Creating a Life's Purpose to Drive Your Career & Life
So a lot of people probably don't have a life's purpose. Do any of you feel like you already have one that's well-defined? No? It's kind of a bummer right, because it's like we have no reason for living without a life's purpose, which is interesting that nobody has one. And I never really had one until I made myself sit down and figure it out, and a life's purpose is so important, because as humans, we kind of have to keep moving forward. That's just our natural way of going through life, is we need to always be going forward, and having a natural progression, and having a life's purpose that is clearly defined is a really great way for you to keep feeling excited about what you're doing. And as I mentioned before, with my life's purpose, and whenever I was able to come up with that, it was a great way for me to include all of the things I'm really passionate about, and I think to that life's purpose every time I make a decision. And then I make sure that I'm fulfilling that purpose wi...
th every decision that I make, and it keeps me from feeling burnt out about things. It keeps me really excited about everything that I'm doing, because I'm serving a greater purpose. So let's talk about what your life's purpose should be. What is a life's purpose? So first and foremost, it's a guiding force to lead your decisions. So we'll talk a little bit more about examples of what a life's purpose might be, but in general, you need to create something that's really short that helps you guide every decision that you make. So you can say, does this career move fulfill my life's purpose, yes or no? It'll help you decide, so it keeps you moving forward on the right path that's perfect for you, and that allows you to fulfill what that is. Alright, so a life's purpose should be tailored just for you. We shouldn't all have the same purpose. It shouldn't be as easy as my children, or my family, or my friends. It should be something that's made specifically for you, for your unique personality, what your skills are and all of that, is what your life's purpose should be tailored to, just for you. Alright, so your life's purpose should be something that you can easily fulfill, so it should be easy and feel right for you to have this purpose. So it's something that you everyday can fulfill. So it's something that's actually gonna be quite simple for you, specifically, to do. And it should be short and easy. It should be just a sentence or two, something that's easy to accomplish. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to make this really elaborate, and complicated, and specific. It should be really straight to the point, and made just for you. Alright, so some examples of what a life's purpose could be is my example, my life's purpose is to make the world a happier place. And as you can see, it kind of ticks all those boxes. So it's easy for me, specifically, to do everyday. I say, is this purchase that I'm making, is this job description, is this client project, is this personal project that I'm working on, is this fulfilling my life's purpose and making the world a happier place? And it's probably not, so I probably shouldn't do it. It's an easy way for you to have a very quick indicator for making decisions, and it's great. Alright, another example of a life's purpose could be to challenge others to live a greener life. If that's something that you're really passionate about, and those are where your skills fall, maybe that's a great life's purpose for you. To heal and to help others, that's an easy life's purpose if you're a natural healer, or if you're in a specific profession where you are healing and helping people everyday, that's an easy life's purpose to fulfill. To educate those less fortuned, that's a simple life's purpose if that's the career path that you're following in, or if that's something that you're really passionate about, that's a fantastic life's purpose that you can easily fulfill with your life and your career decisions everyday. Another one could be to push policy forward and change the world. This is something that I think a lot of us are really passionate about right now, but if you want to create that as your life's purpose, and you want to mold your career path into going in that direction, and that's really exciting for you, this is a great life's purpose. Alright, so we're gonna do a few examples to inch our way towards figuring out what that life's purpose is. And these are all the steps that I took whenever I was creating my life's purpose for myself, so the first challenge I want you to do is to just list out three things that you value. That easy, what are three things that are at the core of your heart that you value? It doesn't have to be things that are necessarily different from everyone else, just three things that are deep inside of you that you really, really value. My examples are friendships, I think a lot of us might have that one, but for me, my friendships are really important. I love making new friends, like unnaturally so, I love meeting new people, and I love being around my friends, I love working with my friends, and I like including my friends in my career and my life as much as possible. I value celebrating humor in everything, especially darkness, I think, maybe just like you, with creating witty and sarcastic remarks in sad times, or whatever situation you're in. It's important to me to find the lightness everywhere, and I am horrible at funerals because of this, because I think they're really beautiful, and I get real excited about everybody coming together, and then I'm just always excited, and wanting to joke with people because I'm excited that all these people are together in one place. And so that's just something that I really value is to be able to see the lightness inside of the dark and everywhere in between. And lastly, something I value, which I talked about a little bit earlier, is creating communities and safe spaces. I'm really fascinated by communities and safe spaces for all types of people, and this is something that I really value is that everyone has a place where they can go to feel like they can be themselves, and to feel encouraged and challenged at the same time. Alright, so going down the row, let's talk about one example of a thing that you value. I think this will be great for the people at home who are struggling to think about what different values could be, so hearing other perspectives might be nice. So if we could just go down and list one value, that'd be awesome.
Something that I really value is downtime for rest and relaxation.
For me, it's making people's lives better, so that's how I talk to clients about what they do if their business is making someone's life better, that's how I build their brand, but that's something that personally, I wanna be mindful of too.
I really value play, I think it's one of the keys to happiness, so through joking, or playing games, that sort of thing.
I really value beauty and seeing beauty in unexpected places.
I really value collaboration, so when you have that magic moment when all of the team is coming together and working on something with each other, and using their strengths, that's my favorite.
I value history, or just a context for people and things that have come before you, and learning from them.
Those are all perfect examples because they're all so different. And it really helps to show who you are as people, and what's really interesting to you. So I think this value question is a great starting point. I'm hoping that everyone's already having some thoughts about what their life purpose can be based on their values. Alright, the next challenge. Let's talk about three activities that bring you the most joy. So, in thinking of these activities, have we ever done something that you're so into that you completely lose track of time? You come out of it and you're like, "Oh my gosh, it's dark now?" And all that. And you're, just 'cause you were so into it. So, write down three examples of activities that bring you the most joy. The activities you're doing when you are your happiest, truest self. For me, mine is traveling, I love to travel. I feel like it clears my head. I also like to travel alone, that's really important to me is having experiences by myself where I'm traveling, and trying new things and being scared by myself. So that's an activity that brings me so much inner peace and joy, is traveling, especially alone. I love creating experiences, I like, ever since I was a kid, I would create an experience in my bedroom for other people. So I love to create full, tangible experiences where people can immerse themselves into. One of my favorite experiences I made in my room was a circus experience, and there's this, that catalog, Oriental Trading Company. Does anyone remember that? It still exists, I think. So my parents gave me a budget, and they said, you can buy, I don't remember how much it was, $50 worth of stuff from Oriental Trading Company, which was like my dream come true. So I created a circus in my bedroom where it was a walkthrough experience. Where I had a Lite-Brite that welcomed you into the space. And then as you walked through the room, you would play a game here, and then there'd be a piece of inflatable furniture that you'd have a seat on, and I bring you a beverage, and then you'd walk through the course to the next game, and then, it was just this wonderful experience that I made for people in my space, and that's always been something I've been interested in doing, and has really translated nicely into my career now. And then the third activity is making other people happy. I just really, really love going out of my way to make people happy, and sometimes that can be something I have to work through. Whenever I take responsibility of other people's happiness a little bit too seriously. But it really, really brings me joy whenever I can actually make other people happy. Okay, so the last question before we get to the really hard life's purpose question is, is there something that you specifically can offer the world that most people can't? This one's a little hard, 'cause it's kind of similar to the other ones, but I think you gotta think about what's that specific little thing that you have and that you can do, think of it like a superpower, that most people can't. So for mine, I can reframe and spin anything into a lighthearted way. And I think I'm really good at that because a lot of times I'll sit down with a friend who's going through a relationship problem, or a client problem, or I'm having to read a difficult client email, or having to work with a friend, or a coworker, or a colleague on a difficult email, I'm able to say, "No no no, it's not that bad." And I'll tell you why, and I can spin any bad negative situation into something that can actually be really productive, challenging, and lighthearted and good.
I would say that I'm pretty good at staying level-headed during stressful situations.
That'd make for a great politician. (laughing)
I don't think I'd be a good politician. (laughing)
Making someone else's idea come to life. So if they can kind of put some words or some visuals to their vision, I can take that and make it real.
I said, making things with my hands. 'Cause it's got a little bit of me in it, but also making something with my hands, and then gifting it someone I think.
I'm pretty good at coming, I'm very creative, and so I'm pretty good at coming up with creative solutions that can be kind of unexpected.
I put down empathy, so being able to put myself in someone else's shoes and trying to offer that advice that would make the most sense.
Mine goes back to one of my earlier answers, I think it's improvisation, just taking an idea and being able to explore it and push it in a bunch of different directions.
That's fantastic, okay, so I think, I hope everyone feels ready to put this all together into a life's purpose. And this one is really hard, like I mentioned, this is a huge, this is why we're all here. This is the thing that is gonna drive every decision that we make. So this is very important, and so if you feel like you can't come up with an answer right now, or if you're at home and this class is too short for you to come up with an entire life's purpose by yourself, I totally get it, it's okay. Just calm yourself down, take a deep breath, be kind to yourself, and you'll think of it soon. So what I want you to do is to come up with a life's purpose that, remember, it's gonna be short. A sentence or two, it's gonna be easy for you to fulfill in your everyday life, and it's going to be a reflection of maybe your values, or what you can offer the world that no one else can. So again, my life's purpose that I created for myself is to make the world a happier place. And I'll just kind of talk through some of the ways in which that has helped me throughout my career. I was working as a freelancer before I had a life's purpose, and I, like most freelancers, I was struggling to find work, so I would work with a lot of, any kind of company that would work for me. Which ended up being a lot of medical companies. Making a lot of brochures, designing a lot of websites for people that were not excited about their job. So I was working with a lot of people that didn't like their jobs, and that meant that they didn't really like any aspect of their job, they didn't like interacting with me because they didn't, it was related to their job. And it left me feeling so unfulfilled, and I was always searching for something better because I was so unhappy with my career, and I didn't know why, because I was working for these companies that I didn't identify with. And so when I sat down and answered all these questions, and thought about my values, and what I can offer the world, I came up with my life's purpose to make the world a happier place. And I thought, "I'm not making the world a happier place by designing these medical brochures." This is not helping at all fulfill my life's purpose. So right then and there, I dropped all of everything from my website, all the language that I was using, and I started all the way over. And that's when I decided to spin my entire career, and the kinds of companies I was working with, to fulfill my life's purpose, which is why now, I say that I work for happy companies because those companies are also fulfilling my purpose. And even though I'm not necessarily making other people's lives happier by designing a logo for a brand, that brand is, and so that act of designing is actually helping fulfill my life's purpose to a larger audience than I could on my own. Alright, are you ready? Let's go down and read our life's purpose. I'm so excited.
I said, to help others solve their problems in a relaxed and creative way.
That sounds really nice, I would love all my problems to be solved in a relaxed way. (laughing)
Yeah it might not always work out that way, but...
Okay, making real people's lives or days better by giving them their best chance at success at whatever their dream is.
Making things that inspire happiness and connection between people.
I just want to make the world a more beautiful place. So I like making things that make people feel like their best.
I'd like to make work or do things that bring joy and potentially a sense of curiosity for others.
I'd like to create opportunities for people to feel playful and thoughtful.
This is so great, I'm really excited a lot of you also, kind of like me, have life's purposes that are about helping others, or inspiring others, or changing others' lives, which I think is really important for us to be able to take the things about ourselves and put those into a way that we can help others. And I think that that's when you create this beautiful environment where you're also excited about who you are, and what you have, and what those abilities are, and how you can actually help other people with that. I think that's the secret sauce to personal fulfillment and happiness, is not only helping yourself and being excited about what's going on with you, but also being able to benefit and change the lives of other people. It's really, really powerful.