lives will you have saved, touched and inspired during your lifetime? How will history judge you? What things or people will you leave behind when you are gone? The legacy that you leave behind is the measure of successfulness in achieving your major definite purpose in life.

How to Identify and Clarify Your Purpose in Life in Six Steps

There are two parts in realizing your purpose in life. The first part is your general purpose, which is simply how you want to be remembered at the end of your life. The second part of discovering your purpose is figuring out how you intend to carry out your general purpose through your specific talents, skills and abilities.

Step 1-Take a Personal Retreat From Your Daily Routine. Finding your life purpose is perhaps the single most important answer you will have to find for yourself and it stands to reason that in order to find your purpose, you will need to dedicate 100% of your mental and spiritual energy towards that effort. With all the chaos surrounding our daily lives, it's not practical to even attempt to find your life's purpose while managing the other responsibilities of your life. Take a couple of days and get out on a personal retreat just by yourself. Go some place quiet and peaceful where you can really contemplate what your major definite purpose is.

Step 2-Identify Your Core Competencies. Make a list of eight things that you are really good at doing. These can include specific talents, skills and abilities that you have. Don't worry about your purpose at this point. Just list your best skills. My core competencies include writing, coaching, and teaching.

Step 3-Identify Your Passions. Make a list of four things that you are passionate about and love doing. These are things that you would gladly do without pay because they are a constant source of joy and happiness for you. Your list of passions will most likely be a duplicate of your list of core competencies because you usually do well what you are also passionate about. Match up your core competencies with your passions. Now you have a list of four things that you do well and also the things that you love to do.

Step 4-Identify Your Legacy. Your legacy is how you would like to be remembered after you are gone from this world. If you had your own chapter in a history book, what would be written about your life? What contributions would you have made to society? Brainstorm on a legacy by writing eight ideas and then use a tournament-style draw system to prioritize your list down to the most important legacy. This can be done by simply pairing up each of the eight ideas and then deciding which one out of the two is more important and then repeating this "tournament" until you have a winner. The winner becomes your general purpose in life.

Step 5-Link your passions with your purpose. Remember that having a general purpose is not enough to make it meaningful. You must also decide on the method that you will use to achieve that purpose. Our purpose might be to help other people, but our methods for achieving that purpose might be very different. Simple analyze your list of passions and core competencies and figure out how you can use those talents and passions to achieve your purpose in life.

Step 6-- Create a Purpose Statement. Your personal statement of purpose is a concise declaration of why you are here on this world. It's made up of two parts: a general purpose and a method. Keep your purpose statement as concise as possible and limited to only two sentences. Your first sentence is what you intend to do with your life-the legacy you came up with in step 3. The second sentence is how you intend to reach that purpose-your method. My personal statement of purpose has always been to help as many people as I can make their personal dreams come true. I achieve this purpose by writing, coaching and teaching others how to achieve their fullest potential.

Commit Everyday Towards Living Your Purpose

Once you identify and clarify what your purpose is, you must make a commitment to yourself to stay true to that path. This can be easily achieved by making yourself do something each day that moves you forward in the direction of your purpose. Even if those actions are small, if you do at least one thing each day that moves you closer to your purpose, then that's 365 small steps forward by the end of the year. By the end of 30 years, you will have taken 10,950 steps towards your major definite purpose. No matter how small those steps are, they will add up to be something very significant as time progresses-so start today! At the end of each day, before you go to sleep, ask yourself if you gave yourself everything that you had to give that day.

Develop a Never Give Up Attitude

The journey towards your purpose is never an easy one. Your will inevitably face challenges that come about, some small, others quite big. Regardless of the obstacles placed before you, it's important that you develop the iron-clad determination to do whatever it takes to reach your major definite purpose in life. Adversity will test your resolve and it is up to you to pick up that sword and battle any challenge that gets in your way.

Copyright 2007 by Tristan Loo. All rights reserved.

Related Tags: success, life, living, goals, purpose, legacy, institute, setting, direction, tristan, synergy, loo

For over 10 years, Tristan Loo has inspired, motivated, and brought success to the lives of the countless people he's touched. Successful in his own right, Tristan has competed athletically against Olympians as a world-class gymnast, saved lives as a police officer, authored numerous Personal Development and Interpersonal Communication books and articles, and is a highly sought-after Peak Performance Coach. Tristan is the founder of the Synergy Institute, a San Diego based Personal Development Firm. His philosophy of passionate living and helping others fulfill their dreams and goals has continually been the driving force that has placed him well above the industry standard. Visit Tristan's website at or by email at

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