Living Your Life Purpose

June 2nd, 2011 by Steve Pavlina

You may recall that a few months ago I did a survey to see what kinds of products people would be interested in seeing me create. Among other insights this provided, it helped me see what the most requested topics are. Where do people need the most help?

One of the top requests in that survey was for a product on the topic of Life Purpose. In reading through the many hundreds of comments, it became clear that a lot of people still feel they’re drifting, and they need more help bringing a sense of purpose to their lives, so they can feel centered and at peace with themselves — and so they can feel they’re on a path to making a meaningful contribution instead of being stuck in unfulfilling situations.

Another thing that stood out was that people want more than how-to information. They need help motivating themselves to go through the process. So even though I’ve written a good deal about life purpose in the past, and many people have found it extremely helpful, it isn’t enough to get everyone to the place they’d like to be — the place of having a deep-rooted connection to one’s life purpose.

I started working on a product along those lines because it seemed like a good place to start. Many other aspects of self development stem from clarifying your life purpose. I completed the product outline, which I expected would become a 6-10 hour audio program. But when I reviewed the outline, something didn’t feel quite right about it to me. It didn’t feel like this was really “my product.” I felt like I was using a semi-forced process that wasn’t my normal process for creating inspired content.

I acknowledged to myself that I was out of flow, so I put the product on hold for a while, worked on other projects, and took a weeklong road trip through California, intending to come back to the project a little later with a fresh perspective. I pondered whether I should take the product in a different direction. I didn’t want to scrap it because I know there’s a need for it, but I’ve learned over the years that it’s important to trust my intuition when it comes to such matters.


During this time I received an email from Dr. Brad Swift about a new product he was releasing on the subject of… you guessed it… life purpose. I was already familiar with Brad’s work because I reviewed his book Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life in 2007, and we’ve kept in touch over the years. Life on Purpose is simply the best book on life purpose I’ve ever read, and it deserves the rare honor of maintaining a solid 5-star average rating on

Brad’s new program is called the Life on Purpose Virtual Video Coach. It’s an online video-based course where Brad personally guides you through his 6-step Life on Purpose process one lesson at a time.¬†All the videos can be streamed online, and the course includes a PDF workbook and some bonus material.

I went through the entire program in May, and I loved it. I had to chuckle at the synchronicity because this was essentially the product I was trying to create. My ideas and processes were different of course, but the end benefits would be the same — to help you bring a clear sense of purpose to your life and to fully ground it in your daily actions, so that you’re truly living on purpose.

I also thought to myself, Well… that was easier than I thought. I intended for the creation of a certain product, and here it is. I didn’t even have to record it. :)

So first, I received the lesson I seem to keep needing to learn — to create from a place of inspiration and not to try to force creativity. But beyond that, I also got a lot of value from Brad’s course. If you visit his website, you’ll see my testimonial there. That was actually part of an email I sent to him to tell him what I thought of the course, and I was happy to have him include it on his product page when he asked if that would be okay.

Life on Purpose Virtual Video Coach

Dr. Brad SwiftI don’t think of this as an info product because it’s not primarily a course to put new knowledge in your head, although that is a part of it. The program guides you through a process that’s all about you, so it has more to do with gaining self knowledge and understanding.

One step at a time, you’ll be guided to reveal your inherited purpose (your fear-based false purpose that masquerades as your true purpose), then to discover your true purpose, and finally to ground your true purpose into your life so you can enjoy more happiness and fulfillment.

This course goes well beyond the point of forming a clear statement of purpose. It provides many tools and techniques to help you begin living congruently with your purpose and to shift away from stuckness as well as your inherited purpose.

I read Brad’s book and loved it; however, I gained much more value from his Virtual Video Coach. I was a bit surprised because I figured it would simply be a video version of his book. It does cover a lot of the same ground as the book, but I experienced the material in a totally different way. Brad has a very centered and peaceful way of communicating, and watching him on video is (in my opinion) a much better expression of who he is than words on a page.

I’m not going to go into detail about all the features and benefits of the course because you can find all of that information on his website. I think it would be more authentic to simply share how the course affected me.

Doing vs. Being

For many years I’ve had a pretty clear sense of my life purpose, and I like to think I’ve been doing a good job living it. I feel fulfilled most of the time, and I’m very pleased with my current direction. My normal experience is to feel that I’m in the flow of inspiration, and I seldom feel stuck. My life has been working very well, and it seems to be getting better each year.

Here’s the purpose statement I currently have on my About page:

to care deeply, connect playfully, love intensely, and share generously;
to joyfully explore, learn, grow, and prosper;
and to creatively, brilliantly, and honorably serve the highest good of all.

It may not mean anything to you, but I still get a surge of emotion each time I read it. I think it does a job of succinctly summing up how I wish to live and what inspires me most.

This purpose statement has worked well for me over the years, but Brad’s course gave me another way of thinking about purpose. It didn’t replace my current purpose statement, which I still love, but it gave me another perspective I hadn’t considered.

Instead of thinking about purpose in terms of doing, Brad encourages you to think about it in terms of being.

I think one of the reasons my purpose statement has worked so well for me is that it incorporates beingness, and it isn’t heavy on the doingness in a way that might make me feel pressured or stressed. If your purpose is only about doing, then when you aren’t taking action, you aren’t on purpose; that creates a pressure to be doing, doing, doing… even when you’re feeling burned out. I agree with Brad that it’s better to define your purpose in such a way that you can feel happy and fulfilled at all times, not just when you’re taking a lot of action. I figure I must be doing something right because I often feel very grateful even when I’m just running errands or hanging out with friends.

Fortunately my current purpose statement translates fairly easy to beingness. “To care deeply” means to be a caring person. “To connect playfully” means to be a playful person. “To joyfully explore” means to be an explorer.

I liked considering my purpose statement through the lens of being. It helped me recognize that no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I can always be living on purpose. I don’t always have to be doing something specific.

But there was a greater benefit beyond this. Brad’s insights encouraged me to reinterpret my goals, projects, and tasks from the perspective of beingness. I reviewed those items and asked myself, Who am I really desiring to be here?

My original purpose statement addresses the questions of what and how. I also have an intuitive understanding of the why. But it doesn’t really address the question of where. Where do I ultimately see myself living on purpose?

This is a fairly general question, but it gave me a lot of clarity. I thought about why I’m in Las Vegas and what I can do here specifically. I thought about where in the broad field of personal development I most enjoy working. I thought about what kinds of situations and positions I enjoy most.

There are so many facets to this exploration that I’m still exploring it — which is actually a part of my purpose: to joyfully explore. But I’ve already gained more clarity about some “locations”, or states of being, that I enjoy most.

One place I enjoy is being in the increasingly overlapping space between technology and personal development. I feel perfectly comfortable in both fields. I liked being one of the first people to leverage blogging technology to spread personal development ideas. Now it’s commonplace, and there are lots of people leveraging tech to promote PD. I think that’s wonderful.

I feel right at home in this tech-PD space. I like having an online business, and I regard the Internet as my digital home. I also love exploring personal growth and sharing it with others. Brad’s course gave me the clarity to see that positionally speaking, I love having one foot in the tech world and the other foot in the PD world, and I look for ways to further connect the dots between them.

Another location I love is the space of connecting deeply with people face to face. I like that I can discuss topics like life purpose or subjective reality with people shortly after I meet them. I like “breaking the ice” by recognizing that there never was any ice to begin with. I enjoy maintaining an open and approachable posture; I can’t always do that online due to the overwhelming numbers, but I’m at least able to do it in person most of the time. To me, being in the space of an intimate connection with someone is a very joyful place to be.

When I remind myself to simply be in these places, my life flows very easily, and I feel happy and fulfilled. Interestingly, this focus on being has led to a lot more action.

For example, by reminding myself that I love being in the overlapping space between tech and PD, I’ve been devouring tech company biographies lately, coming up with new ideas for how tech and PD could continue to merge. I’ve also made some tweaks to my website, so it’s serving up pages more efficiently than it was a week ago.

By reminding myself that I enjoy face time with people, I arranged a meetup in a local park last Sunday. About 14 people showed up. I brought a bunch of my discs that I use for disc golf, and several of us had fun throwing them around; that was my way of expressing “to connect playfully”. I’m also working on booking more workshops for the Fall, which will bring even more people together in the same physical location, where all of us can connect playfully and learn and grow together.

The irony is that I don’t feel like I’m really doing much, but I’m getting a lot more done than usual. I’m not trying to force anything. I just focus on where I want to be, and action flows effortlessly from there. I’m enjoying this really nice flow right now.

A few days ago, I was talking to Erin on the phone and she said something like, “I can tell you’re in a really good place right now. I’m not sensing that you need to change anything. You seem really happy right where you are.” She’s right. :)

Being in the right place is very powerful. When you’re in the right place — for you — the doing part follows naturally from it. You don’t have to push yourself to take action or fight against procrastination. When you’re in the right place of beingness, life automatically supports you.

More Distinctions

What I shared above is only one of many powerful distinctions I got from Brad’s course. Although he presents a 6-step linear process that’s easy to follow, I personally found that the course had a very nonlinear, expanding-in-all-directions effect on me.

If you watch the videos and do the workbook exercises in a straightforward manner, you’ll arrive at the point of having your own statement of purpose and a deep grasp of what it means. You’ll also begin living in alignment with that purpose, watching your life take on a positive new direction.

Don’t be fooled by the seemingly linear nature of the course, however. It’s a lot more than a step by step process. I found that several points really stuck with me, such as Brad’s coffee mug analogy, and got me thinking in new directions about other parts of my life such as my goals, projects, and actions. I started thinking less about to-dos and more about “Where do I want to be right now?” Once I figured that out, I discovered to my delight that the right actions flowed rather easily from there.

Let me conclude simply by saying that I highly recommend this course, and I think you’ll gain a lot by going through it — even if you think you’re already pretty clear about your purpose.

If you want to bring more purpose, meaning, and fulfillment to your life, you can’t go wrong here. Brad is definitely one of the good guys in this field, and I genuinely expect you’ll gain a lot from his program. It even includes a better than money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose by trying it.

I completed the course in less than a week, although you can certainly go through the lessons more slowly if you want time to integrate them one by one. An hour or two a week would be a very reasonable pacing.

To learn more, visit the Life on Purpose Virtual Video Coach page.

Well, that was an easy product to get out the door. What’s next? :)

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