What is Your Life Purpose?

If you’re like most seekers I know, you want to know what you are “supposed” to do. “Why am I here?” you ask. You want to know what will finally feel “right” and be truly fulfilling to you. You know you are here to DO something, but you can’t quite name it or put your finger on it.

If you’re like most creative seekers I know, you probably even have lots of ideas about what you could do, and you’re multi-talented enough to do them all. But every time you start heading down one particular path, you circle back around, not wanting to leave any one out, and not wanting to make a mistake. You want to “specialize” but you don’t want to miss anything.

So what do you do?

Discovering your Life Purpose (and your Life Lesson — more about that in a future post) is the most powerful foundation to establish when it comes to getting clear about who you are and to getting back on track with what you were put here to do.

But what IS a Life Purpose?

I define Life Purpose as what it is that you were put here to do. It is your raison d’etre — your reason for being. It is what you signed up to do in this lifetime, in this incarnation. It is the “thing,” that when fulfilled, will give you the greatest sense of life satisfaction and a deep sense of inner rightness.

In The Life You Were Born to Live, author and numerologist Dan Millman says, “People from all walks of life share an innate drive for meaning, direction, and purpose. This drive to understand our life purpose seems as important to our psychological growth as eating is to our biological survival.”

Millman also says, “Our life purpose — what we’re here to do — is not what comes easiest.” (I agree.) He describes the journey to our personal summit as one fraught with challenges and tests, but that when we reach it, we “experience the fulfillment of our personal destiny.”

Richard Unger, author of Life Prints and founder of the International Institute of Hand Analysis writes, “Knowing your life purpose means being clear about your big picture: what your life has amounted to so far and where things are headed. . . . your life purpose is your right life, your reason for being. Finding and living your life purpose is the single most important thing you can ever do.”

Unger also talks about how your life purpose is the consciousness you bring to your endeavors, as well as being a road map you can follow when making choices in your life about career as well as family and friends.

Your life purpose is:

  • Your calling to the highest level of personal expression you can experience and a road map to personal fulfillment.
  • A guide to the most meaningful way you make a powerful contribution to the world. Just imagine the planetary level of healing that would occur if every single person in the world were living their true life purpose.
  • Something you’ll work to fulfill through the course of your life. I like to say, “If you were done, you’d be dead.” A little harsh perhaps, but personally I like the notion that I have my lifetime to master this task. Takes a little of the pressure off. :)

Your life purpose is NOT:

  • A specific career or business (though it can point to one).
  • A way out of doing the work and facing the challenges you are here to face (but it can make them easier to unravel).
  • Specific to your circumstances — you can live your life purpose regardless of what you do, where you live, or what your personal circumstances are.

We are each designed to play a specific role. Knowing what it is will call you forth in a new way you have never quite imagined.

My experience is that when my clients hear their life purpose as I read it to them from their fingerprints, they say, “Ah. Yes. That feels right.”

It is as though they knew it all along (of course they did), but having it reflected to them from the outside is deeply validating in a way that is hard to experience through any other means of analysis.

If finding your Life Purpose and Life Lesson interests you, I invite you to join me for one of my upcoming Life Purpose Breakthrough Groups or for a private hand analysis session.


  1. Gina says:

    raison d’etre

  2. Gina says:

    Whoops :) forgot to leave the comment:
    I really liked the part about “Your Life Purpose is Not”‘; so easy to confuse it with your career or relationships.

    I also liked, “if you were done, you’d be dead.” So, so true.

    • Nice, Gina! I’ll be emailing you a gift certificate code.

      Right after having set this up, I of course realized right away that I don’t really want to be having this be a stressful race, so I’m going to change the “rules” a bit for next time. :)

  3. Maureen says:

    Zut, Gina! Vous l’avez vu avant moi!

    • Jenna says:

      LOL, Maureen. Thanks for playing with us!

  4. Karen says:

    “raison d’etre ”
    Thank you for the wonderful post.
    I loved Richard Unger’s definition regarding being clear in a conscious way.

    • Jenna says:

      Thanks, Karen! I’m glad you liked the post. I agree about Richard Unger’s definition.

  5. Hi Jenna,

    I should have paid more attention in JR. High French! Fun contest idea. I need to have something offbeat like this …

    My fav line:
    It’s NOT – a specific career or business (though it can point to one). At least in the US, many folks believe everything has to be about their businesses – it becomes their entire life. Go to a party and get asked, “what do you do?” I almost never answer that question with a conventional answer, but usually with my life purpose – to challenge the status quo.

    For some reason, we organize our institutions to separate folks from their life purpose. (Hmm. I should blog about this next week since it challenges the status quo. See, I can’t stop myself …)

    Thx, G.

  6. natasha says:

    raison d’etre — your reason for being

    I resonated most with :
    greatest sense of life satisfaction and a deep sense of inner rightness.

  7. natasha says:

    raison d’etre – reason for being

    i resonated most with
    greatest sense of life satisfaction and a deep sense of inner rightness.

  8. Mary Ellen says:

    Hi Jenna,
    I can’t agree with you more, and it feels so good to hear it from another. I turned out to be a visual artist now at age 50, and after 25 years of job-hopping on the market, I guess I burnt out the left side of my brain, and am now unemployed. I lately found out I have Depersonalization and have meds to take. Thank you for emphasizing the following:
    “If you were done (with your life purpose)you’d be dead”. Here, here! Also : “Your life purpose IS NOT:
    – a specific career
    -….you can live your life purpose regardless of where you live or what your personal circumstances are.
    Thanks so much for your words and beliefs.

  9. I resonate with your statement “Your life purpose is the consciousness you bring to your endeavors”
    One of my spiritual teachers often says “No matter what you do, what matters is how you do it”
    Thank you.

    • Jenna says:

      I’m glad it resonated for you, Yudit. Helping others live their calling is one of my greatest passions. Thanks for commenting.

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