Contemplating your life’s purpose is probably the noblest, most important, and daunting work you can do. It’s practical, professional, personal, and permeative. However, when you discover your larger why and are grounded in it, you’re more impactful, focused, and determined.

Gay Hendricks, the author of “The Big Leap,” explores the concept of our purpose as the unique combination of our genius and the thing the world most needs from us. He says we should “really just sit down and do a little bit of thinking…on the five most important things [we] want to experience in [our] life” to find our purpose.

Two Exercises to Help:

  1. Work backward. What achievements, impact, accolades, service, and lasting memories are important for you to leave behind? What do you envision for yourself in this life? This is similar to writing your obituary. We’ve all heard the quote, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for,” but ships also don’t set sail without a destination. 
  2. Find a metaphor. Metaphors anchor you in the experience you want to have and the impact you want to create without getting too fixed in the details. Are you the quarterback? Someone who directs, coordinates, or takes charge of a project. The coach? The designer of the jerseys?