I was at a job interview. And the interviewer asked me, “If money was no object, what would you do?”
I paused. I had nothing to say. I never considered this type of question. I looked around his office, which was full of sports memorabilia. Insincerity, I said, “I’d be a coach. I love to motivate my team.” It was an acceptable answer for a management job.
Looking back at it, I lied. I didn’t know what were my natural abilities that I could focus on to create value for others.
Don’t we all lie to ourselves when we don’t know what we want as a career path? We keep moving from one job search to another and no amount of hard work gives us fulfillment.
What am I good at is the same thing as a life purpose. When you find out what you are good at, you find your life purpose to do what comes easy to you with your natural abilities.
The 4 Types Of Life Purpose: Which One Is Yours?
For the question: What am I good at, we can put career options into four buckets called the SELF method. You won’t need a career coach to find what you are good at, instead read and answer some of the questions presented later.
Here’s a macro look at the SELF method.
S.E.L.F. = Supporter, Entrepreneur, Learner, and Fighter.
- Supporters love to support others.
- Entrepreneurs live to create value.
- Learners live to learn and share.
- Fighters love to protect others.
Your purpose and natural talent are living inside of you. Are you ready to dig it out?
Let’s go through each of the four macros…
#1: Supporter: The Backbone of Family, Team, and Society
Do you love being part of a team? Are you people focused? Are you loyal?
Then you are probably a supporter.
Let’s take Ringo Starr from the Beatles as our first example. Ringo was a supporter. He was loyal, dependable, and easygoing.
This is a typical supporter. Every team needs a supporter and they keep the team together.
Oprah is another example of a supporter. She brings communities together and a superb listener.
Supporters love to work hard in any business. They are cooperative. Think of Steve Wozniak to Steve Jobs at Apple.
It helps supporters to see work as an apprenticeship. They learn by working closely with someone with experience. They have the patience and learn the craft.
Every blockbuster movie needs a supporting actor. Morgan Freeman is an example of a supporter. He was supporting Brad Pitt in Seven, Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption, and Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy.
The life purpose of a supporter is to work and support the team. Supporters love to bring people together. They need to keep this in mind for their next job search and bring this up as their natural talent.
They also seek acceptance, so working with entrepreneurs makes them an excellent ally. They love to cook for the family. Think of one of your aunts or uncle, who loves to cook and host.
Safety and security motivate the supporters. Hence they work hard to keep what they get.
They are givers (and sometimes get taken advantage of).
Supporter Positive Qualities:
- Hard workers
- Encourage others
- Motivated to Work
Supporter Negative Qualities:
- Loyal to Fault
- Slow decision makers
- Slow to Change
- Avoid Conflict
- Look for Acceptance
- Desire to Be Needed
- Jimmy Carter
- Michelle Obama
- Mother Teresa
- Bruce Springsteen
- Mister Rogers
Supporter Life Purpose Examples
- Stay-at-home Parent
- Human Resources
The mantra for supporters: “How can I help?”
#2 Entrepreneur: The Value Creator of Society
Are you motivated by financial success? Are you solution driven? Are you persuasive?
Then you are probably an entrepreneur.
Going back to The Beatles example, Paul McCarthy is an entrepreneur. Paul likes to have fun and sings about love. Paul owns The Beatles catalog, and as an entrepreneur money motivates him.
Entrepreneurs are creative, intuitive, and outgoing. They are also people focused.
When Steve Jobs thought about giving smartphones to society. He had the required skills of an entrepreneur to inspire the team. He was also strong willed to get where he wanted to go.
Steve Jobs needed supporters on his team to create and scale the iPhone.
Entrepreneurs and supporters work together. The entrepreneur is the business idea machine and has the drive to get things done. They need supporters to make this a reality and take care of the details.
Entrepreneurs look for opportunities to create entertainment, food, technology to make the world a better place. They are optimistic and fast-paced.
In movies, Leonardo DiCaprio is an entrepreneur. Whether you see him in The Great Gatsby, The Wolf of Wall Street, or Catch Me If You Can. His characters showcase new ideas. Adding fun and joy into life. Along the way, he breaks the rules. Entrepreneurs like to go against authority.
Today’s world is an entrepreneurial society. We can hire someone to build our website in Kenya, create artwork in London, manufacture from China, and sell in The US.
People all over the world are enjoying entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are people who have natural abilities to problem solving and finding new solutions for the world. Think about McDonald’s, Uber, and Airbnb.
Entrepreneur Positive Qualities:
- Inspire Others
- Positive Attitude
- Family and Friends
Entrepreneur Negative Qualities:
- Don’t Like Authority
- Lack of Awareness
- Seek Attention
- Elon Musk
- Richard Branson
- Frank Sinatra
- Marilyn Monroe
- Magic Johnson
- Bill Clinton
- Gary Vaynerchuk
Entrepreneur Life Purpose Examples
- Join as a Business Partnership
The mantra for Entrepreneurs: “Add more value than anyone else.”
#3 Learner: The Teacher of Society
Do you like to learn? Do you like to discuss what you learn? Do you like to teach?
Then you are probably a learner.
George Harrison from The Beatles is a learner. George was an excellent guitarist. He learned to write and sing. He learned how to play the sitar. Later he learned about spirituality.
Education motivated George. Learners will learn new skills in their spare time and share their wisdom. They are strong at developing new talent.
Society considers learners geniuses and awkward. Think of Bill Gates. Each year, he takes a week off with his books. He calls it ‘Think Week’. This is a perfect vacation for a learner that loves to spend time alone. Later they love to share those experiences.
Gates is a billionaire and changing the world with his philanthropy. His approach has always been as a learner.
Learners are fact-based. They are logical and precise. They are naturally curious to discover things we all find interesting. Their communication style is calm and somewhat formal.
Tom Hanks approaches movies as a learner. He comes out as a trustworthy and problem solver.
The primary motivation for learners is not money. Truth and learning drive them.
Learners need to understand one thing: To teach, they need to learn. And they learn through reading and discussion.
Learner Positive Qualities:
- Reason with truth
- Renaissance Man/Woman
Learner Negative Qualities:
- Doesn’t like/admit being wrong
- Constantly Correcting Others
- Bob Dylan
- Richard Feynman
- Barack Obama
- Benjamin Franklin
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar
- Naval Ravikant
Learner Life Purpose Examples
The mantra for Learners, “Learn, learn and share.”
#4 Fighter: Bringing Justice to Society
Does your blood boil about injustice? Do you want to fight for equal rights? Are you the first to protect others?
Then you are a fighter.
John Lennon from The Beatles was a fighter. You can hear his philosophy in the song Imagine. (“Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion, too.”)
Justice and equality motivated Lennon.
Protecting the ones who can not protect themselves is the primary motivation for fighters. They could fight diseases, human rights, or political powers.
Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. were fighters. They fought for freedom and civil rights. Like these two, fighters have excellent leadership skills and determination.
They love to focus on the bottom line and accomplishments.
Fighters are task-oriented and competitive to a fault. They like to take charge. They plan things, and that leads to their decisiveness. They are result-oriented.
In Movies, Denzel Washington plays a fighter. He could play it as a good or a bad guy. He almost always takes control of every role he plays. You can see the same in his interviews.
Washington is direct, independent, and persistent in his roles.
Fighters are good at problem solving and saving the world. They are the ones that gets upset about the political system, education system, equal rights, domestic violence, or any injustice.
Fighters need to start that new nonprofit, political party, doctors without borders, orphanages or the next big movement.
Fighter Positive Qualities:
- Fast paced
Fighter Negative Qualities:
- Be Right
- Bob Marley
- Michael Jordan
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Barbara Walters
- General Patton
- Joe Rogan
- Jocko Willink
Fighter Life Purpose Examples
The mantra for fighters: “Injustice for one is injustice for all.”
Life Purpose Questionnaire
Find the purpose yourself by answering the following questions:
- What is natural to you that is work for others?
- What are you doing when you feel like yourself?
- How would your closest friends and family describe you?
- What are your unique experiences?
- If you had to pick 1 out of the four buckets, which one would you pick?
- Start with elimination: Which bucket is the most difficult for you to be?
- If money was no object, what would you do for the rest of your life?
- What were you obsessed about in your teen years?
- If you could redo your life, what would you do?
- What are you obsessed about?
- What do you obsess over on the weekends?
- What type of books and blogs do you read?
- What is that you do that feels like play?
- What topics get you excited when people ask you about them?
- What energizes you the most?
Go here to download a free PDF copy of all the questions above and more.
Why Is Discovering Your Life Purpose So Hard?
Most of us have two lives. The automatic and purposeful life. Between the two stands courage.
When I got out of college, I got a new job in a bank. Why? A family member was working there. The next thing I knew, it’s been 5 years. I didn’t even stop to think that I have some more career options. Why did I do that? In my personal life, I did something that was easy: I picked an automatic life.
It takes courage to question the status quo. It takes courage to find our natural talent. It takes courage to get out of our comfort zone and make a career change.
Courage to look for your life purpose is hard, so most pick the automatic life.
3 Common Life Purpose Obstacles
We all run into obstacles when we achieve something worth pursuing. Following your purpose is no different.
Obstacle #1: Living A False Life Purpose
If you were on your deathbed, would you say that you lived your life purpose?
A false purpose is when you are living your life because someone else told you to live this way. This could be conscious or subconscious. By our family members, society, or circumstances.
If you are not good at selling, perhaps you are better at managing others as a supporter. You can put all the hard work into selling if that is not your natural talent, you are going to struggle.
If you follow your natural abilities, you will read about it in your spare time, obsess over it, and a successful career will find you. True purpose has your heart and attention.
In life, what we allow to continue will continue.
Obstacle #2: Seeking Approval
Do you let approval from others impact your decisions?
When you let other’s approval dictate your decision making, it is virtually impossible to live your life purpose.
For example: Your dad wants you to be a doctor. Because he believes you will get status and money. But you on the other side have a skill set to be creative in solving society’s problems as an entrepreneur.
When you stop seeking approval from others, you can truly follow your true career path.
Obstacle #3: Following Passion Instead of Purpose
Passion is micro and purpose is macro.
Passion ends but purpose continues.
Passion is playing video games, and purpose is learning. Passion is reading the news and getting pissed off, and purpose is doing something about injustice.
Passion is short-lived, while purpose is life long. Passion does not equal life purpose.
Getting Started On Your Purpose?
Purpose takes a lot of time and a deep understanding of the SELF. You need to have an open mind and persistence.
First, the fears will show up. Fear will disguise. It could look like: What if I am wrong? Or what if I fail? So what if you are wrong? So what if you fail? At least you tried.
Do you think George Washington felt scared to sign on the declaration of independence for the US? I am sure; he thought: What If I fail? What if I am wrong?
Can I let you in on a secret? It works 100% of the time against fear. Fear fades away when this shows up.
The secret is……… ACTION.
When you take action, you tell the universe, “I want more of this.”
How do you beat doubt? Same as fear: Action. How do you beat confusion?: Action.
When you take action, you decide. You make progress and gain confidence.
I don’t know a single person who regrets living their purpose. But I know many people that never acted on their purpose. They all wished that they took the time to their purpose with their skill set and acted on it.
The number one regret of the dying. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
If you want to get a series of small wins in living your purpose, start with writing in a journal. Be patient in your journey. It could take you a few days to weeks to figure out. The first step is to learn about your purpose. The second is to take the first small steps. Last is to live your purpose.
Please live your purpose. The world would be a better place. When you find your purpose, share with us. You are sitting on a gold mine.