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What is Purpose?

Our Purpose. It’s something we are supposed to know. And it’s a very hot topic these days. We hire career coaches, take assessments, seek resources, and ask others what our purpose is, in hopes that we will discover it. I, myself have done much pondering and research in this area. Although there are various paths that can assist in getting us there, I propose something that is simpler, but also offers much more depth and insight.

Are you ready for this?

First you need to understand who you are as a unique human being, to be able to know your purpose. Sounds simple, right? But we know this is not easy. It is actually some of the deepest work we will do in this life. Once you find yourself, you will simultaneously uncover your purpose.

What is purpose not?

It is not your job or career. Purpose are the things we do and experience that brings our awareness to the present moment, that makes us feel gratitude. It’s what brings us joy, meaning, and fulfillment. It’s when we are tapping into our unique creativity and are in “flow”. It is what happens within when we are doing this “work”. Put simply, you find yourself through doing what you love.

What does purpose look like? It can take the shape of many things:

- Providing for your family

- Loving those around you

- Traveling the world

- Fighting to save our environment

- Having a positive impact on the lives of others

- Being happy

- Making music

- Educating others

- Teaching others to be healthy

- Be creative

- Laugh

- The list goes on and on 😊

Can you live your purpose through your career? Absolutely! Is it necessary? Nope! Purpose is not what you do. It’s how you show up. It is through the ordinary of every day that we live our purpose. (BTW go watch the Disney movie “Soul” if you have not already. It does a brilliant job of explaining this point.) It’s the light you share with others through just being yourself. Every one of us has purpose. We are all unique and beautiful. Oftentimes it is even through what we identify as our “flaws” that is the real magic we offer to others.

How do you find yourself?

Through meditation. Through getting still. Through checking in with yourself on a soul level. The trick is that you need to get quiet enough to listen. Often, that is the greatest challenge- carving out a sliver of time to just be with ourselves and see what comes up. Maybe you will hear a whisper, “Get back on that piano”. “Take that yoga class”. “Speak up for what you know is right”. “Offer an ear to that person who needs it”. There is a good chance this is part of your purpose. Don’t overthink it. Embrace it. Flow with it.

There are so many resources for meditation these days. One of my favorite is simply going to YouTube meditation videos. My favorite is David Ji. Check him out here.

As a career coach, I work with assessments, guides, and processes every day to explore potential careers. These tools are very valid and necessary. But if they still aren’t getting you results, you need to look deeper. Going deeper is looking at the core of who you are. Once you know who you are you can live in alignment with your truth. This is how we reach our fullest potential.

If you would like to take this practice of life purpose work to the next level, check out my previous blog on writing your dharma (or life purpose) statement here.

My wish for you as we head into the New Year together-

May you be blessed with the wisdom to know who you are

To spread your light, and manifest your desires.

May you live from a place of creativity and curiosity

and dive deeper to understand the essence of who you truly are

Where you have been and where you are headed.

Action Steps- How can you carve out time over the course of the next week to get still and listen to what it is that lights you up? Do more of that. Can you make this new habit a goal for the new year?

(I know you can!)

How does this post resonate (or not resonate) with you? I would love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a line at and say hello!

Many blessings!


Melissa M. Carvalho

Holistic Life Purpose & Career Coach/ Yoga Teacher

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