One of the primary reasons people seek out coaching is to take stock of their life and discover meaning, purpose, and passion. I see this as a good thing, a precursor to finding a true compass. Here are some interesting tips I found online for finding your life purpose.

Writer Tor Constantino of Entrepreneur reviews The Art of Work, a book by Jeff Goins, who offers some unconventional advice to help one ditch the status quo and begin a life work that’s filled with passion and purpose. Goins explores three actionable tactics that one can use to identify calling:

  1. Listen to your life.

The best place to begin charting your future is by taking a look at your past. Goins writes, “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I need to listen to my life to tell me who I am.”

  1. Accidental apprenticeships.

No one can achieve success or realize their life purpose by themselves. The process works best with a team of mentors providing guidance. That kind of help is all around us – we just don’t always see it.

  1. Prep for painful practice.

There’s a myth that once you know what it is that you’re supposed to pursue, achieving that purpose will be easy because it plays to your strengths and passion. That’s not always the case. “The paradox is it’s difficult to achieve the level excellence that your calling should merit, but that struggle for mastery is also invigorating and fulfilling. It’s tough and not everybody realizes that until they’re in it,” says Goins.

The author notes that the key is finding where your abilities and personal drive intersect with the needs of others. He believes that you can find that juncture by answering the following three questions:

  • What do I love?
  • What am I good at?
  • What does the world need?

Once that key is identified, you won’t have a job or even a career, but a life purpose.

How does discovering your purpose play out after retirement? Here’s what one university study reports:

  • A study of retired employees of Shell Oil found that men and women who retired early (age 55) were more likely to die early than those who retired at age 65.
  • A similar study of almost 17,000 healthy Greeks showed that the risk of death increased by 51% after retirement.

These studies suggest that there may be some risk in finding meaning only in a career, and stresses the importance of reshaping life’s big questions while finding ways to continue serving purpose even after retirement to improve chances of a longer, healthier life.

Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your calling. ~ Aristotle

If you’ve been asking yourself questions like these, perhaps now is a good time to ask a coach for some guidance. Give me a call, let’s talk. I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here or on LinkedIn.

Showing 2 comments
  • Michele Gonzalez

    I find it interesting the article says that “A study of retired employees of Shell Oil found that men and women who retired early (age 55) were more likely to die early than those who retired at age 65.”

    I am wondering if they used a source group consisting of those who did “nothing” following early retirement, or if it was all inclusive and includes people who pursued their hobbies, started something on their own they were passionate about…. ??

    It’s a scary statistic !!

    • Coach Nancy

      Yes, interesting study, isn’t it? If you wish to learn more, here’s a link to an article about this study on WebMD:
      Of course, early retirement doesn’t cause early death, and it doesn’t say that. I suspect it has more to do with what one does with one’s life and sense of purpose. If you’re curious about this topic, give me a call and let’s talk!