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The Purpose Puzzle: What Science Reveals About Finding Your Path

Purpose Key

What would happen if you could unlock the secret to discovering your purpose today using the science of positive psychology? Before the pandemic, well-being was on the rise, and having a sense of purpose is an important part of the puzzle. The latest Gallup poll since the pandemic ended draws a bleak picture – we are more stagnant and stuck in the mud than ever.

Gallup research

The Gallup research revealed some staggering statistics. Only 21% percent of us feel engaged. Positive psychology describes engagement as experiencing a sense of flow. Only 33% of employees experience a sense of well-being. Most respondents said they lack a sense of purpose, meaning, hope, and optimism.

What is the definition of purpose?

In my line of work, I meet many people who slowly – sometimes harshly – were confronted with the fact that they weren’t leading a life of purpose and meaning. You may be one of these people specializing in watching the clock tick at work, waiting for the weekend to come. Dissatisfied, miserable, and sometimes even burned out.

The scientific definition of purpose

One of the many cool things about scientists is that they want to “measure ” everything. And in order to measure anything objectively, you need to define it:

Purpose is about achieving meaningful long-term goals benefitting the greater good.

Finding purpose in unexpected places

The example

Luckily, I meet many people who have found their North Star in unexpected places. The grief coach who found her purpose after the loss of her husband, or the ex-prison convict, who, after a receiving the fast phobia cure, learned the power of visualization and became a professional photographer. In the last class, a student discovered she wanted to become a dog trainer because training her puppy – and the compliments of other dog owners in the park – was the only place where she felt self-worth after having a burn-out for three years.

The landscape

The way to look at it, to find your purpose, either your inner landscape inside your mind needs to change. Or your outer landscape. With this I don’t mean finding yourself on top of a mountain, or eat-pray-love it out on Bali, Italy or India while maxing out your credit card. What I mean is engaging with different people, environments, hobbies, behaviors, or learning something new! It is by having meaningful experiences that you can find your purpose.

Taking an NLP training to find your purpose

Taking an NLP training is a beautiful way of achieving this. I have seen this happen so many times – in fact it is part of my own purpose to help others achieve it.

Scientific facts about purpose

People who have found their purpose:

1. Feel an increased sense of well-being, happiness, and life satisfaction.

2. Experience better physical and mental health.

3. Live longer and have more physical agility.

4. Increased abilities to understand, think, reason, remember and solve problems.

5. An increased sense of personal growth and integrity (this is especially true for young people who seek to help others.)

Other scientific factoids about purpose:

1. It is often found through connecting to others and finding community.

2. It will change throughout our lives.

3. It can be found at any age.

4. It is not a destination but a journey and a practice.

5. I repeat it is not a destination but a journey and a practice.

5 Techniques from the world of positive psychology

Here are 6 science-backed techniques from the world of positive psychology you can use:

The magic wand exercise

Think about the world around you, and imagine what you would change with a magic wand. Then, ask yourself why you chose that change and think about what concrete steps you can take to make it happen.

I would visualize what you would change using NLP, and the concept of association and 4-tupling. Meaning you would imagine what you would see, hear, and feel looking through your own eyes.

The best possible self-exercise

Close your eyes and picture yourself in the future, maybe 10 or 20 years from now. Imagine everything going just the way you want it to. What kind of life are you living? What are you doing every day? What’s most important to you and why? By thinking about this ideal future self, you can start to feel more optimistic about what’s to come.

Again I would visualize this using NLP. Similar to the magic wand exercise.

Finding your (unconscious) values

It has scientifically been proven many times over that finding your values and leading a life true to these allows you to find your purpose and meaning.

If you are looking for a trained professional who can help you find your values – which are almost always deeply unconscious to you – please contact us. Tell me a little bit about yourself, so I can connect you with one of my former NLP Master Practitioner students.

Start volunteering

Meaningful new experiences can often be found by helping others or serving a cause greater than yourself. This also scientifically has been proven to increase the number of positive emotions you experience, as well as being a powerful driver to find your purpose and sense of meaning in life.

In fact, have you ever considered that leading a life of purpose and meaning may not be in what you do for a living, but instead what you do during your time off? You don’t have to quit your job.

Increasing the amount of positive emotions we have

Scientists have discovered that when we experience positive emotions we are more open, open-minded, creative and feel more energized to take action. Particularly with regard to serving the greater good. Cultivating positive emotions in your day-to-day life would be a good start.

Have you ever noticed that most of us spend less time savoring positive emotions than we do ruminating on negative ones? Switching this around is a powerful tool to find your purpose.



By clicking the links below, we earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

The Path Made Clear: Finding Your Life’s Direction and Purpose, by Oprah Winfrey

A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle


NLP burnout technique

How do you find your purpose?

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