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3 Deep Questions About Life To Help You Live With Purpose

Asking deep questions about life can help to live with purpose

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There are times in each of our lives when we hit a plateau. It often happens after the end of something; a divorce, kids moving out or a career winding down. Despite our best efforts to start anew, endings can result in disorientation, anxiety and depression. They can stir up a number of deep questions about life. Our previous life chapter gave us a sense of purpose but with its end, that sense dissolves. This leaves us with a new longing to live with purpose.

For some of us, a disconnect from purpose happens spontaneously. It’s not an external life transition that causes a plateau but rather a change within. We may evolve beyond our life circumstances and sense deeply that we no longer belong in the life we are in. So either life changes to become a mismatch for us as we are, or we change to become a mismatch for the life we are in. Either way we must find a new way to live with purpose to alleviate our existential agony. 

If a plateau has unfolded in your life, discovering a new path to live with purpose is key. And the best way to uncover this path is by using powerful purpose questions. The following 3 deep questions about life are a helpful starting point.

Question #1: What Is Purpose?

This is one of many deep questions about life that people overlook. Purpose means a lot of different things to different people. And a sense of purpose can be derived in a multitude of ways. It helps to have a clear understanding of what purpose means to you. If you aren’t sure, I will share my own perspective to get you started. Over many years of investigating, exploring and coaching around the concept of purpose I’ve come to discover that we may actually all have the same overarching purpose: To create a life that reflects the truth of who we are.

But because we are each unique in who we are, the purposeful life we each create is distinct. It must be an authentic expression of what is true and important for us, and us alone. When life circumstances change they may fall out of alignment with who we are. And when we profoundly grow, our life may not automatically reflect that growth. 

Living a purposeful life begins with decoding what your current personal truth is; becoming aware of who you are by nature, of what you are here to give and experience, and why. When you take time to excavate this, living a life of purpose becomes exciting and finding a way to move forward becomes inevitable. The more you start living your purpose, the more inspired and joyful you become. Relationships improve, health soars, stress dissipates, finances improve…the list of benefits is long. This leads to the next of the life questions to ask.

Question #2: What Is My Why?

‘What is your why,’ is another way of asking, ‘what is your reason for doing something?’ Living with purpose often requires difficult choices and new actions outside of your comfort zone. It is critical to know the driving force within you for wanting to create a purposeful life. When you know why you are doing something it gives you the motivation and energy required to take action. It also builds grit and resilience to face challenges or resistance in charting a new course.

Start by asking: What do I care most about in my life right now?

What do you most want in life? Improving your health? A new relationship? Supporting loved ones? Generating income? Expressing yourself creatively? Is it finally living life for yourself? 

Whether it is one main thing or a number of things, finding your why requires you to dig even deeper by asking: What will achieving this cause me to feel?

The answer will usually reveal a feeling or state that stems from your core values. And your truth is the experience of this feeling. In other words, when you are living in a way that brings about this feeling, you are aligned with your purpose.

Improving your health may bring you peace, confidence or vitality.

A better relationship may bring you intimacy, adventure or vulnerability.

Expressing your creativity may bring you exhilaration, fulfillment or joy.

These feelings are “your why” and identifying them is the first step to understanding the truth of who you are at the core. From there you can start defining life goals that bring you meaning and purpose. The next deep question will then help you to start sketching out some details of what to do with your life next.

Question #3: What Do You Love Doing?

It may seem obvious to ask this next, but many women don’t actually take the time or permission to fully investigate what they love. What you love is what makes you who you are. Passion and purpose go hand in hand. This is one of the deep questions about life that has many subquestions: Where do you love going? Who do you love being with? What do you love learning, reading or listening to? Which sounds, smells, sights and textures do you love?

Carve out some time to brainstorm. Write down everything that you love on one piece of paper and you will start to see some magical connections and patterns. You will start to see what Life is asking you to move towards as you design your next chapter.

Life Purpose Examples

To live with purpose doesn’t mean you need a new life. And though it can, it doesn’t even necessarily apply to your vocation. To live a life of purpose can simply mean honouring who you are (your core values) and prioritizing what you love (your passions) in your everyday life.

For example, say you are finding purpose in life after 50. Your children are grown and you are no longer interested in a job that you have been working to financially support them. Your top three core values are family, adventure and creativity. You most love traveling, writing poetry, being in nature and spending time with loved ones.

You could plan a couple trips a year to places you have always wanted to go to and start a travel blog to showcase your adventures and your poetry. This way you are sharing what you love with the world and still close to family. You could quit your job, or simply see it as the source of funding for your new adventures, which changes your attitude towards work.

Another example might be, you are single, in your 30s and in a corporate career you worked tirelessly to build. But something has changed within you and you feel uninspired and exhausted. Your core values are health, connection and making a difference. You love dogs, moving your body and meeting new people. Living your purpose could start with something as simple as applying for a volunteer position at a dog shelter on weekends and taking neglected dogs for walks. You would meet others who share your passion for dogs and have meaningful connections with the dogs too. You could start saving some of your income to donate or take a trip to a dog rescue in a developing country. 

Live With Purpose Through Small Steps First

As you start living on purpose and asking even more deep questions about life and about yourself, you will gain more insight and guidance on what could come next. It could eventually mean a career change, or not. Regardless, when you find even small ways to honour who you are and what you love you’ll experience deeper joy, meaning and fulfillment. And the plateaus, if they come, don’t tend to last long.

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