By: Patrick Williams, Ed.D., MCC
When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it. ~ W. Clement Stone
Does your life have a clear sense of purpose?
Most people have a fundamental need to seek and find their calling in life, be it through work, hobbies or volunteer activities. Yet many struggle to gain clarity and focus on just what that is.
Many of my coaching clients juggle multiple interests, and have a hard time narrowing their passions down to the overriding core values and interests that matter most to them.
While philosophers have long weighed in on the subject, it has recently come under scrutiny by researchers who seek to understand the science behind human happiness and success. Among them, there is an abundant upsurge in studies from the field of positive psychology.
Psychologist Michael Steger and his colleagues at Colorado State University created the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) to measure the presence of meaning in our lives, as well as how much we seek to further our understanding of life’s purpose.
The five-minute MLQ test will prompt you to think about this important topic, and it can serve as the foundation for discussions with your significant relationships, mentor or coach. I use it as a springboard to open up discussion with my new coaching clients.
While it may be hard to measure just how much you actually focus on your core purpose during your daily life, it's useful to observe and rate just how much time you spend thinking about such matters. Having clarity about this will help you direct your time and energy to those tasks that matter the most to you.
In my next post, I will present the 10-question Meaning in Life Questionnaire, as created by Dr. Stegner and his colleagues, so stay tuned. In the meantime, how much have you clarified your own meaning and purpose in life?