Learn This Six-Step Formula to Find Your Why!
by Som Bathla
“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become almost alive.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
I read somewhere and was quite intrigued to note that in ancient Hawaii, there were certain masters whose expertise wasto discover by intuition or insight a young person’s purpose.
Obviously, all parents would take their children to these experts early on, so they could raise each child according to his or her true purpose.
The child’s purpose wasn’t determined by test scores, or aptitude assessments, or based on who the child’s parents were. Instead, the masters would sense each child’s true nature, the very core of who the child was and who he or she could become.
Once a child’s true purpose was identified, their upbringing was tailored to match it. They were sent to a teacher who could teach them the skills and knowledge connected to their purpose.
If a child was identified as a builder, she was given tools of her craft.
If he was revealed to be a healer, he was given herbs and taught to identify medicinal plants.
A little drummer was given drums and sent to play with other musicians.
A mini-fisherman was given a net and sent to learn about the ocean.
Unfortunately, we don’t find such mystical people around, who can magically tell us our life purpose for us to simply follow for our lives.
And assuming for a moment that we had such people, then also, neither our modern school system, nor today’s parents would allow their child to pursue any kind of crazy dream.
No one else outside is really interested in you discovering your real purpose.
Only if you are sincere about living a fulfilled life, where you could see meaning in life, then keep reading, fortunately, there is something that you will find useful and worth implementing.
In his book “Life on Purpose”, author Victor J. Stretcher has specifically stated six unique steps that can help you discover your purpose in life. If you put in the required time, energy and efforts in following the steps below, these steps have the potential to bring your way closer in your search for your purpose.
With, let’s get started to learn these steps:
Step 1: Ascertain Your Life’s Core Values
There are different types of values that different human beings have in their lives that govern their entire life decisions. Below I have stated a list of the most common values that people have.
You have to choose your three top values of life. If you think you have some different life values, which is not on this list, you can write down that below and choose those as your core value, to complete your list of three core values:
To give an example,my top three values are freedom, adventure, and love,which I have followed for many years unknowingly. Now I am mindfully taking only those actions that meet the tests of these values.
Have you selected your three values now?
Now is the time to put some pressure on pre-frontal cortex area of your brain (your thinking brain). You need to think about these three values and find instances in your life where you followed these values and were most happy.
Try to back up your top three selected life values with the data in your real life. This will strengthen your belief that you have chosen and already followed some set of values.
Step 2: Find a Role Model and Emulate
Now select any person, who you think should be your role model in the pursuit of your chosen values.
This person could be anyone, your family member, or any historical figure. It could be one person or a combination of more than one person who’ve pursued similar values, as you’ve chosen for yourself.
You can be influenced by the adventures lifestyle of Richard Branson, or the selfless services of Mother Teresa or maybe Mahatama Gandhi could be your role model.
Whosoever, you choose your role model you need to emulate these persons and take such actions as your role models have taken to live a purposeful life.
This association with such role models will help you mold your identity.
Step 3: Take the Headstone Test
The next step comes on the similar lines of Steve Jobs’ death question i.e.
What would you want to do today if today was your last day of life?
In this step, you have to draw your headstone and write your name on it. Write your date of birth there.Your date of death needs to be written as of “TODAY’.
Now think about it what’s going to be your one-line epitaph (what is something special by which you want to be remembered after you have gone)?
What do you want to people say about you at your death ceremony? Think about it. This is the deepest question that you can ask from yourself. And the answer to this is going to be your way to live.
Step 4: Decide Your Goals Now
At this stage, you are now deeply connected with your own inner self at the deepest levels– because you know your life’s core values, you have identified your role models and gone through your headstone test.
It’s time now to ask yourself about what are the goals in your life that matter most to you?
To make the job easier, you need to break these goals into different parts of your life like personal, family, work, society. For example, if you value a relationship with your family as most important, what are you going to achieve in the next three months, six months or one year?
Maybe you will target meeting your closest friends once in a month or maybe you can set a goal to travel to somewhere outside your town with your closest family members and spend intimate moments with them.
Same applies to your other values, be it adventure, success, freedom, creativity, whatever it is. Set time-bound specific goals that will help you to move further toward your values.
While deciding your goals, you need to be mindful that your goals address your core needs.As highly successful life transformation coach, Tony Robbins states, we have six human needs that drive everything we do:
- Certainty — knowing you’ll be able to avoid pain and feel pleasure.
- Uncertainty/ Variety — the need for change and new experiences.
- Significance — feeling special and needed.
- Connection/ Love — feeling a close bond with others.
- Growth — the ability to change and improve.
- Contribution — the feeling that you are helping others and making a difference.
Robbins identifies the first four needs as those that shape our personalities- they are connected solely with your own individual needs.
On the other hand, the last two are our spiritual needs — these needs require you to expand beyond your own selves.
Remember, if you focus only on your own individual needs, you will become successful in the material world; but it is only the last two spiritual needs i.e. the need for growth and contribution to the world; that will give you a sense of fulfillment.
That’s why Robbins quoted at another place: “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”
Step 5: Assemble These Most Valuable Goals Into An Overall Life Purpose
Now is the time to ask yourself whether your most valuable goals formed based on your core values really add up to your bigger purpose. Ask yourself, “Is this purpose bigger than myself?”
This question is very important, because human beings feel happy and fulfilled when they know that they are growing.
Limiting your life’s purpose to your own needs will ultimately lead you feeling empty from inside and unfulfilled, because just fulfilling your own needs of food, travel, and entertainment only will start to lose its meaning.
Only if your purpose is bigger than your own individual needs, you’ll have an assurance of your own evolution as a human being and growth- because humans have the apex need of self-transcendence
Therefore, plan your most valuable goals and assemble them into your life purpose keeping in mind all your human needs, that makes your purpose bigger than yourself.
Step 6: Practice the Purpose
Now is the time to practice and live the purpose day in day out. Post your why on a place you’ll see every day. Talk about your life purpose with people close to you.
Keep practicing your purpose. However If sometime later, you realize this purpose doesn’t fit with your core values, don’t hesitate to change the purpose.
You must keep exploring and finding the purpose, as like other things in life— the purpose keeps on evolving over a period of time. Once you reach at certain goal or get closer to your purpose, you’ll be able to see new paradigms that were not visible to you earlier looking from a lower realm of consciousness.
So, these are the six steps, which if you follow sincerely, you will progress faster in your purpose discovery journey and start living a life of fulfilment and joy