Purpose statements aren’t only for the benefit of companies, churches, schools, and other organizations. They’re not only for CEOs or successful business owners. They can be used for the benefit of anyone — including you.
Why write a purpose statement? Writing one personalized to your life might sound a bit silly. Furthermore, it may seem tedious to summarize your life goals into a few sentences. However, the benefits you reap will prove otherwise. A purpose statement allows you to clean off the dust from the glasses of how you perceive life. It points you with clarity to your goals, aspirations, and priorities. It becomes the anchor you can hold onto when anxiety and tasks pile up.
Simply put, a purpose statement helps you lead a purposeful life.
So then, how do we write one? The goal is to ultimately answer these two questions:
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
The infamous philosophical questions of mankind… BIG questions, aren’t they? So big that they might need a few nights, weeks, or months to answer.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to break down this mountain of a question to smaller bunny hills. Take a moment to answer the following questions:
- What are 3 things I like most about myself?
- What are 3 things I like to teach or share with others?
- What are 3 reasons why I want to leave behind these teachings?
If you are wrestling with answering any of these questions, have no fear. Creating a purpose statement will require thought, and in turn, thought requires time. There is no pressure in getting it figured out on the spot. If you’re struggling in your thought process, try to brainstorm about what you love to do and why you love doing it. Think about the goals you’d like to set for yourself. Another helpful, introspective question is: Where in life do you want to be 50 years from now? Not what you expect, but where you want to be. Imagining your goals play out in old age can also help shape goals in a more clear, refined way.
Once you answer these questions, it’s time to connect them together in a purpose statement! Using your answers, form your statement like so:
“My Life’s Purpose Statement is to use my… [Question 1’s answer]
… In order to… [Question 2’s answer]
… Because I want to… [Question 3’s answer].”
And there you go! You’ve written out your purpose statement! Difficult, introspective questions, but nothing too tough that one can’t break through. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that the statement you wrote out is not permanent. Goals and plans can always change. Thus, think of the document in a more fluid way, and feel free to give it an update when a new ambition changes the course of your life.
Living a purposeful life is always a good reminder, but a hard one to keep. Fortunately, prompts like these will help turn the wheels into fruition. If you find yourself going through the motions with no meaning attached to your actions, I recommend you dedicate 15 minutes to answer these questions. You will find clarity taking shape in your life, and hopefully, it will change every motion of your life to have meaning and purpose.
By Abigail Choe