What Is Purpose?



Are you living your "purpose"?


In the past, when I've been faced with this question, it used to send a punch of fear and a spike of pressure that made me want to run for the hills.  


Without a clear answer to that question, it left me thinking:

  • Does that mean I should know exactly what my one thing is?
  • And if I don’t, does that mean I’m not living my purpose, am I missing it?
  • And jeez, if I pick my one thing, but I’m wrong? 
  • Does it make me a hypocrite if I change my mind and my purpose path changes with it? 


I think the reference to “purpose” as being the one thing that we were put on this earth to do, is limiting, not all that helpful, and can harm our progress to living it.  I want to offer a different perspective.  


"Purpose" -  the lived expression of our values and our gifts.


I believe that the experience of living with purpose is one that takes shape over time. It's not as simple as an all-in, YES or NO, PASS or FAIL, DOING IT or NOT DOING IT.  

"Purpose" is an evolving part of our expression. We are always changing, and our environments are also always changing (this year, we know that more than ever), so, therefore, "change" is an inherent part of the "purpose" process.


When looked at from this lens, the more appropriate question when asking about purpose is this: 


How closely are you living in alignment with your purpose?


And more specifically: 


In which areas of your life are you living in alignment with your purpose? 

And to what degree?


You can see that with this working definition, it is entirely possible to be living with purpose in some areas of your life and living outside of your purpose in others. Doesn't this sound more like real life?


This definition is also so much more empowering as it puts us in the position to make greater alignment adjustments.


For example, in my own life right now, I would rank myself mid-range of living in alignment with my values and gifts with my health and fitness. Quite simply, I should be exercising more and drinking less. I am not fully honoring my life opportunity in this perspective (and the quality of my non-existent six-pack shows it:).  


In contrast, I'm currently living in very high alignment with my values and my gifts with my work-life. It's not quite in perfect alignment, but I can say I'm at peace with this because I have a clear vision of where I'm going, and given the age and stage of my business - it makes sense. 


So I'll end by asking: What does living out your purpose mean to you? And how are you doing with it in the various areas of your life?


Here's to you living out and within your evolving path of purpose!



Maurice Thibodeau

Activation & Business Coach


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