Living a meaningful life, a life with greater satisfaction, is a powerful objective for each of us. In some traditions this is referred to as individuation and is an expected part of the second half of life.
We may find ourselves asking many worthy questions.
What do I want to do next? What will be fulfilling? What is my purpose? Is my life in line with my values? What is my reason for being here? What is this lifetime all about for me and how can I make the best of what is left?
A more meaningful life is close at hand
If we are asking these questions the answers are probably close. When we are asking these questions it is likely that we are already fulfilling part of our purpose, we are taking steps to individuate.
Knowing what our ideals and purpose are in life, and actively working to fulfill our purpose – each day – brings a feeling of peace and accomplishment. Our purpose need not be grand, it is often quite simple and within our reach. What are some of the steps involved in feathering out a life purpose statement?
It is useful to first identify with our ‘real essence’; the authentic person who may be behind a developed persona or way of being in the world. Early in life we develop ways to ‘fit in’, thrive, or survive. Later in life we have a chance to re-connect with our inner nature and take steps to line up our lives so that we are living true to ourselves.
Steps to separate these two selves include looking at times when we are most content, at peace, happy and authentic.
Feeling a clear connection with our authentic self, we can look for evidence to determine what skills and gifts we have. We have skills in part to support the fulfilling of our life purpose. Talent lists include areas where we excel, areas others notice, latent talents identified through positive and negative projection, skills evident in past accomplishment, information from dreams or dream mentors and intuitive knowing. An initial list may be quite long, then refined based on analysis and intuition, to a set of three to five key gifts.
The next step is crafting a purpose or mission statement and then seeing and testing how the statement feels. Here are some sample statements:
I am a unifier, one who synthesizes and blends the fragments of life
Life has placed me in the position to be an agent of inner and outer peace
I innovate and get new things started
My gift is to be the discerning and wise analyst
I share creativity and healing
Transmitting and clarifying new ideas is my gift
I work compassionately for justice in the world
Taking steps in the world to live a meaningful life
Testing and refining our ideals – our purpose – involves actively taking steps in the world and then watching to see how we feel, what others say and do, and what synchronistic events support us. The process will result in refining our understanding and commitment.
With understanding and commitment, it serves us to refine our mission statement. Our work is then to focus on expressing our nature, our being and purpose each day. If we have it right, we will begin feeling more and more connected, at peace, and fulfilled.