People with a strong sense of purpose often share these 10 traits

I’ve personally always wanted to be a writer. 

I knew this from the age at which I started reading. 

I couldn’t imagine a life that didn’t involve using words to express ideas and emotions.

No other route or purpose called to me.

But not everyone has a strong sense of purpose or big dreams.

Some do. They realize as kids that they love helping others and develop an inner drive to become doctors or voluntary workers.

For others, finding their purpose happens later on in life.

But for some, a strong sense of purpose never materializes. 

Lacking purpose can be problematic as it leads to an absence of motivation and less likelihood of reaching personal or professional success.

It’s also a hell of a lot harder to bother getting up in the morning if you have nothing that inspires you.

If you’re someone who lacks purpose, the best way to start is by mimicking those who do.

After all, fake it till you make it. 

You never know – incorporating these 10 traits that people with a strong sense of purpose share might lead you to find your own purpose:

1) They have a clear vision of what they want

Having a strong sense of purpose means you feel like you’ve been plopped on this planet for a reason.

You know what you want.

Whether it’s running your own business, using your time to help others, or starting a big family – people with a strong sense of purpose have a clear vision of what they’re here to do.

They can close their eyes and visualize their goals so clearly, they can almost taste it.

2) They are both driven and motivated

Being driven: intrinsic (which means it comes from internal factors)

Being motivated: extrinsic (which means it comes from external factors)

Individuals with a strong sense of purpose have both motivation and drive

They are driven to work towards their purpose owing to something deep down in their core that propels them forwards.

They tend also to be motivated through being influenced by outside factors such as financial success or altruism.

The combination of these two factors creates a powerful vitality smoothie that fuels them onwards, even in the face of setbacks or slack.

3) They’re incredibly disciplined

And slack isn’t actually so applicable to those with a strong sense of purpose. 

Discipline means ‘the quality of being able to behave and work in a controlled way which involves obeying particular rules or standards’. 

People with a strong sense of purpose set their own rules and stick to them.

You won’t catch them snoozing in at every available opportunity or delaying tasks. 

They have an almost militant form of self-discipline that might manifest in early wake-ups, regular exercise, or forms of intellectual expansion such as reading something new every day.

4) They’re also very organized

Part of that discipline requires a thorough sense of organization.

You can’t get to where you want to be if you regularly forget about meetings or neglect key aspects of your to-do list.

Thus, people with a strong sense of purpose are organizational wizards.

They use journals, calendars, reminders, and are masters of prioritizing tasks and getting them done and dusted.

They set goals and milestones with appropriate deadlines, and hold themselves accountable to make sure that they’re on the right path, at the right speed, to get to where they want to be.

5) They’re independent

people with a strong sense of purpose 2 People with a strong sense of purpose often share these 10 traits

Your internal purpose is often yours, and yours alone.

This means that people with a strong sense of purpose don’t tend to rely on the assistance or help of others.

They tend to be more than keen to reach out for feedback and constructive criticism, but you won’t catch them coasting on the back of someone else’s sails.

6) They have a positive outlook on life

Those that feel that they have a purpose in life have been shown to benefit from better mental health.

This means that they sleep better, live longer, and have heightened cognitive processes.

This might in part be due to their self-discipline; exercising and eating well both contribute to a better quality of life.

Nonetheless, these add up to an individual who is happier and sees the world in a positive light. 

Their actual purpose might be to change a heart-wrenching social issue for the better (like curing cancer, or helping refugees), but despite the suffering they see and experience, they still believe in the capacity for change.

7) They’re confident in their abilities

Confidence and self-esteem are built upon having a sense of purpose.

The two are interlinked and rely upon one another.

To achieve your purpose, you must be confident in yourself.

Equally, finding a purpose and pursuing it grants you confidence and self-worth, especially as you begin to achieve your goals and gain a sense of fulfillment.

Think about it: how much more confident would you feel if your life’s purpose was to release an album, and you get signed by a massive record company after years of toiling away at your music and getting constantly turned away? 

You’d be jumping out of bed in the morning and racing down to the studio as fast as possible, finally feeling recognized for your talents.

8) Even in the face of rejection, they persevere

In pursuing one’s purpose, people will experience setbacks and rejection.

This won’t just happen once, either.

It’ll happen over and over again.

Yet those with a strong sense of purpose know, deep down, that they’ll eventually get to where they want to be.

They’re incredibly resilient and built of steel.

9) They know that not taking risks is the biggest risk

Achieving your purpose means being bold and courageous, and sometimes throwing yourself into the unknown.

The confidence of people with a strong sense of purpose gives them the ability to step outside their comfort zone. 

After all, they have a strong and compelling reason to do so. 

Even if it’s daunting, even if it’s uncomfortable, purpose-driven individuals want to make a difference and know that doing so requires taking risks that others might shirk from.

10) They’re easily able to adapt and acclimate

Whilst goals might be set and deadlines in place, life never really goes according to plan.

In the words of Stephen Hawking, “intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

In today’s rapidly changing landscape, success requires the ability to evolve very quickly.

Thus, people with a strong sense of purpose tend to be quick on their feet. 

Whilst they know the end goal, they’re able to modify their strategy and amend their plans when required.

How can I identify my sense of purpose?

people with a strong sense of purpose 3 People with a strong sense of purpose often share these 10 traits

If you don’t quite relate to the traits listed above and are still on the hunt for your own purpose, don’t worry. Identifying your purpose can take some time and self-reflection. 

Here are some points to consider when trying to work out what your life’s purpose may be:

What’re your values?

Identifying your core values can be really helpful when it comes to honing in on your purpose. 

Do you care about helping others

Do you want to make a lot of money?

Are you very passionate about sustainability? 

Are you family-oriented?

Ask yourself these questions (and many more), and write down a list of your top values to identify the elements of life you most care about.

How do you like to spend your time?

On top of knowing your values, recognizing how you enjoy spending your time and what makes you happy is also important to finding your purpose.

For example, you might really like the idea of working as a lawyer and defending the innocent. 

But you hate the idea of corporate life and being consigned to long hours and commutes.

Your purpose tends to also need to fit into how you enjoy spending your time. 

Consider aspects such as whether you want to work amongst a big team, whether you enjoy traveling, or whether you like working from your living room (in your PJs) when assessing your purpose and how to get yourself there.

What experiences have you not tried out yet?

Your purpose might be right around the corner if there’s something you haven’t tried out yet.

Say tomorrow you go wine tasting. 

You’re blown away by the intricacies of fermentation and aging. 

Suddenly, you have your sights set on moving to France and open a wine yard of your own.

Obviously, we do get unfeasible short term dreams (like watching the Wolf of Wall Street and having Jordan Belfort’s lifestyle in mind). 

But being open-minded to trying new experiences will open up a world of new doors – one of which might lead you to a new purpose you’ve never yet considered.

Ready to start exploring new ideas and broadening your mind? 

Maybe there are things holding you back in your journey to finding your purpose that you haven’t yet considered.

When it comes to your personal spiritual journey, which toxic habits have you unknowingly picked up? 

Is it the need to be positive all the time? Is it a sense of superiority over those who lack spiritual awareness? 

Even well-meaning gurus and experts can get it wrong. 

The result is that you end up achieving the opposite of what you’re searching for. You do more to harm yourself than to heal. 

You may even hurt those around you. 

In this eye-opening video, the shaman Rudá Iandé explains how so many of us fall into the toxic spirituality trap. He himself went through a similar experience at the start of his journey. 

As he mentions in the video, spirituality should be about empowering yourself. Not suppressing emotions, not judging others, but forming a pure connection with who you are at your core. 

If this is what you’d like to achieve, click here to watch the free video.

Even if you’re well into your spiritual journey, it’s never too late to unlearn the myths you’ve bought for truth!

Picture of Liv Walde

Liv Walde

London-based writer with big thoughts, big dreams, and a passion for helping others.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

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