I struggle. Especially when that whole damn “life purpose” business dawns on me.
Pulling the plug from “this is your degree so this is what you do,” or “this is your job title so this is your career path” means there are more forks in the road.
More decisions to be made that could be second-guessed 5 years down the road.
More moments when I wondered if the uncertainty and the sacrifices were worth it.
I do, however, remember that every time there’s a fork in the road, the other option triggered so much physical discomfort and emotional pain that it seems, deep down, I know, that wasn’t really a choice.
Don’t we all wish we could have our “life purpose” handed to us on a silver platter? No more doubts, second-guessing, or comparison?
I certainly did. I’ve done all the journalling and programs and meditations. And I still haven’t found THE answer.
All those things I tried, they helped, but the ideas stayed intellectual.
They all sounded good on paper, but living it and feeling it and internalizing it is a different story.
Life purpose is a complicated web of convictions, values, skills, life experiences and talents, which inform and augment each other.
I wish there was a linear 7-step formula to nailing it. Once and done, so we can all move on. Yet life rarely works that way.
Maybe this whole life purpose business is never meant to be a destination, but a process…
An iterative process of growth, reflection, and realization.
The intention to find it, the intellectual exercises to give it a voice, the act of putting it into action, the awareness to check in with yourself, the discipline to be honest, the willingness to take it back to the drawing board — to reflect on what you’ve learned and to articulate the next round of iteration.
You can talk about life purpose till you turn blue but you can only know if it’s true for you if you live it breathe it and reflect on it.
Reflection, articulation, action. Rinse and repeat.
What I find most fascinating is the articulation part.
It’s the unsung hero. We value thinking, and we value action. But articulation is the midwife that helps refine the ideas, make them relevant to the world, create meaning that delivers value, and inform the exact action to be taken.
So many times my clients have all these ideas and vision swirling in their heads that felt like a jumbled bunch of strings and threads and knots.
The moment we start talking about these big ideas they’re able to take a step back and tease out what’s really important to them. (Doesn’t hurt that I grill them like nobody’s ever done before.)
The magic, however, really happens when we put everything that’s in their head on paper — honestly, unapologetically. Seeing their ideas articulated… turned into something tangible, something they can share, something they can own — makes it actionable.
Articulating those ideas reveals the best course of action and offers the motivation to move forward.
The process takes guts. Ideas swirling in your head is private. Putting them on paper is a process of taking up responsibility for them.
Giving them a voice is the first step of turning it into reality… the first step of turning options into action.
Sharing your story and seeing the trajectory of your life help you create meaning and relevance out of the path you chose to walk…
Taking you closer to where you want to be, and who you want to become.
The destination may not be crystal clear. It’s not a once-and-done. At the next crossroad, you’ll have to reiterate — reflect, articulate and act… going through the grinder and do it all over again.
I do believe, when you do it enough, you’ll get closer.
p.s. that’s why I love helping clients write their About Page so much… the process of transformative storytelling is so life-changing for them that you wouldn’t believe how much they get out of writing a damn page for a website. And yeah, they’ve the copy to pop right into their site to boot.
Ling Wong :: Intuitive Brainiac | Creativity Mentor | Copywriting Alchemist. Author of Copywriting Alchemy: Secrets to Turning a Powerful Personal Brand Into Content that Sells.
Through her unique blend of marketing coaching, Content Experience Design and copywriting process, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate & transform their WHY into content that connects, resonates and converts — by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 15 years experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling is Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing certified. Through her writing engagements with various SaaS and marketing companies with the goals of driving organic traffic, building readership and increasing conversion, she’s well-versed in topics including online marketing, content marketing, eCommerce, conversion, UX, social media marketing, and more.
She helps coaches, consultants, service professionals, solopreneurs and small businesses apply these best practices to their specific business models and circumstances.
Ling is an avid cyclist with OCD (obsessive climbing disorder,) runner and chocoholic.
Join her upcoming Content Marketing in Plain English webinar series here.