5 Steps for Writing a Life Purpose Statement
Capture your purpose in a meaningful statement.
A purpose statement simply captures an overriding theme already present in your life. It puts down in words the true work you are here to do: the cause you will pursue, the wound in individuals or society you will seek to heal, the problem you will devote your life to fixing. It states the highest, purest, most others-oriented aim of your life.
Additionally, I stated that writing it down can be a powerful first step toward seeing your purpose fulfilled. Now I give you five (5) steps for uncovering your purpose and writing a statement of it.
First, however, some do’s and don’ts:
1. A nurse may be able to prick a vein and draw your blood, but writing your purpose statement doesn’t work the same way. You can’t schedule it, force it or hurry it to come forth. Instead, set aside time to quiet your mind and soul and wait (while doing the steps below). Imagine sitting quietly with your camera at the edge of a wilderness to take a snapshot of a deer. You may visit that same spot several times before you are rewarded.
2. Writing a life purpose statement is the polar opposite of writing a term paper in high school or college. No hard work or strain. Instead, put yourself in a mode to recognize a gift that has been given you and fully receive it. It’s easy. Wonderful.
3. Completely set judgment aside. There’s no good, bad, first-class or bottom of the barrel. Rating systems don’t apply here. Your purpose is you. Decide right now to accept and delight in what you see.
Five (5) Steps to uncovering your purpose and writing it down:
1) See 9 Questions for uncovering your Gift, then take a sheet of paper and write “Summary” at the top. Draw a line down the middle, dividing it up into two sections. Title one section “What I care about” and the other “What I’m good at.” Then, take your answers to the 9 questions and write them on one side or the other—or both sides, if appropriate. Your purpose statement will come out of the left side, “What I care about.”
Expand the “What I care about” list by writing down everything you can think of to answer 1) “I love ______” and 2) “I hate _______.” Examples: “I love enthusiastic and well-informed teachers, large family dinners with all the relatives, riding my horse out on the trail, when a politician tells the truth, to read a good mystery…I hate bullying, polluted air and water, when long-term employees get laid off,” etc.