Not everyone has a purpose, an overarching goal of their lives, this post is for those who do.
If I’ve learned one thing over the last few years that if you don’t define your purpose and review it regularly it has a tendency to change in ways you didn’t intend at all. Your purpose starts to become about less then it can be. It shifts from changing the world, to getting credit for changing the world. It shifts from donating hours and hours of your considerable skill to a good cause, to donating a check.
When I’m evaluating the strength of a purpose, I find hierarchy of needs (above) to be a helpful rubric. The more rewarding purposes have a tendency to fulfill the higher order needs. So how do you not get stuck on seeking love and esteem and ensure that your purpose can lead to self-actualization?
Try this simple test: How do you feel when you find other people who are working towards the same purpose? If you are competitive or jealous, you probably need a new purpose, it’s unlikely you’re shooting for something that can lead to more then esteem. If you are excited and want to know how you can help them achieve your purpose, then you’re likely working towards the right kind of purpose.