If you can discover your purpose and live it out, you will be living almost by instinct and will be doing what you were created to do

How To Discover Your Life’s Purpose Part 2

In a previous post, I set out the 3 steps that I believe you must take in order to discover your purpose. In this post, I will discuss the meaning of purpose, as it relates to your life’s purpose.

What is Purpose?

The Macquarie Dictionary defines purpose as:

“the object for which anything exists or is done, made, used, etc.”

Application of The Definition

If you use an object for its intended purpose, the object usually works well. But, if you try to use the object for a purpose for which it is not designed, it will either not work at all, or will not work very well.

A toaster is specifically designed to toast bread, and other similar products. But, if you tried to make a cup of coffee using the toaster, it would not work at all. Similarly, if you used a butter knife to spread suitably softened butter onto bread, it would work very well. But if you tried to use the butter knife to cut steak, it may go some way towards cutting the meat, but it wouldn’t work particularly well.

I believe the same applies to people. If a person is trying to work and live outside their purpose, they will not do as well as someone who is working and living out their purpose. A person who discovers and lives out their purpose does the thing they were made to do, and usually does it very well.

Society teaches us to rely on our knowledge rather than our instinct. So, many people end up living out their lives relying almost entirely on knowledge, rather than instinct, and never discover, and live out their purpose. This can lead to discouragement, disillusionment, and depression.

Other Descriptions of Purpose

Pastor, author and filmmaker, TD Jakes, describes this purpose as being much like an instinct. It comes naturally to you — something you are wired to do. He says that if you can combine your instinct with your intellect, you will obtain happiness and fulfilment.

Nutritionist and author Shawn Stevenson describes what I am referring to as a “superpower”. He says that your “superpower” is a unique gift or talent that only you possess.

If you can discover and live out your purpose, you will be able to live almost by instinct, and will enjoy the life you were created to live, obtaining maximum happiness and fulfilment.

If you would like to know more about how to discover your life’s purpose, please reach out to me. If you feel that someone you know may benefit from this post, please do share it with them.

I promise, it really is possible to discover your life's purpose

How To Discover Your Life’s Purpose

If you ask people if they know what their life’s purpose is, you're likely to only receive answers from a few. It's common to feel dissatisfied with life and to believe that your life lacks purpose and meaning. But I promise, it really is possible to discover your life’s purpose.

In this article, I provide 3 steps you can take to discover your life’s purpose. If you would like help working through these steps, please contact me.

What is Purpose?

The Macquarie Dictionary defines purpose as:

“the object for which anything exists or is done, made, used, etc.”

I believe this definition applies just as much to human beings as it does to objects.

Why go to the trouble of Discovering Your Purpose?

I firmly believe that If you discover your purpose, you will discover the thing you are made to do. If you live out your purpose, You will enjoy the life you were created to live, and be your happiest and most fulfilled.

How To Discover Your Purpose

I believe that there are three steps that you need to take to discover your purpose. They are:

  1. Examine your present
  2. Examine your past, and
  3. Examine your passions or dreams

Examining Your Present

Examining your present is vital because it shows you where you are, much like the “You Are Here” arrow on a map. Like navigating with a map or GPS, you need to know where you are before you can decipher how to get where you want to go.

Wen examining your present:

  • reflect on as many areas of your life as possible, such as career, relationships, environment, hobbies and interests, values, faith, and finances
  • pay particular attention to what is working for you right now and what isn’t
  • consider why each thing or area of life is or is not working, and what you would like to change.

Examining your past

If you look at your past from the outside, through the eyes of a keen observer, you will notice patterns of thought, reactions to various situations, likes, dislikes, and preferences. If you examine your past with a reflective, questioning mind, you will begin to see the “why” behind some of these patterns, which will point you towards your purpose.

When examining your past:

  • reflect on as many areas of your life as possible (see above for examples)
  • pay particular attention to what worked for you and what didn’t
  • consider why each thing or area of life did or didn’t work, and what you would have liked to change.

Examining Your Passions and Dreams

Your passions can give you insight into what your purpose might be, and your dreams can give you clues about how you might like to live out your purpose.

When examining your passions and dreams, reflect upon questions such as:

  • what do you cry about, or what breaks your heart?
  • what, if you did it every day, would cause you to wake up with excitement and enthusiasm?
  • what makes you want to jump for joy, even just thinking about it?
  • what have you always wanted to do or be?

If you need help working through these steps, please contact me.

Could You Be Living Someone Else’s Dream?

If you discover your life's purpose and live it out, you will be living your dream, and work will never feel like work again



Consider what you do each day. Are you following your passion and doing what you love?

If not, are you following in the footsteps of a relative and doing what they did? Are you doing a job that someone said you’d be good at, or would earn you lots of money? If the answer to either of the last 2 questions is “yes”, it’s possible you may be living someone else’s dream.

Searching for my dream

In high school, I had the opportunity to do work experience with a physiotherapist, and I loved it. So, I structured my Years 11 and 12 subjects to qualify me for entry into Physiotherapy studies at university.

None of the Australian physiotherapy schools would take me back then, due to my total blindness. So I enrolled in the North London School of Physiotherapy in the UK, a school specially designed to train blind physiotherapists.

It’s a long and complicated story, which I won’t go into here, but after 4 months at the school, I was advised to return to Australia and study something more academic. I remember sitting, broken hearted, in my Aunt’s lounge room in England, and asking her what I should do. I had been so focused on becoming a physiotherapist, that I had no other ideas about what to do with the rest of my life.

My Aunt said: “You’ve got a good brain, why don’t you study law?”

I didn’t know the first thing about lawyers, or what they did, but I returned to Australia and obtained a combined Commerce Law degree.

Fortunately, I enjoyed studying, and working in the legal profession. In fact, I worked as a Government lawyer for 17, mostly happy, years. However, while I didn’t realise this at the time, being a lawyer wasn’t my dream, but my Aunt’s.

Like many other people, I got up every day and went to work, and enjoyed what I did. But I always envied those people I would see on TV who were following their passion. They would say things like: “I work 18 hours a day, but I love it so much, it doesn’t feel like work”, “It’s what gets me up in the morning” and “At last, I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do”.

Discovering My life’s Purpose

After taking a redundancy and running a network marketing business, I retrained as a John C Maxwell speaker and coach.

As I started coaching clients, and did a little speaking, people began to say how I encouraged and inspired them. This puzzled me at first, as I was just being myself, but I eventually realised that to inspire and encourage others is my life’s purpose.

My dream is to inspire and encourage others, through speaking, coaching and writing, to discover their life’s purpose. I love what I’m doing. work doesn’t feel like work as I’m following my passion and living my dream.

Discover your life’s purpose and live your dream

If you are living your dream, fantastic! Please comment and tell me about it.

If not, have you adopted someone else’s dream and made it fit? Wouldn’t you rather discover your life’s purpose, and live your own dream? Comment with “Purpose” and I’ll send you some information on how you can do this.

Editor’s NoteI

This post was originally published on 18 July 2016, but has since been updated.