So many people I meet feel they lack purpose. They mistakenly believe that a ‘purpose’ must be lofty, noble, or beneficial to a large number of people. Not true!

I learned my purpose in life many years ago. It is to share my story and inspire and uplift others. My purpose is to help people tap into their inner strength and be the best version of themselves. Yes, I want to do so to the broadest possible audience globally, but a person’s purpose can be equally impactful without wanting to be on stage inspiring people.

What if I told you that simply leaving the world in better shape than when you found it was a purpose. Or that making people you know, or come into contact with, feel better about themselves, is a truly noble purpose. The point is, that “purpose” needn’t be heroic or grandiose. It can be simple and humble – yet still very beneficial. If you’re unsure of what your purpose is, you need to identify which values you hold dear? Once you know what matters, you can create an environment of positivity and channel your energies and efforts towards a purpose. Your purpose.

So I’d like you to sit or go for a walk, without headphones or other distractions interrupting your thoughts, and reflect quietly upon what matters to you? Is kindness important? Learning and knowledge? Maybe friendships and love, or integrity, really matter to you. There are a number of values that you can draw upon, but I want you to identify and settle on at least three that really reflects who you are.

The Japanese Samurai lived their lives according to a code of conduct, or as they described it; “a way of being” called ‘Bushido’. At the center of Bushido is ‘The Seven Virtues’, something that resonates with me

The Virtues are:

  •  Integrity (GI)
  • Respect (REI)
  • Heroic Courage (YU)
  • Honour (MEIYO)
  • Compassion (JIN)
  • Honesty & Sincerity (MAKOTO)
  • Duty & Loyalty (CHUGI)

Now, these virtues were of course steeped in the ways of the warrior, but the core principles for a purpose-driven life, hold true. Look at these values and see which ones if any, resonate with you? I think they provide a very good starting point if you are struggling to identify what truly matters to you. Personal values and beliefs motivate our actions and guide us through our lives. They provide our purpose, but more often than not, people have values and beliefs without recognising what their purpose is.

Our lives are shaped by the values we embrace and hold dear and, by extension, this helps determine the life we live. Do you have core values you live by? If so what are they? If not, as I said earlier, I want you to find them. Because living with purpose requires the establishment of, and adherence to, beliefs, virtues, and principles. In my travels I try to impart the wisdom of my experience, the most important of which, is to embrace the ethos; “tomorrow I will be better than I am today”. Which simply means – we should always be looking to improve and grow. Life is a journey through which, we evolve with the passage of time. How that evolution looks, is determined by the principles and values we adopt along the way.

As you read this, I want you to reflect on the person you are. Now ask yourself, if you were to die tomorrow, are you the person you want to be? How would you be remembered? What would your eulogy say about you? 

Conducting a brave personal audit of the person you are will help you quickly arrive at the person you want to be. Perhaps you’re already there? I truly hope you are. But in my experience, that’s seldom the case. It’s a lot like the rule of flying on a commercial aircraft; In the event of a fire, affix the oxygen mask to your face first, before seeking to assist others. In this analogy, the oxygen mask represents your personal values, without which, you cannot determine your purpose, and in doing so, help others.

Of course your purpose is exactly that, YOUR purpose, and it doesn’t mean helping others if you don’t want to. Many psychologists and scientists believe that the main purpose of life is ‘survival’. But that’s a truism for all sentient beings. We humans, with the power of reason and verbal communication, have been gifted a richness of creativity that allows us to find purpose far beyond simply surviving. Purpose allows us to truly live, rather than merely exist.

Find your purpose and live it, my friends.