Young woman standing at balcony happily smiling.

Why Naming Your Purpose is So Important

Updated April 7, 2020 . AmFam Team

A purpose statement is critically important to your dream pursuit. It can help you determine what to say yes to! Learn more.

We all have unique value to bring to the world. But knowing how to bring that value to life isn’t easy — unless you have a purpose statement.

According to Deanna Singh, chief change agent at Flying Elephant (Opens in a new tab) and author of Purposeful Hustle (Opens in a new tab), a purpose statement is important, because it’ll help you determine what to say yes to, and what to walk away from. Plus, when you find yourself conflicted or facing obstacles, reminding yourself of your purpose can help you overcome those challenges.

But, what exactly is a purpose statement?

A purpose statement is a brief description of your passions and values. And it should be used to guide all your big decisions in life. When you’re crafting yours, think about what gives you energy and what tasks excite you. What are you good at, and how can you use those skills to live a more meaningful life? How and for what do you want to be remembered? Etc.

For some, naming their passion is easy. For others, it may be difficult to choose just one! But challenge yourself to think about ways your many passions might fit together. What is the common thread, and how might you weave it through a purpose statement that can ground you when the lines seem a bit blurry?

After some initial brainstorming, it’s time to craft a succinct purpose statement that you can live by. To do this, first write out some thoughts answering this prompt: “I am passionate about…” Then, follow up with a response to this: “I am uniquely positioned to…” Once you write these out on paper, you’ll likely feel inspired to write out your official purpose statement.

For example, Deanna has many passions, but the thread that runs through them is helping others — particularly those in marginalized communities. And, through her experiences, education, skills and position in life, she’s uniquely able to do so. So, her purpose statement reads like this: “My purpose is to shift power to marginalized communities.”

What’s yours? Watch the above video for more ideas, and check out Deanna’s work (Opens in a new tab) to remain inspired!

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