Walking a path of wellness means more than just taking good care of your body through nutrition and exercise. Though those things are important, we are complicated beings with many needs. At the IAWP, we focus on working with all aspects of wellness, from eating well to spending time in nature, from healing relationships to focusing on your purpose.
Each of these aspects fit into our Wellness 360 wheel and are what we call elements of wellness. Since we place a huge emphasis on a holistic approach to wellness, this wheel guides us through all aspects of learning, living, and supporting others.
One of these very important elements is the element of Purpose.
Importance of the Purpose Element
Many times when we hear the word “purpose” we immediately think of our jobs. But purpose is far more than what we do for a living. It’s an inner knowing that guides us as we move through the world, grow within ourselves, and tells us what we are here to do.
Your purpose can give meaning to your daily life, but also to your understanding of your existence. Having a purpose can help you to rise above challenges in your life and find greater meaning in those challenges. It can make hard things feel more meaningful and the wonderful things feel euphoric.
It gives us the ability to look outside ourselves and our own world, allowing us to see how we can help others. Purpose teaches us how we can effectively make a contribution to our communities by using our unique skills and talents. This is why purpose is so important to your wellbeing.
Understanding the Purpose Element
Most of us struggle to figure out what our purpose is at one or more points in our lives. It’s totally normal and wonderful that you’re sticking with it to figure it out!
You’re probably mulling it over right now if you’re reading this. Maybe you’ve had some hard experiences or some joyful ones and you’d like to share what you’ve learned with others. It could be that your purpose is to share the message of wellness and help others to become healthy.
Purpose is all about knowing and learning more about your passions. Being passionate is the cornerstone of really understanding and identifying purpose.
- What brings you joy?
- Is there something that lights you up?
- How can you uniquely contribute?
- What can you do to share your gifts?
Having a purpose doesn’t need to be elaborate. It can be as simple as a role in your family or impacting another person’s life. Or it can be as grand as a purpose to change the lives of many people.
When we think of purpose as it relates to wellness, we want to discover if we know what we are passionate about. If we’re not yet sure, then it becomes our task to identify how to discover it. Passion and purpose together bring meaning to our lives, which affects our outlook, our feelings, and our wellbeing.
Purpose is also about feeling fulfilled. When we feel fulfilled internally, we can see how that impacts our overall wellbeing. It might be that we actually feel different or that we smile more often. Or it could be that we have a deep knowing about what we are supposed to be doing every day.
Purpose also represents knowing our true selves. This can be a lifelong journey or something that happens in a moment of deep realization.
IAWP Student Feature
IAWP Certified Wellness Coach Natalia Edelmann shared her personal experience about finding her purpose and following her passion for wellness coaching.
“Planning is one thing, but taking action is imperative to pursuing your dreams when everyone else is in your way. The thing is, you can’t take action if you don’t have the confidence, but confidence only comes with taking action.”
Natalia recommends setting milestones and breaking them down into smaller steps. And to keep in mind that with every step toward your purpose, a lesson is learned on your journey. “Shine your light so bright that everyone can see you…because when you shine, we shine brighter together.”
Balancing the Purpose Element
Now that we’ve done a deep dive into why knowing your purpose is such an important part of holistic wellness, let’s look at how you can actually discover it. Just remember that your purpose is a very important part of who you are, so it’s not likely to be something you can figure out overnight.
Sometimes people have lightning bolt types of experiences. They might suddenly have an “aha” moment where their purpose becomes crystal clear. But for the majority of us, it’s more common to uncover it over weeks, months, and sometimes years.
Additionally, your purpose will constantly evolve over the course of your lifetime. A person’s purpose is going to look drastically different when they’re 25 compared to when they’re 65. It’s a really good thing for purposes to evolve as we experience new things, grow, and learn. Just keep working toward living with purpose and eventually you’ll find it.
Here are a few ways to get started in figuring out what your purpose is in life.
1. Get quiet and get clear.
Life is busy, stressful, and overwhelming. Most of us are running ragged, trying to just finish our to-do list before our heads hit the pillow at night. While this is understandable, your purpose won’t be able to make it through the noise enough for you to notice.
You’ll need to create more space in your life for contemplation, mindfulness, and exploration. Whatever way you can do this, it will be worth it. Even if you can just set aside 15 minutes a day for a quick meditation and journaling. Get deep in your heart and intuition, then start listening.
2. Practice your passion regularly.
If you’ve already discovered one of your passions, make it a priority in your life. Practice it every day and devote energy to it. Get in the flow with your passion and let it fill you up energetically.
This practice will help you take action which always leads to deeper self-discovery. Along the way, you’re going to find your purpose and take even bigger actions. Once you reach this point, you’ll start to notice the impactful wellness effects in your life.
3. Make friends with those who have a purpose.
It can be tricky to know what to do to find your purpose, especially if you’re surrounded by others who are facing the same dilemma. Go find some people who really inspire you and have found their purpose in life.
Take them out for lunch or tea, then ask them about their journey to finding their purpose. You might get some great tips that resonate with your own personality and journey. And you’ll make an inspiring friend in the process.
4. Do a Wellness 360 check.
This is an important part of practicing holistic wellness. In order to truly understand what is needed for you to find your purpose, you’ll need to take a look at the other elements in the Wellness 360 wheel. Are there other aspects of your wellness that aren’t in balance? Could it be that those elements are making it hard to work with purpose?
This could be something like struggling with the finances element. This could cause a lot of stress and survival mentality, making the idea of purpose seem like a luxury or far out of reach. Sometimes you’ll need to work on other elements first before you can come back and work on your Purpose element.
Start Living with Purpose
Finding your purpose might be a challenging journey or it might be something that’s already staring you in the face. Stay open to what lights you up and what energizes you. You might already know what your purpose is and you just haven’t noticed it yet. Keep leaning in and just give it some time and keep it a priority.
If health and wellness is your passion, you might find that your purpose is to help others live healthier lives as a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach. At the IAWP, we’ve created an accredited certification training that includes unique support and systems that will help you find success for life. Reach out to an admissions advisor today to find out if we’re the right program for you.