When I first started my coaching business, I read lots of advice about the need for a business purpose statement, so, dutifully, I got to work crafting one. In the midst of that process, something very cool happened: I also ended up creating a personal purpose statement.
Before my business, it never even occurred to me to create a purpose statement for my life. Now, in hindsight, I can’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner! It is one of the best things I have ever done, and today I want to share five reasons why I now believe EVERYONE should have a personal purpose statement no matter who you are or what you do.
But first, what exactly is a personal purpose statement?
When I say purpose statement I mean a brief statement that summarizes your reason for being. It’s a distillation of your core values and a synopsis of who you are and what you believe God has created you to do. (Next week I’ll be sharing more about how to actually create one!)
5 ways a purpose statement can help you live a more meaningful, fulfilling life
Now that we have that covered, here are five awesome ways a purpose statement has helped me live a more meaningful, effective, and fulfilling life--and how it can help you too.
1. Writing my purpose statement helped me sharpen my understanding of who I am.
My purpose statement is a distillation of what I know about myself so far. Writing it required some serious contemplation. Like kneading bread dough, I worked it over and over in my mind and notebook. When we do the hard work of putting something into words, it brings a deeper level of understanding. Forcing myself to evaluate my core values, characteristics, passions, and dreams helped me get a clearer sense of my identity. It helped me clarify who I and what I’m doing.
2. Writing my purpose statement helped me see how I can walk out my purpose every day.
Getting to the essence of who I am, through the process of writing a purpose statement, helped me see that my purpose isn’t just some grand finale type destination that I’ll reach in the far future. It’s something I can practice every day.
For example, part of my purpose is to bring light, life, and encouragement to the world. I don’t have to publish a book, be on national TV, or found an organization to do this. I can do it in little ways, like sending an encouraging text message or praying for a friend. I'm still working towards my big goals and dreams, but I recognize that I can actively walk out my purpose now, even as I build toward the bigger things.
3. My purpose statement reminds me of my direction and my desired destination.
My purpose statement is based on who I am, and it summaries how I’m aiming to make a difference in the world around me. What positive change do I want to create? What has God called me to do? By answering these questions, I gained valuable clues to which direction I should be headed, as well as a vision of where I want to end up.
4. My purpose statement helps me determine my priorities.
Because I know what I’m aiming for, I know what my priorities should be—those things most likely to get me where I want to go.
5. My purpose statement helps me set healthy boundaries.
Because I know what my priorities are, it is much easier to set up healthy boundaries.
When something comes across my path—an invitation, opportunity, job offer, etc—it’s usually pretty easy to determine whether it fits with my core purpose or not. If it fits with my purpose and the timing is right, I can say yes gladly, knowing I am moving forward in my purpose. If it doesn’t complement my purpose, it’s much easier to say no, knowing that I must let go of anything that would detract from what God has called me specifically to do.
For me, my purpose statement is a bit like a compass, a useful tool to guide me in the right direction. But it’s also more than that—it’s a reminder of who I am on a deep level, a reflection of my values, passions, and motivations.
No matter who you are or what you do, a purpose statement can help you can live a more effective, meaning-filled life. God has a special plan for your life, and the world needs the gifts that you have!
If this is an area you’d like someone to come alongside and journey with you through, I’d love to help! Click here to learn more about how we can work together!
And stay tuned for my post next week, where I’ll be sharing some practical steps to develop your own purpose statement.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV
I want to hear from you!
Do you have a purpose statement? What difference has it made in your life? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
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