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A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

Living Life on Purpose

Are you living a dull, lackluster life – without joy and purpose? Are you melancholy, bored, or hopeless? Have you given up on achieving anything great in life and find yourself content to co-exist with purposelessness?

A release from this captivity is available, if you are willing to be one of the ones to embrace the idea that there is something you are specifically on this earth to do.

Helen Keller once said, “Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”



My Place in this World
A recent Google search on “How do I discover my purpose in life?” generated over 44 million responses. A barrage of advice is readily available to us on how to discover and live our life purpose.

One such response made my lengthy research seem paltry. The article, “How to discover your life purpose in 20 minutes”, attempted to answer what is a life-long journey for some in a mere twenty minutes. I was insulted but decided to read on. In his defense, the author actually shared a relevant, to-the-point exercise intended to direct you to your life purpose within short order. While it doesn’t span the complexities of a life purpose plan, I must admit it is a good first step.

First, the article admonishes us to rid ourselves of any false purposes that we’ve been taught, including the premise that we have no purpose. Then it encourages us to sit – pen and paper in hand – and do the following:

1. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”

2. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.

3. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

The author shares that somewhere between 100-500 possible answers, we will discover our purpose – regardless of how much we believe in, or doubt, the exercise. (

Journey to Purpose
In the lives of many, confusion often stands in the way of purpose. Even individuals who diligently pursue a specific purpose in life sometimes come up empty.

Dr. Katie Brazelton understands. Dr. Brazelton – Ph.D., M.Div., M.A. – author of the runaway-selling Pathway to Purpose series, was thrust into a transition that left her without purpose. Almost twenty years ago, Dr. Brazelton found herself divorced and suddenly facing new roles in life. With nothing but ‘the unknown’ in front of her, the sudden angst of purposelessness almost tore her apart.

In retrospect, she says that she is amazed now that she actually thought she could find her life purpose in the midst of her frantic life. She was too busy numbing her pain with overspending, travel, and work.

Dr. Brazelton’s own journey to discover her life purpose led her to Calcutta to talk to Mother Teresa about joy, and to Belfast as a guest of Ireland’s Nobel Peace Laureate to discuss inner peace. But it wasn’t until she got still – still enough to rise above the noise and confusion – that she discovered the one great thing in life she was designed to do.

“The reason I think I struggled so (as a lone ranger)…is for the specific purpose of letting me feel that desperateness that so many others feel.” After learning firsthand the pathway to purpose, Dr. Brazelton now spends her days training others to do the same, with the goal of helping others bypass some of the angst of purposelessness. She has trained women across the USA, and into Canada, England, France, Australia and Jamaica.

How to Live with Passion and Purpose
Life is designed to be joyful. As you learn to live your life on purpose, you will discover a joy unknown to you before.

I have discovered some common denominators in a search for purpose in life. Your strengths, passions, and talents seem to be the greatest indication of what you are designed to do with your life.

Let’s take a look at yours:

What are your strengths?

1. What attributes do you have – what distinguishes you from others?

2. What assets do you possess – what are your useful and valuable qualities?

What are your passions?

1. What excites you about life?

2. What energizes you, what makes you feel fulfilled?

3. What would you do even if you didn’t have to?

4. What did you enjoy as a child?

What are your talents?

1. What do you do that seems easy and natural?

2. What is your unique, natural talent: writing, skiing, teaching, speaking, music, working with children, working with animals?

3. What have you created that people compliment you on?

Many of us have undervalued our natural strengths, passions and talent. Yet, these are key to discovering what our purpose in life is. Did your answers lead you to a specific direction? Is there a worthy purpose, a specific purpose for your life, which you are missing?

Jo Ann Fore welcomes your comments about this article or suggestions for material you would like to see in future articles. Email her at: A Better You is published every Saturday.


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