A simple guide to creating a meaningful life (plus 7 questions to determine if life coaching is your purpose)
No matter what stage of life you’re in, you can use these 5 questions to ask yourself to find your purpose in life… and know you aren’t alone in your desire to live a life of purpose. In fact, that feeling is a natural, universal part of being human!
Whether you’re considering a career change, wondering if finding purpose in life after 50 is possible, approaching retirement, or you’re searching for more meaningful ways to use your time after your kids have grown or left the house…
A sense of purpose is an integral and important part of the human experience.
In this post, you’ll discover:
- What a “life purpose” is and why it’s necessary if you want to reach your full potential
- How you’re always right on time for discovering your purpose (it’s never too late!)
- 5 Questions to help you uncover your life’s purpose at any age
- 7 Signs to know if life coaching could be a path to fulfilling your purpose
What is a “Life Purpose”?
A sense of purpose helps each of us determine why we’re living our lives and what we’re meant to do with the time we have… and it’s one of the key factors to living a fulfilling life of authenticity and happiness.
Anthony Burrow, researcher and Professor of Human Development at Cornell University defines life purpose as, “…a forward-looking directionality, an intention to do something in the world. It’s different than a goal, which can be accomplished. Wanting to be a father is a goal because it is achievable. But to be a great father is more of an intention than an achievement. On some days, one might come closer to the ideal than others, but it is never a completed task.”
Life purpose is the intention with which each of us moves through the world.
When we have a good sense of purpose in our own lives, we’re empowered to make important decisions and find solutions through a lens of greater meaning and intention.
Plus, did you know that knowing your life purpose has benefits that impact your entire life?
Research has found that people who have a sense of purpose in their lives:
- Live longer
- Have less health issues and illness
- Are less reactive to stress
- Experience more emotional well-being
- Have better self-esteem (source)
Not to mention, finding clarity about your unique purpose can help you:
- Feel confident when you have to make a big decision
- Navigate difficult situations and overcome personal challenges with more ease
- Feel a sense of security, even in the face of difficult events
- Make choices to improve your life on a daily basis
Is it too late to find my own purpose?
It’s never too late to discover your god-given purpose and start designing a life you’d love!
Consider this story from Mary Morrissey:
Mary had been coaching and mentoring others in how to apply transformational principles to their lives for decades.
Her mother, Dorothy Manin, had always been aware of her work and supported it, but had never really participated in it.
Then, at 85 years old, Mary’s dad passed. Losing him was devastating for Dorothy. They had been married for 63 wonderful years, and understandably, she felt lost, lonely, scared, and unsure of what direction to take next in her life.
One day she called Mary and said,
“Okay, Mary, what is this dream-builder thing you do? Let me try it. I guess if I’m still breathing there’s something more for me to do in this life.”
This choice marked the beginning of an amazing seven-year process that became the most creative years of Dorothy’s life. Not only did she live well into her 90s, but she thrived during that period!
Why? Because she followed what she loved, and in doing so, found a sense of overwhelming aliveness!
Your purpose is a part of who you are.
Discovering your life’s purpose, at any age, is like learning to understand yourself better.
Your life’s purpose is a part of who you are… and even if you weren’t aware of it, your purpose likely has already played a role in your life up until this point.
Think of it like this:
If your purpose is the “why” behind what you are meant to do, create, and be in the world…
Then your calling is what you’re actually meant to do in the world. It is the outward expression of your true purpose.
There are many ways in which we can pursue a specific calling in order to fulfill our greater purpose… which means, you’ve probably already been on the path to fulfilling your purpose, and you can decide to take a different direction at any age!
For example, my life’s purpose is to teach.
But there are many different ways I could – and did – fulfill that purpose.
Each moment of decision and action that supported my greater purpose were callings on my life.
I was called to go to graduate school to become a teacher instead of following my original plan to go to medical school.
Yet, going to graduate school for education wasn’t my purpose in itself.
Now, I teach others how to become life coaches with impact and abundant income. I used my Master’s degree in education to help design a curriculum for the repeatable systems of transformation we teach at Brave Thinking Institute.
My unique approach as a teacher helps me empower our coaches to not only use those systems with their clients, but also to teach those systems to others in the same, powerful way we know works.
You, too, have probably made a lot of decisions and actions that helped you fulfill your purpose… but you might feel like it’s time for something new or different.
That realization – the longing you feel for more – is the first step to identifying or refining how you’re choosing to express your purpose in your life.
No matter how old you are or what stage of life you’re in, it’s never too early or too late!
5 Questions to ask yourself to help you find your purpose in life… at any age
If you’re curious about your life’s purpose and want to find out more about what that might be for you, here are a few questions you can use!
1. What would I love?
This question is simple, but powerful! Asking yourself what you would love supersedes all the other, limiting questions you’ve been taught to ask like, “What should I do?” “What do I have permission to go after?” and “What do they expect of me?”
2. What are my strengths, talents, and unique gifts?
Your purpose is deeply woven into the very core of who you are. It’s usually tied to your innate gifts and the natural talent you bring into the world. Ask yourself: What am I particularly good at? What do other people ask for my help with? What do I find easy that others find difficult?
3. What matters most to me?
Another way to get clear on your true calling is to identify the things you care most about. Notice what makes your heart ache or break. What would you most love to change in the world if you could? Do you feel passionate about specific causes? What can you do with your gifts to help others and make the world a better place?
4. What are my deepest values?
Consider the moments in your life that held the most meaning, were most satisfying or happy, and where you felt the most accomplished. What did all of those moments have in common?
5. What have my failures been preparing me for?
There is great potential in exploring your most unpleasant experiences. If your failures, struggles, and challenges were preparing you for greater things, what might those be?
Click here to explore even more life purpose questions!
Could your life’s purpose be fulfilled through life coaching?
Many of our most successful life coaches have spent their whole life doing something else entirely!
They have transitioned from other successful careers in order to build lives that are more aligned with their goals and dreams. Some have chosen to pursue coaching after retirement. Others have become highly successful by integrating coaching into their existing careers, either at their current job or as a lucrative side-hustle.
In fact, many impactful, successful life coaches were equipped with powerful transferable skills by their previous careers, including:
- Teachers and guidance counselors
- Counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists
- Social workers
- Human Resource professionals
- Corporate managers and c-suite executives
- and more!
Careers like this, and others, help aspiring coaches develop and master important skills that can make a great impact on their potential success in the coaching industry, including:
- Active listening
- Effective communication
- Rapport building
So, if you’re searching for the next expression of purpose in your life, and you’re curious if coaching might be right for you, I encourage you to explore it! Coaching could be a fulfilling, meaningful career, retirement plan, or part-time side work for you.
Start with these 7 signs that life coaching might be your purpose… How many do you resonate with?
1. You love helping others. You feel a deep sense of fulfillment helping people experience profound personal transformation inside and out.
2. You believe the purpose of life is to aid and support others in achieving their highest potential. You probably have life experience– be it professional or otherwise– making an impact by helping others.
3. You have your own story of transformation and personal development, even if it’s the story you’re writing right now as you step into your true purpose. You believe that anyone can take steps to realize and embody their highest potential.
4. You long to be a part of a larger community of like-minded people. You know that a strong community not only empowers you to fulfill your purpose of helping others, but also helps you meet your own needs for aligned connection and support.
5. You believe people have the power to overcome any circumstance, situation, or condition they may face. You believe in the higher truth that people can have, be, and do anything they desire in the world, no matter what they’ve experienced in the past.
6. You can confidently make the commitment to learn and evolve at every phase of your journey, and you understand that doing so makes you more able to help and empower others.
7. You value helping others confidently connect to the power that already lies within them. Your goal is to support your future clients in creating their own path forward.
Did you feel a “yes!” within you as you read most, if not all of the above?
If so, take the next step in gaining clarity as to whether life coaching really is for you (and what to do if it is) with our free eBook, Are You Meant to Be a Life Coach?
You can start your path to a more fulfilling, purposeful life with the clarity to know if life coaching could be your dream career.
This is the only resource you’ll need to feel confident that life coaching is for you (or not)! Plus, it can help you predict your potential level of impact and income as a coach… grab your free copy today!