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Discovering purpose

Posted April 22, 2015 in Advice Column, Beaverdale

During the first half of our lives, our purpose can be very clear.   Our profession, our career generally is one of those purposes that rank near the top. Really, when we go to work every day ,is generally where we spend most of the hours in a day. Many people have a purpose to a significant other, family members and the list goes on and on. We have a whole list of purposes

So what happens when you reach the point of having worked 30, 40, 50 years? The time comes when you can retire from your position. Sounds appealing, right? After all, it’s something that you’ve worked hard for all those years and you’ve looked forward to a time when you didn’t have to go to work every day. You may have a feeling of accomplishment. You contributed great things to your employer and were successful. All this can be true for many people. Others are faced with questions or uncertainties.   There may be a feeling of loss identify and affiliation.

The search for purpose in the second half of life can be trying. Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People suggests “Writing or reviewing a mission statement changes you because it forces you to think through your priorities deeply, carefully, and to align your behavior with your beliefs.”

To help you begin the discovery process for a purpose, in the second half of life, I’ll list of few questions that are intended to guide you into the mode of thinking what your purpose might be.   Get some paper and a pen. Choose the location with the intention of really focusing on the questions and give honest answers. Try to limit your interruptions during this exercise. As you are answering the questions, take time to reflect and project, consider all options and write them down.

  1. What do you enjoy so much that you lose track of time?
  2. What makes you feel good about yourself?
  3. Who inspires you and what are the qualities that inspire you?
  4. What do people ask you to help with?
  5. If you could teach, what would you teach someone else?
  6. What makes you smile or laugh?
  7. What skills and gifts do you have that you’re good at?
  8. What causes do you believe in?
  9. Given your resources of talents, gifts and passion, how would you like to serve, to contribute?


Until next time…

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