The following is a guest post from Nicole Bandes.
When I first ventured into the realm of personal development and began seeking out a Life Coach with which to work, I started hearing a lot about finding my life’s purpose.
It seemed so dramatic and intense. It seemed like the key to everything I was missing. Unfortunately, it also seemed like I had not yet found that key. And that made it seem even more critical to my success.
If I couldn’t find my life’s purpose, I’d never find success.
Does that sound familiar?
I started on a personal adventure. I was going to FIND my life’s purpose if it killed me in the process! I had to find it.
If I didn’t, I’d continue to wander aimlessly around in this world not ever reaching my goals, even if my goals were clear.
I began to take all the assessments and create my mission statement and vision statement.
I would meditate and look inwards. I’d categorize my interests and talents. I asked those around me what they thought I was really good at doing. I formulated possible ideas.
All the programs seemed to indicate that I’d be brought to tears or get a lump in my throat when I found my life’s purpose. From everything I was hearing and reading, I expected fireworks and a parade.
Maybe that’s why I kept looking. I assumed that, lacking that AHA moment, I hadn’t yet found my true purpose.
One of the questions I kept asking myself while I was on this journey was:
“Will I really want to do this for the REST OF MY LIFE?”
After all, your life’s purpose is what you are meant to do in your life, right?
Well, maybe. That’s where I felt I had been going wrong. I was looking for that one, singular answer to the whole question. The answer that would then be carved in stone and never change.
I knew I was a person of many interests and desires. I knew that I loved to learn and continue to grow and get bored easily if I’m not continually challenged. What if I got bored with my life’s purpose?
And that’s when I figured it out. Who said you can only have one life’s purpose and that that purpose would last your entire life?
Who said that whatever I came up with would be something I’d have to live with and never change?
Who said your life’s purpose couldn’t be something that changed with the stages of your life? Whoever said you couldn’t have more than one life’s purpose?
And with that, the fireworks went off and the parade began marching down the road.
What I discovered was that I do have a life’s purpose.
I know why I’m here right now. I know what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
I know who I’m supposed to be helping and how I’m supposed to help them right now.
Tomorrow? That’s the future and who knows what that will bring.
I’ve never found anything that suggests you may have multiple purposes throughout your life. I have found though, that most people do.
There are a few exceptions to this, for example; Mother Theresa and Ghandi.
However, if you look carefully at most of the highly successful individuals in the world, most of them have not always done the same thing throughout their entire lives. For some, this may be because they took a while to discover their true purpose.
For most, I believe it is because that purpose has grown with them as individuals.
Perhaps, as a new parent, your life purpose is to raise healthy, emotionally strong and successful children. There are many mothers, and fathers, who spend a good portion of their lives in this life’s purpose. Once their children are grown, they must now determine a new life’s purpose.
Or perhaps, as a young college student, you find yourself drawn to helping others in third world countries. You give of yourself, your time and your finances to participate in programs designed to boost the standard of living in these areas of the world.
You are convinced that you will be a lifer for these types of programs. However, as you get older, the desire to settle in and have more security and stability has an effect on you and your purpose shifts.
The attachment of the word LIFE to life’s purpose gives the illusion that this is something that is forever, or at least a lifetime.
Unfortunately, for this reason, many spend a lifetime looking for their life’s purpose. That’s why I choose to call it my greater purpose. My greater purpose at this time is to help guide people to discover some of the best kept “secrets” to a better life.
What is your greater purpose?
Nicole Bandes is a bestselling author, speaker and personal coach. After struggling with lack of self esteem, confidence and direction in her life for many years, Nicole was able to discover the key to permanent positive change and has create The YOU Coach program to help others overcome their own personal struggles.
You can subscribe to her newsletter or buy her book, “Positivity on Purpose: Intentionally Create More Abundance, Wealth and Happiness” by visiting Golden Eagles Coaching
Tims Note: I wan to thank Nicole for making a really excellent point with this post and one that I have hammered home again and again with some clients.
To my mind there are two ways round it.
One, is that as Nicole says, you have multiple purposes and these may change as you move through life.
The other, is that you make your purpose vague, but highly meaningful to you.
My life’s work is to help people, and it always has been (even when I worked in sales and didn’t know it) and you don’t get much more vague than that.
Also, when I have clients with multiple projects that can’t decide which is the one. I encourage them to think of themselves as entrepreneurs and just pick one now, knowing that the others will be waiting when they are ready to move on.