Life/soul purpose, or your calling, relates to what you will leave behind—your mission, gift(s), lesson(s), teaching(s), wisdom—your legacy. How do your passions show up in the world? What do you create? One way of answering these questions is by creating your Legacy Stars to see where you shine in the world. Legacy Stars are connected to your passions—knowledge, values, and skills—and personality. What you know a lot about/love learning about, what is very important to you/must be present in your life, and what you do well/love doing directly relate to your purpose. Your personality helps determine your strengths (and weaknesses) that you will use in your life’s work. To create your Legacy Stars, use the following guide:
- First, create the stars:
- The Center: The theme—the topic of your work or hobby
- The Points: The specifics—roles, types, settings, etc.
- The Size: The level of passion connected with the theme—the bigger the star, the stronger the passion
Be creative with your stars. Make them as simple/basic or elaborate/stylish as you want. Use whatever required number of points, and add any embellishments that would be helpful (circles or “fringe” at the tips for subcategories, surrounding circles/halos/shadows or flames for further definitions, etc.).
2. Then, determine their placement:
- How do they relate? How do you place them (connecting, overlapping, far apart, over, under, etc.) based on their relationship?
- What constellation do they form?
- What is its meaning?
With the new year comes new commitments, plans, and a new start for a new, better you. One way of figuring out who you want to be in the new year is defining your life purpose, or why you exist now and how you will know your life was successful.
Your Mission Statement is a primary way to figure this out. It is a declaration of what your life is about and the legacy you want to leave. It gives meaning to your life, and directs, guides, and motivates you even when times are tough. It includes your Passions: knowledge, values, and skills/strengths and Goals/Aspirations/Dreams for the future. Below are some exercises to help you craft your Mission Statement.
- Who—Choose a simple phrase as a metaphor for who you want to be in life (e.g., “I’m the …”: fountain of wisdom, teacher of teachers, butterfly of hope”, etc.)
- What—What general theme/focus/goal that is important to you? (e.g., promoting safety, inspiring creativity, healing trauma from violence, giving love, etc.)
- When—Is there a periodic cycle involved? (e.g., every festival, in the mornings, etc.)
- Where—What sector/area of life/cause is important to you? (e.g., environment, development, education, health, your community, etc.)
- Why—What are your core values (the things you can’t live without)? (e.g., creativity, fitness, truth, order, freedom, play, etc.)
- How—What are your skills—the things you’re best at? (e.g., writing, persuading, building, connecting, etc.)
2. The 90-year-old Me
Imagine yourself at 90 years old or so, having lived a full, long life that you’re extremely satisfied with. Looking back, how would you answer these questions:
- What am I most proud of in my life?
- What matters most to me?
- How did I really make a difference?
- When people think about me, how do they talk about me and describe me?
- What were my greatest lessons? How did I use that knowledge in my life?
3. The Fun, Free Me
How would you answer these questions about how you find happiness in the present:
- What do you do when you loose track of time? (How are you “in the Flow”?)
- What things do you notice that others may not?
- What do you love doing?
- What sparks your creativity?
- What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
- What is your ideal day like? (What are you doing? Who are you with? Where are you?)
- What are your five strongest memories that immediately come to mind of happy times in your life? (What were you doing? Who were you with? Where were you?)
Now, once you’ve found some of these answers, it’s time to craft your Mission Statement. This is a sentence on who you want to be in life, how you ideally see yourself. Using a metaphor from the above “Who” question, begin to write your statement. Include the Who, What, and Why, and ideally How, if you know it, answers. Then, use this statement to periodically edit as necessary until you find a sentence that gives meaning and guidance to who you are and what you strive for in life this year and beyond.
Personality type, along with other factors such as our interests and environmental influences/upbringing, can have a major impact on our life purpose. Typing systems provide a way of defining our nature—our strengths, weaknesses, and values. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is used by career counselors and coaches to help students and clients select their ideal career. The Enneagram is used by spiritual seekers as a personal development tool. What can each of these systems tell us about what we should be doing with our lives?
The MBTI focuses on external behavior—how we prefer to act in most situations, which can be seen from our actions. Through activities we perform regularly, we develop a standard skill set for our type. These skills then become strengths to use in our work.
The Enneagram, on the other hand, focuses on internal motivations for actions—the “why” rather than the “what”. These are our inner drivers behind our behavior, our fixations, and what must be present in our lives for our happiness. These values indicate what we must strive for in life.
Together, both the MBTI and Enneagram provide a more complete picture of our nature and nurture and suggest ways, through balancing opposing forces, that we can achieve our potential and life purpose.