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4 Stages of Discovering Your Ultimate Purpose

Over the years I have had many people ask me how they can figure out their why. Ask me how they will know what they are passionate about. Ask me how they know what their purpose is since they don’t know what that feels like. I started asking similar questions in high school. These are both easy and difficult questions depending on where someone is in their life. As I am now almost twenty-five years removed from high school what I have realized is that your why changes as you grow and evolve but only if you have the means to evolve. So what does that evolution look like?

Basic Needs

If you are in a position where all you are thinking about is putting a roof over your or your family’s head and food on the table, then your why is very clear. You are motivated to keep a job or two to provide for yourself and family and if you don’t get that paycheck for a few weeks it will cause major disruption. This is a very strong motivation that keeps someone going for a long time but at some point, all the hard work pays off and when this happens, you’re why will evolve.

Social Status

Once you are past having your why be to provide the basic needs for yourself and your family, you begin to internalize success by connecting your social status to your personal achievements. The visual display of your achievements manifests themselves into a house or houses, cars, vacations, or anything someone desires. Your why at this stage in your life evolves to be to attain what you desire. Many people, not all, will achieve their desires or at least experience the feeling of attaining what they desire. Once they do, a common question asked internally is “now what?” This is when enlightenment happens and you’re why changes again.

Living on Your Own Terms

The enlightenment happens when you realize that the nice house and the fancy cars do not make you as happy as you thought they would. Mainly because you sacrificed your time to attain them. You spent days, nights, and weekends away from family and friends working hard and had to be picky with events, and vacations were always limited and much shorter than you wanted them to be. Your why now becomes finding ways to have financial freedom where the sacrifices you made previously are not required and you are living on your own terms. Some people at this stage in their life downgrade their living standards to achieve this type of freedom. Entrepreneurs might decide to work even harder to scale their company faster so they can have an exit sooner with a big payday. Others might try to invest or seek promotions and higher-paying jobs. A small percentage of the population ends up achieving this type of freedom and move to the next stage of their why.

Ultimate Purpose

Either through their work or because of their work, a small minority get to this stage of their why. In this stage, you realize that there was a reason you were put on this planet and you know what it is. Famous people like Elon Musk realize that their purpose is to save the future of the planet and save humanity. Others decide to give back and help others through charities and other philanthropic efforts. No matter what it is, this stage of your why boils down to giving back. Helping others and doing thighs that are bigger than yourself.

I know I said only a minority gets to this stage but this is not totally true. Yes, only a few people will have the means to establish large charities or build rockets but I’m going to argue that many people experience this feeling of having an ultimate purpose but have no clue they have one. Most people in the world do end up in a position to help someone else that needs help. They do end up in a position where they are doing something that is bigger than themselves. It is called being a parent. This is how the majority of the world population meets the need to have their lives mean something. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have multiple purposes but only the minority go through each stage and have multiple purposes.

So ask yourself, what will you be the proudest of when you are ninety, one hundred years old. This will start giving you a direction for what you would like your ultimate purpose in life to be. You don’t want to reach the end of your life and regret not having done everything you are capable of. Surround yourself with people who will inspire you to push yourself further so you can identify and reach your ultimate purpose.

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