Think Simple Now — a moment of clarity

What should I do with my life? Click here.

Life on Purpose: 15 Questions to Discover Your Personal Mission

Photo by Thomas Hawk

I believe that we were all sent here for a reason and that we all have significance in the world. I genuinely feel that we are all blessed with unique gifts. The expression of our gifts contributes to a cause greater than ourselves.

First, a personal story

Last year, I was running at full speed; chasing after my dream of money and ‘success’. However, I had forgotten why I was running. Luckily, I met Jim (not his real name). Jim had achieved all the financial goals I was reaching for. He had financial independence, several successful businesses, homes in multiple countries, and the luxury to afford the finest things money could buy.

Through hard work, persistence and sheer action; he had made it! But, Jim was not happy. He did not have the free time to enjoy his wealth. He wanted a family. He wanted peace. He wanted to live his life… but he was not able to. He had too many responsibilities, too much to lose, and too many things to protect. He had spent years building his castle, and now that it is complete, he is spending his time keeping it from eroding.

Getting to know Jim was a life altering and eye opening experience. His words snapped me out of my state of ‘unconsciousness’. It became clear to me that, “I did not want to spend the next 10 years chasing after money, only to find that I’ll be back at the same place I am at today; emotionally, mentally, and spiritually”. My ‘chase’ came to a screeching halt, everything was put on hold, and I spent the next two months re-evaluating my life and purpose.

These questions were running through my mind:

What am I chasing after? Why am I chasing it? What is my purpose? Why was I put here?

While reading “E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work“, I found myself in tears during the chapter on finding purpose. In that chapter, Michael Gerber asks the readers to do a visualization exercise. Through his guidance, he instructs you to vividly picture the day of your funeral. What do you want your eulogy to consist of? What would your lifetime achievements be? What would matter the most at the end of your life? Is it what you are doing right NOW?

I started writing. It began by listing all the things that are most important to me. I wrote down all the things I wanted to do. I re-visited my personal mission statement. I decided that whatever venture I commit to must align with my personal mission, my values and my goals. For every new opportunity that comes along, I would ask myself how it aligns with my goals. Regardless of how much money I could acquire, if the venture did not align with where I wanted to be, then I would not pursue it. Here is my personal mission statement:

To Empower, motivate and inspire people to living happier and more fulfilled lives.

Here are some of my values and goals:

  • What matters most is my connection with myself, being present and feeling blissful.
  • What I value most is having meaningful relationships with people. Being able to connect with people on deep levels.
  • I plan to be financially independent, and have control of my time and location. I plan to work only on projects and causes that I connect with. I plan to acquire my finances without violating my values, goals and personal mission.
  • I plan to travel and live in different parts of the world. Experiencing different cultures, documenting them in photographs and sharing them with others.
  • I will buy my mom a house in Vancouver with a ravine in the backyard. That’s a dream of hers and I’d like to fulfill it.
  • Having a family is important to me. I desire a deep, loving relationship with my spouse.
  • To live everyday fully as if it was my last.

15 Questions to Discover Your Life Purpose

The following are a list of questions that can assist you in discovering your purpose. They are meant as a guide to help you get into a frame of mind that will be conducive to defining your personal mission.

Simple Instructions:

  • Take out a few sheets of loose paper and a pen.
  • Find a place where you will not be interrupted. Turn off your cell phone.
  • Write the answers to each question down. Write the first thing that pops into your head. Write without editing. Use point form. It’s important to write out your answers rather than just thinking about them.
  • Write quickly. Give yourself less than 60 seconds a question. Preferably less than 30 seconds.
  • Be honest. Nobody will read it. It’s important to write without editing.
  • Enjoy the moment and smile as you write.

15 Questions:

1. What makes you smile? (Activities, people, events, hobbies, projects, etc.)

2. What are your favorite things to do in the past? What about now?

3. What activities make you lose track of time?

4. What makes you feel great about yourself?

5. Who inspires you most? (Anyone you know or do not know. Family, friends, authors, artists, leaders, etc.) Which qualities inspire you, in each person?

6. What are you naturally good at? (Skills, abilities, gifts etc.)

7. What do people typically ask you for help in?

8. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

9. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

10. You are now 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair outside your porch; you can feel the spring breeze gently brushing against your face. You are blissful and happy, and are pleased with the wonderful life you’ve been blessed with. Looking back at your life and all that you’ve achieved and acquired, all the relationships you’ve developed; what matters to you most? List them out.

11. What are your deepest values?

Select 3 to 6 (See list of words to help you | list in pdf) and prioritize the words in order of importance to you.

12. What were some challenges, difficulties and hardships you’ve overcome or are in the process of overcoming? How did you do it?

13. What causes do you strongly believe in? Connect with?

14. If you could get a message across to a large group of people. Who would those people be? What would your message be?

15. Given your talents, passions and values. How could you use these resources to serve, to help, to contribute? ( to people, beings, causes, organization, environment, planet, etc.)

Your Personal Mission Statement

“Writing or reviewing a mission statement changes you because it forces you to think through your priorities deeply, carefully, and to align your behaviour with your beliefs”
~Stephen Covey, ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’
A personal mission consists of 3 parts:

  • What do I want to do?
  • Who do I want to help?
  • What is the result? What value will I create?

Steps to Creating Your Personal Mission Statement:

1. Do the exercise with the 15 questions above as quickly as you can.

2. List out actions words you connect with.

a. Example: educate, accomplish, empower, encourage, improve, help, give, guide, inspire, integrate, master, motivate, nurture, organize, produce, promote, travel, spread, share, satisfy, understand, teach, write, etc.

3. Based on your answers to the 15 questions. List everything and everyone that you believe you can help.

a. Example: People, creatures, organizations, causes, groups, environment, etc.

4. Identify your end goal. How will the ‘who’ from your above answer benefit from what you ‘do’?

5. Combine steps 2-4 into a sentence, or 2-3 sentences.

What is your purpose? What is your mission? We’d love to hear about your goals and aspirations. Please share with a comment!

Before you go: please share this story on Facebook, RT on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to receive email updates. Thank you for your support!
Connect with TSN Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Instagram RSS
About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

Love this article? Sign up for weekly updates!

Think Simple Now delivers weekly self-reflective, inspiring stories from real people. Join our empowering community by entering your email address below.

337 thoughts on Life on Purpose: 15 Questions to Discover Your Personal Mission

  1. Really enjoyed this post! The questions were very helpful, I sometimes felt that I had different answers to different questions though. So there wasn’t really one defining thing, but a few different ones.

    Combining those few things, I think, can almost be just as powerful has having one “life’s mission”. What are you thoughts?

    Great post, really enjoyed it. Thanks!

  2. KaiW

    This really worked for me! I’ve taken all sorts of online quizzes and read books but at 52 years old, still didn’t know what I wanted to do with myself. At first it was just a bunch of answers but then when I answered the 3 questions for my mission statement, it was so clear and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Thanks for making this available just when the time was right.

  3. Lee MK

    I want to help connect people using language, culture, and art

    while still staying true to the things I love, such as gaming,

    music, or other hobbies, and while supporting myself and my family

    financially. I want to stay young and passionate, but also responsible

    and stable. I want to never stop learning, and never stop teaching.

    I want to see different cultures up-close, and share my own

    culture, bringing people together. I want to learn to focus on

    loving people, and myself, and taking risks instead of doubting

    myself. I want to broaden my horizons and broaden somebody else’s.

    And I want to find someone who I’ve learned to trust and love, and

    share these things with them, and eventually, share them with my child.

  4. Tom

    “Help people with something that seems impossible to them to achieve”

    Thank you, and the God bless you

  5. Payonidhi Kasliwal

    Your article is very thought provoking.
    I have been following this blog .
    And my thought has crystallized over the years( am over 60 ) thru discussions with my Guru ,reading , and practicing a special spiritual regime which includes meditation.
    It is absolutely true that no wealth in the world can make you happy.Money can only provide physical comforts.
    Happiness is an inner feeling which can only be achieved by questioning in the manner suggested by you,and finding the answers for ourselves.
    The next step is to decide your goals and then pursue them singlemindedly .
    Success will come ultimately. Its only a matter of time ,but the pursuit itself and every step u make shall be utmost pleasurable.Indeed,spirituality is always in pursuit of happiness.
    And this is what maters in life .
    Being happy and imparting happiness to others,with no expectation of any return .
    In the Hindu philosophy and Yoga practice its all about finding this inner peace and ultimate happiness and the Sages have shown the path .
    May God bless you Tina for this blog and thanks for your writings.

  6. Rain

    That was a really great article and precisely what I needed to work out how to focus on what it is I personally want from my life. I have always known what I wanted to do, but had lost the fight for it, and couldn’t remember why I got into the field in the first place. Answering the questions really helped me relate to myself and my own goals again. Thank you so much for your help. Twas awesome.

  7. John

    Wow this helped me! I’m shocked (in a good way) of what I disc

  8. Just finished!

    This is my mission statement:
    “Educate, encourage and inspire
    people to feel motivated, change
    their perception and focus on
    having positive outcomes in life.”

  9. Ravi

    Great post Tina!

    I particular like the “What do people typically ask you for help in?”

    That is a great way to see objectively what others think of you and feel you are good at.

    I took some time to create my own simple process (5 steps) for figuring out your life purpose.

    Perhaps you will find it insightful!

    All my best,


  10. Just finished!!!

    Great exercise! I have been looking for one I could actually do on my own to dig a bit and figure it out. I am a yoga teacher but I have always wanted a little more out of that!

    SO here it goes nothing:

    “I want to use education of alignment and proper body maintenance to help empower and inspire people to understand that they are in charge of how fulfilling and pain free their life is”

  11. Emma

    Thanks for this, it really helped me to find my direction – particularly since I’ve never had a personal direction…

    Here is what I discovered –
    My mission is to positively benefit the lives I touch. I will do this by seeking out those that need help and showing support, respect, and care through my words and actions.

  12. patrice

    Thank you so much… It’s was a beautiful paralysed feeling you put in my chest that I hope to last forever.. I finallfy feel like I know myself in this moment then I ever have before. I can finally sat I trust me, I own me , you are the fire that lot the flame.. Thank You Truly

  13. Kristen

    I just wanted to say this article helped me so much. I’ve always known the career path I wanted to take but never knew why or for what purpose. After I wrote my PMS I sat and stared at it for 10 minutes straight. The feeling I felt after reading it was indescribable but it was mostly joy. It felt great to finally put it into definitive words, Thank you!

Page 13 of 13First...8910111213
Your thoughts?

Leave a Comment

We’d love to hear them! Please share.

Think Simple Now, a moment of clarity © 2007-2022 Privacy Disclaimer
Back to top