Most approaches to the question to ones ‘life purpose’ tend to assume it’s one of three things:
- You just need to use your primary talents
- You just need to do what really matters
- You just need to do what makes a difference to others
They’re not wrong, just incomplete. Each of these is partially true. However, there’s something magic and even more true when we combine all three. Each are a primary ingredient to a superb dish.
Something truly profound happens when we’re living through all three simultaneously. The intersection of your primary defining talent—your gift—serving a need that’s important for others is your contribution, you’re providing value and serving others, and when acted on increases satisfaction. Where what’s most important for you—your message—meets the need that’s important for others, you have alignment and a feeling of belonging. When your gift intersects with what’s most important for you, you have a sense of purpose and feel a sense of meaning. Fulfilment is all three.
Indicators for change
Without utilising your gift, whatever you are doing will be far more tiring than it could otherwise be. When what you are doing does not include what’s most important for you, it’ll feel empty. If what you’re doing is about you and not about serving others, it’ll probably be depressing. Without a sense of purpose, you’re likely to feel somewhat restless, and others might see you as unmotivated. If alignment is substantially missing, you’re likely to feel rather frustrated, and others might see you as a misfit. Where there’s an inability to make a contribution, you’ll probably feel a little like you’re going to waste, and others might perceive you as perhaps incompetent.
Something about how we’re living needs attention if what’s we’re doing is tiring, feels empty, or seems depressing. They’re simply indications that life is seeking to change—feedback that our own life is asking us to show up differently. It doesn’t have to remain that way.
When it’s working
When you’re on purpose, you’re doing work you love. When what’s important for you meets a need that’s important for others, you’re interacting with people who love it. When you’re making your true contribution, it’s in a way that just works. In other words, when you’re using your gift serving others in a way that you’re most passionate about—its work you love, with people who love it, in a way that works. Now that’s fulfilling.
This is shown in the following model—the life-calling fulfilment™ model.
The Life Calling Fulfilment™ model.
- How clear am I on each aspect—my gift, my message, and how that serves a need?
- What’s the degree to which I’m connected with that in what I do—is what I’m doing helping to produce it?
- How willing am I to create it, in a way that’s right for me?