Do you sometimes struggle with finding your true life purpose? Motivational speakers and self-help books often give similar advice that goes like this: “You have been put on earth for a unique purpose. Find your unique purpose and life will be blissful.” That’s a lot of pressure!
What happens when you don’t feel connected to a life purpose? How do you feel if you don’t know your unique purpose?
A grand life purpose is not necessary, in our view, in part because your stage of life is constantly changing. Instead an “orientation” to life is what we recommend. That orientation acts like a compass to guide and direct your life’s journey. Is your life compass pointed toward empowering yourself and others, or is your life compass oriented toward what you don’t like, and you react in the moment to life’s dramas?
In the TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™ framework, the Creator is the central role and serves as the positive alternative to the Victim role in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™. Being a Creator is your true essence and you have the capacity to choose your orientation in the moment. Even when your choice may seem narrow or unpleasant, the power to choose your response helps liberate you from unconscious reactive habits that push you into the DDT.
Focusing on what you really want, as a Creator, doesn’t mean that you must always have, or endlessly seek, a grand life purpose. In fact, that’s a way to unleash the inner-Persecutor because you feel you’re the only one who hasn’t yet discovered your purpose.
By adopting a Creator orientation, you focus on living consciously and being more self-aware in each moment. With this orientation, you live on purpose—-consciously and with an overarching sense of purpose as a Creator—-rather than striving to find one true and right purpose as though it were a destination.
How might you discern and set your orientation to life? One way is to interview your future self. It may not be as easy or funny as it sounds. If fact, when we interviewed ourselves, we had a profound experience.
You can get started interviewing your future self by determining how far in the future you want to have the conversation: 5, 10, 25 years out? You’ll get different answers from your future self, depending on the stage of life you interview, because things shift depending on your stage.
Here are a few sample questions to ask yourself. Write down your answers to each question and have a conversation like a reporter recording an interview. Have fun and enjoy the conversation.
- What experience have meant the most to you, across all your years?
- What have you found that holds real heart and meaning for you?
- What do you wish you had known as me today that you know now (in your future)?
- Is there a risk you wish you had taken but didn’t?
- What gives you the most joy today?
- What advice do you have for me?
You may find that this feels awkward or you are somewhat disconnected from your future self. Play with it. Relax into the exercise and just write down what comes to mind in response to the questions.
Your Creator wisdom already exists inside of you as your future self. It will guide you like a compass, if you listen. Notice the emotional relief that arises when you let go of needing a single purpose. As a Creator, you can choose to orient your life with purpose rather than a purpose.