What does 'having purpose' mean to you?

reflect Jan 09, 2023

My dad recently shared this article on why purpose might be a better goal than happiness. To throw out a dated reference, he had me at hello. I was onboard before getting past the headline. This enthusiastic reflex made me catch myself and wonder- wait, what does “having purpose” mean to this author? What does it mean to me?  

So, this week’s journal prompt* is to answer what having purpose means to you.  

To me, this feels like the essential question to answer before tackling the obvious next (more involved) one: What is my purpose? When you’re ready to start that journey, author Richard Leider offers this bit of “how-to” advice: 

“The first step toward unlocking your purpose is to mine your life story for major threads and themes that reveal your lifelong gifts, passions, and values. Next, create a clear purpose statement that energizes you to get up each morning with intention and joy. The words in your purpose statement must be yours. They must capture your essence. And they must call you to action each and every day. You must envision the impact you’ll have on your world as a result of living your purpose. Your actions—not your words—are, ultimately, what truly matters.” 

Then, if you’re really feeling inspired, note what purpose-fulfilling activities (big or small) you can bring into your week this week for a greater sense of fulfillment. 

PS: If pulling these treads leads to other questions, consider taking this Purpose Checkup in scorable form (I do love a Cosmo-ish quiz!).