Finding purpose is like decluttering a home

Knowing your purpose is freeing — and finding it — can be similar to decluttering your home, Linda Bark wrote for Mind Body Green.

“Like a good home cleaning session, getting clear on your purpose will leave you with the things that you truly value and bring you great joy,” she wrote.

I agree wholeheartedly. When people find their purpose, it enables them to ignore all the shiny objects and distractions that seem to pull them away from that purpose to pursue less noble goals. By zeroing in on that purpose, we can say “no” to the dozens of other good ideas and opportunities that present themselves in ways that slow our momentum.

Linda offers tips on how to be clear on a sense of purpose, but also offers advice for building that purpose. She recommended four steps for identifying a purpose and refining it into motivating factor. The steps are:

  1. Recruit friends to help — Have them ask, “What is your life purpose?” then write down any ideas that come to mind.
  2. Write a short purpose statement — Then consider steps to take to accomplish the mission.
  3. Notice what brings you joy or happiness — Make notes of what gives you energy or motivates you to get up in the morning.
  4. Stay open to new inspiration — Strengthen your vision by connecting with people who are aligned with your purpose.

Linda said connecting to purpose is a lifelong practice continuously refined by insight gained through experiences and feedback from others.

However, the goal is to fine tune the purpose you’ve already identified. Many times, I could derail my momentum by thinking I needed to go in a different direction or embrace ideas that would work to dilute that purpose.

For example, when I edited a news publication targeting people working in the RV industry, I was on top of my game. I was innovative and accomplishing things no other publication had attempted. However, then I got caught up in the idea I needed to expand by creating a publication targeting RV owners.

As a result, I diluted my purpose, divided my attention, consumed more resources, created more headaches and, eventually, both publications failed simply because I opted against focusing on what I excelled at doing to enter an unfamiliar market.

Linda’s full story is available at Mind Body Green.