Have You Found Your Purpose?

Have you found your purpose? People with a strong sense of purpose share a number of characteristics:

* They love what they are doing.
* Work and leisure time sometimes seem the same.
* When they feel frustrated or irritated with a particular aspect of their job, they maintain a  deep feeling that what they are doing is still “right.”
* They often feel that there is nothing else they would rather be doing.
* They usually feel at peace.
* They trust that things will work out for them.
* They usually maintain a positive attitude.
* Their work energizes them.

People who lack a sense of purpose are usually busy, often with full to overflowing schedules, but there is a hole in the middle. The center that should be occupied by their passion is empty. Joy and happiness can be found only when you learn to fill the center with activities that are given meaning and form by an understanding of who you are and why you have been put on this world.

They try to fill the hole with work, things, or money. But all their “stuff” gives them no real satisfaction; they hate their work and feel suffocated by the demands of family and friends. They have failed to follow their passion. They let themselves be talked into a job they had no real desire to do because it paid well, was close to home, or had good hours. 

Unlike the expectations of early generations, today’s employees expect a job to be rewarding in ways other than merely financial. The authors of Take this Job and Love it wrote:
The challenge to find meaning in what you do is at the core of the new work ethic. Employees want more than just a paycheck from their work. They want to feel connected to their organization’s mission and vision. They look toward the organization as a place where they can grow and accomplish their own personal vision as well as the organization’s larger purpose.

Note that your particular job may not be the essence of your purpose. For example, your passion might be in raising your children, and you need employment to support them financially. In this situation you might simply choose a job because it is close to home and pays well. In that case, even though it is not your passion, you will do your job cheerfully and with dedication because your work is fueled by the energy that you derive from serving your family, which is the purpose around which the rest of your life revolves. In other words, your work supports your passion, which should serve to make the work meaningful and bring joy and contentment to your life.

The destination is not the ultimate aim. The joy comes from the journey. Purpose is bound up in the process.

Bon voyage! 
Jim White, PhD
Author & Creator of What’s My Purpose?

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26 Responses to “Have You Found Your Purpose?”

  1. James Kueth Says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am so grateful for this booklet. Please keep on supplying me.

    James Kueth

  2. Toni Says:

    Mr. White,

    I look forward (with great anticipation) the transformation of not only myself with your program, but the rest of the WORLD!



  3. Carolyn Says:

    I believe I found my purpose after going through several personal tradgedies in the past several years. I began teaching, trying to help others realize their potential and my life has never been more fullfilling then it is now. Sharing knowledge and experience is a joy.
    I look forward to continuing the journey, knowing it is not ‘about me’.

  4. Spiritual Life Coach Lily On Earth Says:

    Dear Jim,

    Thank you for bringing about this so very important subject
    to the world! It is the most forgotten truth why people fail
    in reaching their goals. Life becomes so easy and so blessed
    as soon as you find your life purpose! Thank you!

    I Love You! Everything is already yours!

  5. Jacqueline Says:

    Yes, Jim, I have found my purpose. The work I do, writing and teaching about spiritual awakening, fills me with passion, love, and joy. When I’m writing, its as if time stands still and the universe seems both near and expansive, personally. I love that what I love most to do is a blessing to others and my heart swells with joy when I hear from someone who has been helped by it. I feel more alive than I ever have before.
    That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? When I’m in the midst of my work, it is. But today I’m facing the possibility of losing it all. I have two young children, just got a divorce, (no alimony or child support), my disability just got terminated because I’m going to school online, and I haven’t found a job. My house will go into foreclosure next week and I have no family to turn to for help. While I truly believe that there is always enough of everything for everyone and the universe supports me perfectly, fear is pressing in on me for what may be just about to happen.
    I remind myself that in this moment, I actually have everything I need, but I have to think about how I’m going to provide for my kids.
    Jim, I believe in living our purpose and committing ourselves to our path with faith that our needs are being provided for, but I am afraid. I have overcome so much in my life, but I don’t want to be just a survivor anymore. Please encourage me, and send some Light my way.
    Thank you. I send you many blessings.

  6. Betty Says:

    I am 51 years old, and I know it’s never to late find your purpose in life.
    there’s feeling you cannot explain. this is right on time!

  7. Betty Says:

    I am 51 years old, and I know it’s never to late find your purpose in life.
    there’s a feeling you cannot explain. This book is right on time!

  8. Paul Says:

    Yes, I believe my purpose found me in a solemn moment along the Chesapeake bay in Virginia Beach on an overcast afternoon June 2000, and the effects of my decision to hear and embrace the calling drive me each day to better understand how it can co-create a peaceful world for us to enjoy!

    I applaud your bold statement to pioneer this movement, and believe I can support you and will benefit from our relationship in unlimited ways. How can I serve?

  9. sylvia Rodriguez Says:

    I feel after answering the question in part one I feel that I need to look deeper into my heart
    Im currently a Realtor and with the declining market and empty pockets sometimes I feel that I should be doing more but I love what I do I just need to do more. I wake each morning with a feeling of gratitud for what I have taking the time to be with my higher power and beliving that he has complete control of my life. and that everything I need is provided to me.

  10. Karen Says:

    I am 56 and I think I finally found my purpose. My work
    is fun NOW for the first time in a very long time. I
    meet your criteria…work/play seem the same, I feel
    a lot more at peace, stress is about gone and I am happy
    all the time!!! Thank you! I look forward to reading the
    gift chapters. Giving back is the best!

  11. Bernie Says:

    I hope by discussing this and your website to build a movemement with people being clear on their purrpose that more people are provoked to think about this - and that it does make a difference in the world. Becoming crystal clear on my purpose is somethin gthat I have been particularly focused on over the last couple of years. It has effected the work I do, where I live, and a reconnecgion with my family and life long friends. I am excited about the future, and the opportunity to use my talents in organisational performance improvement in improving our health system. I am becoming a leader for the cause of improving community health. I want to become a better role model for my family and helping them fulfil their potential. I still have a lot to learn in really being at one with my purpose and I look forward to following the progress of this movement.


  12. Ramona P. Rubio Ph.D. Says:

    Yes John, I have found my true calling/purpose that I’m passionate about. I am a modern day Alchemical Woman who is committed to spreading the good news about Alchemy as a holistic tool for personal and collaborative transformation using a multimedia approach–local to global gatherings. I desire to connect and network with like-minded people who envision innovative ways of relating to each other and the planet.

    In addition, I believe that within each one of us is our Inner Alchemist, the golden man or woman, who is waiting to help us discover our GREAT WORK, our life’s purpose. So I am excited to add my energy to your wonderful cause.

    Here’s to our Alchemical Awakening,

    Ramona Rubio, Ph.D.
    The Alchemical Woman

  13. Ramona P. Rubio Ph.D. Says:

    Hi Jim,

    I apologize for giving you a new name. I had a senior moment caused by my passion to share my life’s purpose with our fellow bloggers.

    Here’s to passion and purpose,

    Ramona Rubio Ph.D.
    The Alchemical Woman

  14. Joann Says:

    I am ready to find my purpose.

  15. Jennifer Says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to join your movement in helping us all find or be more aware of our
    purpose in life. I look forwarding to reading your chapters and seeing how I can find out my purpose. Anything that helps us focus on the good things the universe supplies for us and how to be grateful for them must add positive action. I look forward to the discovery.

  16. BJ Says:

    Hi Jim,

    Just wanted to say that I was just thinking about how I could introduce others to finding their purpose and I think this book may just be that GIFT!

    SageMasters Enterprises

  17. Lexi Baz Says:

    6 months ago, my Husband and I took a chance and began a
    dog walking business and it has been the best gamble of our lives.
    Working with animals is so rewarding, we are learning from
    them as much as the other way around. I spend my days hiking
    through the woods and trails in awe of the world around me.
    Finding my purpose has given me access to confidence I never
    allowed myself before now. Healthier, happier, and the rest
    will come as our business grows.
    As more people in the world open themselves to a new way
    of walking in this world, inspiring each other and feeling a
    connection to this planet as a whole, a new direction for
    society will emerge.
    Dogs are an amazing example of living in the now. Every day
    is an adventure, and they always remind you that anything
    your doing can be fun because its all what you make it :)

  18. Michele Says:

    It’s amazing where your path in life takes you! I so look forward to giving back and inspiring other people. I have had much personal growth and development over the past 18 months, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with the rest of the world. I am also excited to learning more and more to continually strive to uncover my purpose.

  19. Joanna Sherwell Says:

    I believe that everyone is born with unique gifts and
    strengths and that the educational system is not equipped
    to help most people tap into theses strengths, which results
    in many people ‘just taking a job to pay the bills’ and
    without even knowing it, letting their true amazing gifts to
    the world waste away.
    Your skills may not be mainstream; you may be exceptionally
    creative but unsure what to do with it, you may have the
    gift of making people laugh and wish you could do it more,
    you may be great at writing but never pursuued it, you may
    love cooking and wish you could share your recipes with
    others, you may have a natural ability to sense what people
    need and aren’t sure how to put that into practice. All
    these things are what make you truly happy and to live a
    life of joy and fulfillment, you must do what makes you
    happy. Find a way maintain your lifestyle and continue
    working if need be, and pursue your interests and passions
    at the same time.
    As mentioned above when we find our purpose in life and
    begin to live it, life sure does feel amazing.
    Make a decision today to sit down and identify 5 things
    which you love to do… and commit to finding ways to do
    Enjoy!! :-)

  20. Jackie Brennan Says:

    I have just received your two chapters and have only glanced through them and already I am inspired to write down a comment! This is unheard of as I NEVER blog! My life I should imagine mirrors SO MANY people, I am not a spiritual or a religious person and yet there seems to have been some profound shifts, nothing monumental, but little nudges which all seem to be moving me in the one direction - My Life Purpose. You were there when I asked, the true meaning of a friend!
    Thank you.

  21. Kelli Corasanti Says:

    I am very blessed to know and be living within the purpose of my life. Through the teachings of others, including Bill Harris, Jack Canfield, Jim Rohn, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Eric Amidi and more, I have taken the steps needed to define that purpose as specifically as I can. As the other comments have stated, once you understand the mission of your life, everything becomes easier. When you are moving with the ‘flow’ within you, life becomes joyous and abundant.

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this Purpose Movement. The more people can understand what they have to give, the more peaceful and beautiful this world will be.

  22. Josephine Colahan Says:

    Dear Jim

    I have known my passion for the abundance of the natural world for my whole life but never knew how to express that to others so they were touched, moved and inspired by my passion. At the end of 2006 I was resting on my camp stretcher under the stars in the Tanami Desert and recognised it was not enough for me to love and live this wonderful life, journeying over the beautiful face of this Earth who supports us so bountifully. That night I designed the life I wanted to live in addition to the wonderful one I already was living. For me to accomplish this I had to be someone I had never been before. This exciting challenge brought me to network marketing where self expression is the name of the game. Now I can live the life I love, out in the natural world, and share this passion with many others. I can make a difference in their lives while benefiting the Earth I love. You can get an understanding of the vision of the company I represent by watching this 5 minute video: http://bodhitree.mienterprize.com

    Love, Josephine

  23. Mary cooper Says:

    Yes i too want to live my purpose. I have taken time out, invested money i dont have, and taken huge risks. However no matter how committed i remain nothing seems to really develop or take off. Not sure if the energy is not right and i haven’t really found my purpose or if negativity and lack of confidence holds me back. Probably both. At present i am fluctuating between thooughts of giving up and plodding forward regardless. Hope the teleseminar will help to inspire me. I support everyone finding their purpose. x

  24. Rhonda Staudt Says:

    Long ago I found my purpose and I am living an incredibly fascinating life doing exactly what I prepared for. Naturally there have been huge stumbling blocks along the way aka challenges but without them I would never have been able to identify what my lifes purpose is. My purpose does not change but I am committed to fine tuning it as I grow and learn more about my life’s purpose. Thank you for creating this forum of discussion and together we can support each other in living our lives purpose. In friendship; Rhonda

  25. patrick J. harbula Says:

    This is a fantastic subject! In my work as founder a life coach of 20 years, founder of the Living Purpose Institute, and author of “The Magic of the Soul,”
    I have found that most people confuse purpose with job or vocation. How I define purpose is “an intention that can be fulfilled through any job, any vocation, and in fact, at any moment in time . . . including this moment here and now! It is generally speaking, WHAT WE LOVE TO DO THAT MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE, or, CONTRIBUTES TO THE LIVES OF OTHERS.

    When someone tells me their purpose is to write self-help books (regardless of what their 9 to 5 job is), I ask, “what is the most important or profound experience or feeling that you would like to the reader of your books to receive from your writing?” Maybe the answer is “I want them to be inspired,” I want them to feel powerful,” “I want them to be healed,” “I want them to be more organized,” “I want them to feel connected,” “accepted,” or “loved.” These are core qualities that relate to one’s sacred purpose.

    Once a life purpose definition is created based on these core qualities, then it can be used as a mantra and taken into every area of life and every interaction as an intention. The only place you can ever fulfill your purpose is here and now. If you think you will fulfill it when you have a better or different job or more money, you are only projecting it into a future that may never come. By fulfilling your purpose consistently in the here and now, you begin living in the energy of your highest self and attracting all of the resources, skills, and knowledge to fulfill it in increasingly meaningful, magnificent, and even profitable ways. Which by the way, will lead to what I call “VOCATIONAL ECSTASY”, which is simply being paid well to do what you love to do that makes the world a better place or contribute to the lives of others.

    To learn more about THIS system of life purpose discovery and direction and to use the life purpose definition tool (which will assist you in formulating a life purpose definition in less than 10 minutes), please visit http://www.livingpurposeinstitute.com/purpose_form.htm. Here you will also learn how your greatest childhood lack is the key to your most effective and meaningful fulfillment of purpose. Here’s a hint from Robert Bly: “Your wound is your gift to the world.”

    May YOUR highest visions be fulfilled!

    Patrick J. Harbula

  26. Cheri Moritz Says:

    As I read your list above, I felt a validation of what I’ve been doing for the last year or two daily. Before that, I did it but only in intervals then I would get lost again in the pain and stuggles of life that were a part of my learning that would bring me to where I am today..I live alone, have for many years, not necessarily by choice, but more as it was needed to keep my mind on what my purpose in life is and get it in motion strong enough that relationship couldn’t distract me from it..

    I love what I do everyday..my purpose was to find out everything I could about the higher form of Love and how it applies to our Love Relationships, and then share that wisdom with others..In some way or another I am doing the sharing part now, most hours of my day. I get filled up by it to the point of wondering if there is anymore room left to fill me with before I will burst..time melts away..

    I become so present in the moment that there is nothing else around me..I love helping others understand their Relationship better, from a Spiritual View Point, which is quite different than most people are accustomed to seeing their Relationship. It eliminates the ‘victim’ consciousness and shows them they were never victims, but instead on a Spiritual Joruney with experiences that you chose or are choosing to go through, to learn some great lessons from for your own personal growth.

    In Relationships we are given the greatest opportunity to grow. We learn out Greatest Lessons about the Higher form of Love through the vehicle of challenging Relationships. I believe that success in Relationship does not only come through finding the right partner, but through becoming the right partner…this is what I have and wspent 35 plus years doing and understanding the hows and whys through experience and study.I once heard that “Wisdom not shared is a waste of a whole lifetime of experience.” So my purpose at this time in my life and my passion is to share the Wisdoms I have gained through my life’s experience. And I’m lovin doin it..Cheri Moritz


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