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Finding Purpose in the Modern Age

Imagine waking up to the sound of your alarm blaring, dragging yourself out of bed with a sense of dread gnawing at the pit of your stomach. Another day stretches out before you, filled with the same monotonous routine and seemingly endless to-do lists. You go through the motions, mechanically ticking off tasks and obligations, but deep down, you can't shake the feeling that something is missing.

As you navigate through the day, you find yourself caught in a whirlwind of busyness, constantly rushing from one thing to the next without a moment to pause and reflect. Despite your best efforts to stay productive, you can't shake the nagging sense of emptiness that lingers beneath the surface.

By the time evening rolls around, exhaustion sets in, both physically and mentally. You collapse onto the couch, mindlessly scrolling through your phone or binge-watching TV shows in a futile attempt to numb the sense of dissatisfaction that haunts you. Another day has passed, but you can't help but wonder: Is this all there is to life?

You're not alone.

In this modern age, many of us find ourselves trapped in the cycle of busyness, struggling to find meaning and purpose amidst the chaos of everyday life. But here's the thing: purpose may not be a prerequisite for all of us, but living without it may hold us back from realising our full potential and living a truly fulfilling life.

Viktor Frankl, a renowned psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, introduced the concept of logotherapy – the idea that finding meaning in life is essential to human well-being. Frankl observed that those who survived the concentration camps were often the ones who had a strong sense of purpose, a reason to keep going even in the face of unimaginable suffering. This insight highlights the importance of having a clear sense of purpose in navigating life's challenges.

If it's something you'd like to do, here are nine practical tools and strategies to help you uncover your intrinsic motivation and cultivate that sense of purpose in your lives:

1. Ikigai Framework: Originating from Japan, Ikigai represents the intersection of what you love, what you're good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Take time to reflect on these areas and identify where they overlap. This can provide valuable insight into your purpose and direction in life. By aligning your actions with your values, you can create a sense of purpose that resonates with your authentic self.

2. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practising mindfulness and meditation can help you quiet the noise of daily life and connect with your inner self. Set aside time for mindfulness exercises or meditation every day to reflect on your values, aspirations, and goals.

3. Set Meaningful Goals: Instead of chasing superficial markers of success, focus on goals that are meaningful and fulfilling to you personally. Whether it's pursuing a passion project, making a positive impact in your community, or nurturing relationships with loved ones, meaning may seem different for each of us. Choose goals that align with your values and contribute to your sense of purpose.

4. Strengths Assessment: Utilise tools like the CliftonStrengths assessment or VIA Character Strengths survey to identify your unique strengths and talents. Understanding your strengths can guide you toward activities and pursuits that energise you and align with your sense of purpose.

5. Find Your "Why": Simon Sinek famously said, "Start with why." Understanding the underlying reasons behind your actions can help you connect with a deeper sense of purpose. Ask yourself why you do what you do, and keep digging until you uncover the core motivations driving your behaviour. Perhaps instead of “What’s my purpose in life?”, try “Why is having purpose so important to me?

6. Vision Board: Create a vision board that visually represents your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Use images, words, and symbols that resonate with you and reflect your sense of purpose. Place your vision board somewhere visible to serve as a daily reminder of what you're working toward.

7. Journaling Prompts: Set aside time for reflective journaling using prompts such as:

  • What activities make me lose track of time?

  • What values are most important to me, and how do I express them in my daily life?

  • What impact do I want to have on the world, and how can I align my actions with that vision?

8. Experimentation and Exploration: Don't be afraid to try new things and explore different paths. Engage in activities outside your comfort zone and pay attention to what brings you joy and fulfilment. Keep an open mind and be willing to adapt as you discover what resonates most with you.

9. Seek Support: Sometimes, finding purpose requires a little help from others. Consider seeking guidance from a coach or mentor who can provide insight, encouragement, and accountability as you navigate your journey toward purpose. Our coaching service is here to support you every step of the way, offering personalised guidance and tools to help you unlock your potential and live a life of purpose.

Remember, finding purpose is a journey, not a destination. It's okay to feel lost or uncertain at times, but by staying true to your values, focusing on the things you love, and setting meaningful goals, you can uncover the sense of purpose that lies within you.

If you need a little help, we are one call away.

Xin Yi Ng (Michelle)

Research & Development Lead

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