By Kristine Steinberg, CEO of Kismet
“I want to find my purpose!” From CEOs to rising Gen Zs, this desire has been at the heart of almost all of my client discussions over the past year. There seems to be a driving, collective shift in the human race to come into alignment with the concept we call “purpose”. But even though the momentum and desire are present, it’s very hard work to define and an even harder thing to “find”.
Some say a purpose is related to goals, careers, or altruistic work. While these aspects can be expressions of a purpose, a real purpose begins at a much deeper, yet simpler, level. When we align with our purpose, our lives begin to shine clearly and vibrate with a charm that connects us to the people and opportunities meant for us — bringing a life that reflects our truest self into sharp focus.
The two most important days in life are the day you are born and the day you discover the reason why.
— Mark Twain
Simon Sinek explains this concept simply: behind what you do and how you do it is why you do it. When you have a clearly defined why, you generate purposeful energy that is attractive and inspiring.
So, where do you begin to find your purpose?
Many schools of thought start with defining your interests, ambitions, and passions. While these exercises can be insightful and thought-provoking, they can lead us towards the ego-driven outcomes that may have clouded us to begin with. When I’m helping clients discover their purpose, I start with the exploration of one’s ego and how to drop it.
Your ego is the part of your mind that creates the concept of “self” as separate from others; it forms your personality and your unique imprint. When we over-identify with this individuality, our ego derails us from higher experiences that transcend meeting our own needs. Finding the perfect mate, getting the next promotion, acquiring wealth, buying the bigger house… these achievements are driven by the ego’s desire to prove itself or protect itself. Once reached, however, these goals do not provide sustainable joy or contentment.
When we allow the ego to dissolve, clear thoughts and behaviors arise — leading us to relationships, jobs, and experiences that are more aligned with our most authentic selves.
When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind and beautiful.
— Yogi Bhajan
My belief is that true purpose requires the practice of dropping our ego, time and time again, to ensure we are operating from our core intent, our why, our purpose. Use the practice below repetitively, and you will soon feel a natural knowing emerge. Instead of seeking, finding, or pursuing a purpose, you will instead uncover what has always been there. It’s like dusting off a light that has never gone out and allowing it to guide you forward.
How to Drop Your Ego to Discover Your Purpose:
1. Acknowledge your ego.
How do you measure your success in life? How attached do you feel to the roles you play and the titles you hold? How much judgement do you project onto yourself and others?
2. Dissolve your ego.
When you drop judgement and disconnect from labels, titles, status, achievements, what is left? Who are you when you strip that all away? What do you care about? What do you believe in?
3. Remove the shackles of “shoulds”.
When you release the pressure of what others want from you or what you think you should do, what emerges?
4. Commit to a set of clear values.
These will serve as signposts for where to invest your energy as you navigate life and move towards a purposeful existence. What are the values that you will uphold with unwavering commitment? Choose three, write them down and remind yourself: “This is what I stand for!”
5. Now, create your WHY (purpose) statement.
Simon Sinek’s instructions are second to none for this. So, I won’t reinvent the wheel (thanks, Simon).
- Your WHY statement should be simple, actionable, and clear.
- Its focus should be on how you’ll contribute to others.
- Use affirmative language that resonates with you.
- Possible script: My Purpose or Why is “TO ____ SO THAT ____.”
- To help: WHY did you get out of bed this morning? And WHY should anyone care?
If someone asked me, “Kristine, what’s your purpose?” and I replied, “I’m the CEO of my own company and I coach high-level executives across the globe to achieve success,” that would be an outcome-oriented, ego-oriented statement that does not reflect who I truly am. Once I drop my ego, my purpose statement becomes, “I help people discover their true nature and potential so that they can act from a place of authentic joy and lead others to do the same.” This message is a clear reminder of the why behind what I do and the values that I hold.
Enjoy the discovery of your why. When you have created your statement, please share it with me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristine Steinberg is the CEO of Kismet. She believes that your life should be deeply fulfilling — not tolerated. Partner with Kismet to dismantle fear, define your path, and lead with courage. Start your transformation today: www.thisiskismet.com.