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How to Find Your Higher Purpose

Making your passion your North Star.

Source: Issarawat Tattong/Shutterstock
Find your North Star and keep it in your heart
Source: Issarawat Tattong/Shutterstock

An irony of human life is that we all possess a higher purpose, yet many of us have no idea what it is. Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my purpose here? Am I meant to do more with my life than take care of myself?” So how do you discover your higher purpose?

Tapping into Your Innate Wisdom and Humanity

If you can look at yourself in a mirror, then you can tap into your innate wisdom and humanity. Things that propel us, what I call accelerators like hope, faith, confidence, and optimism, will help. Your purpose will be your gateway to engagement and motivation and the overarching driver for action. It will give you the energy to move forward and free you to make your unique contributions in the world. And remember, when you act with higher purpose, things will generally turn out better.

Ultimately, purpose is the connection between what we do and why we do it. If you're struggling to find your purpose, you might want to think about answering some questions. The New Year is a great time to pick up a journal, light a candle, and write down some of your thoughts about purpose.

To Find Your Purpose, Ask Yourself These Questions:

What do I love doing and what am I passionate about?

When do I feel most alive?

What are my natural talents and skills?

What do others say are my special abilities and qualities?

What values am I most committed to and when do I feel best about myself?

Find Your North Star and Keep It in Your Heart

Aside from the sun, navigators believe the most important star in the sky is the North Star. It’s a humble star, not shining very brightly but always there and reliable. If you find yourself lost on a clear night without a compass, the North Star can be your best friend. Metaphorically, the North Star represents our higher purpose. It leads us to take action and make our own lives and the lives of those around us better. But if you are not keeping your purpose consciously close to your mind and heart, it is easy to get lost. Getting lost in our accelerating and disruptive world is not hard to do.

Conscious people are driven by fundamental, undeniable principles. These principles are deeply ingrained in us, shaped over a lifetime of development and introspection. They serve as a moral compass, an internal guidance system that has honesty and fairness as its magnetic north. At its heart is being a grounded and conscious person. To follow your North Star, you need to be vigilant and aware of the changes around you.

At some point, all of us face conflicts between who we are and what we do. This is a wandering moment—a time when you need to pause and engage in an internal conversation about who you want to be in the world. The more conscious you are, the easier it is to remember your purpose and manage through these contradictions.

Intentions Lead to Actions

To bring your purpose alive, you must translate it into deliberate action. Intentions can be both positive and negative. Regardless, they influence everything we do. Positive intentions are kindness, service, or excellence. They add value to peoples’ lives. Greed, jealousy, envy, and fear fuel our negative intentions. When people are driven by these ghosts, we are often selfish, spiteful, protective, or detached. The goal is to know the inner truth that drives you.

Even when we think they are hidden, our intentions can be seen or felt by others. That’s why we need to be aware of our own intent before we act, and check ourselves for any lurking hijackers that can produce unwanted consequences. Sometimes we step up with good intentions and even then, bad things can happen – like perfectionists who are motivated to get it all right, but whose behavior can feel too controlling to others. Or a hard-driving parent, committed to their child’s success, but who spends too much time in critical mode, dashing their child’s self-confidence.

When you assert yourself and challenge the status quo, or change something, you are telling the world that you are taking personal responsibility for your life and actions. So own your intentions, speak your truth, keep agreements, and practice integrity. Your right intentions will lead to right actions and help you to find and follow your higher purpose!


Live Your Higher Purpose is part of the Step Up practice in CONSCIOUS: The Power of Awareness in Business and LIfe, a Washington Post bestseller written by Dr. Bob Rosen and Emma-Kate Swann. The other three practices are Go Deep, Think Big, and Get Real.

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